In a strange sort of discovery by Jim Duquette seeing him at the Orioles’ facility, along with Eduardo Rodriguez putting out an instagram picture of the two of them, the word is that there is a pending minor league contract with the former two-time Cy Young Award winner.
Johan Santana is seeking to come back from a second shoulder surgery, having last pitched in MLB in 2012. In a group audition last week, he was only hitting around 80 miles per hour, though it is still too close to surgery to know what he will get back of his former abilities. He will be turning age 35 this month, and it was always known that he would not possibly be available until several months into the season as a best-case scenario.
This is another “throw it all on the wall to see what sticks” kind of move wherein Duquette is willing to take an inexpensive shot at “turning over every stone” and seeing if “lightning can be caught in a bottle again.” However you state it, this is similar to the Jair Jurrjens move last year; or to look back farther into history one might recall giving Jamie Moyer and Dontrelle Willis a look. I’m still hoping for a call myself, if the truth be told!
I cannot imagine that this is going to actually work out. The margins between success and getting totally clobbered are so very narrow in this era of baseball. But, someday, if Duquette does this long enough, one of these deals is going to work out in a big way. So I do not fault the effort. Brittany Ghiroli tweeted that the O’s have interest in Johan Santana as a possible reliever.
Chris Jones re-signed
Yes, it would be bigger news if it was Chris Davis signing an extension; but I believe it is good to see another Jones in the mix. This left-handed reliever was released last week to make room on the roster for Nelson Cruz. With yet another minor league deal, the Orioles were able to get him back, having originally obtained him from the Atlanta Braves for Luis Ayala.
Jones had a combined ERA in the minors last year (mostly AAA) of 2.85 and held lefties to a batting average of but .196.
Xavier Avery looking good for Seattle
The MLB writer for the Mariners wrote an extensive piece on former Birds outfielder Xavier Avery. The former second-rounder was traded to Seattle for Michael Morse late last year. Avery has been playing well in early spring training games and is being given a long look as at least a utility outfielder.
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said, “He’s a gamer. He makes things happen. He has a couple tools that are game changing. He stole a base off a guy that was 1.18 to the plate. Those are the things that can change the scoreboard real quick. He’s an interesting young man and he’s making the most of his opportunities. He’s certainly played well to this point.”
I don’t share this because I wish Avery was necessarily back with the Orioles. I think we’ve got enough left fielders to sort through. I just thought it was interesting. And after all, after the deal that got Adam Jones and Chris Tillman, we kinda owe the Mariners a little bit still! So I wish him lots of success, especially against the Rangers!