Posted on: June 24, 2010 11:01 am

Orioles seeking young shortstop for Wigginton

Ty Wigginton The Baltimore Orioles want a young shortstop and are trying to use Ty Wigginton to get one.

The problem, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, is that no team will deal a young shortstop for Wigginton, even though the utilityman is having a strong season for the Orioles.

The Rangers (seeking a right-handed bat ) and Rockies (looking for a second baseman ) have been linked to Wigginton, but neither has young shortstops they would be willing to deal.

Texas has Elvis Andrus anchoring the position and will do so for years to come with a blend of offense and fantastic defense. The Rangers do have Jurickson Profar, but he's 16 years old and light-years away. Not only would Texas likely be unwilling to move someone with such a high ceiling, the Orioles may not be interested, as they'd be seeking someone who could join the major-league club fairly quickly.

The Rockies have toolsy shortstop Hector Gomez, but his star has plummeted and now looks like he'll never reach the promised land. At 22, he's played sparingly at Double-A. It's likely Baltimore would be the one to say no. The Rockies do have Eric Young, Jr. who can play second base but he is not a strong defender there and the Orioles are set with Brian Roberts at the keystone position.

It wasn't all too long ago that baseball was in a golden age for shortstops, when everyone seemed to have high-tool shortstops on the roster. Those days are long gone, however, and Baltimore will have to adjust its expectations if they hope to use Wigginton to fortify future clubs.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 24, 2010 12:50 am

Report says Valentine is Marlins' choice

Bobby Valentine Could Bobby Valentine be the Marlins manager by next week?

The New York Daily News ' Mark Feinsand cites an anonymous source saying Florida owner Jeffrey Loria has already settled on the former Mets manager.

Feinsand cites a source "with knowledge of the Marlins' thinking."

"I'd say it's about 95 percent that it will be Valentine," the mysterious source told Feinsand. "Loria has already told him he's his guy."

It would make sense, Valentine is reportedly friends with Loria and as soon as Fredi Gonzalez was fired, Valentine pulled his name from consideration for the Orioles' position.

Marlins president David Samson confirmed to reporters on Wednesday that Valentine is a candidate and the team has already spoken to the veteran manager.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 23, 2010 5:04 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:24 pm

Valentine tells O's no thanks, prefers Miami

Current ESPN baseball analyst Bobby Valentine tells ESPN (shocker) that he's withdrawn his name from consideration for the managing position in Baltimore, but would like a shot at taking the helm of the Marlins.

"I am honored and flattered that the Orioles reached out with this potential opportunity, but at this time in my career, I feel I should direct my energies in another direction," Valentine said.

Apparently that direction is south -- or somewhere with better pitching. According to the article, Valentine and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria have been friends for 20 years and they have talked about Valentine's interest in managing the club.

Edwin Rodriguez, the Marlins' Triple-A manager, is the team's interim manager.

Another ESPN employee, Buck Showalter, also shouts down the hall that he wants out of Connecticut and that he's interviewing for the Orioles gig today. Eric Wedge has also interviewed.

UPDATE: FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal Tweets the Marlins are "moving fast" to interview Velentine and there are other external candidates.

UPDATE: The Baltimore Sun 's Dan Connolly reports Showalter met with Orioles owner Peter Angelos and president Andy McPhail for about three hours on Wednesday.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Connolly's back, reporting former Oriole and current broadcaster Rick Dempsey is expected to get an interview and Wedge will have a second interview to meet with Angelos, but neither has been scheduled.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 22, 2010 1:17 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2010 1:39 pm

Rockies keeping eye on 2B market

Dan Uggla The Rockies are keeping an eye on the second base market with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki out for about two months with a wrist injury.

You might be puzzled as to why Colorado is looking for second basemen and not shortstops if short has the vacancy, but the answer is really quite simple.

Even when Tulowitzki was healthy, the Rockies were reportedly looking for a second baseman to replace incumbent Clint Barmes. Now that Tulo's out, Barmes has shifted to short, opening up a gaping hole at second. If and when second is filed (whether internally by someone such as Eric Young, Jr. currently working his way back from injury or externally), Barmes can remain at short. Then, upon Tulo's return, the Rockies have the infield alignment they were targeting all along.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Colorado is "keeping an eye on Dan Uggla and Ty Wigginton." He notes that the Rockies have the prospects to swing a deal, which is important when considering Uggla is a Marlin and Wigginton is part of the rebuilding Orioles.

Uggla would give the Rockies some thump in the middle of the order. Wigginton would too, although his current offensive success is somewhat of a fluke. What he loses in offense compared to Uggla, however, he gains in defensive versatality, being able to play all over the diamond.

Colorado is currently 36-33, four games out of first place.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 22, 2010 12:41 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2010 5:53 pm

Orioles acquire Jake Fox

Jake Fox When the Athletics designated Jake Fox for assignment, the hope was that Fox would pass through waivers. Oakland is disappointed today, as they swapped Fox to the Orioles for a minor-league pitcher rather than lose him for nothing on waivers.

Even though he's hitting .214/.264/.327 -- which promoted Oakland to place him on waivers -- Fox can catch and play the infield and outfield corners which has tremendous value. At age 27 and with success at the plate with the Cubs in 2009, it's not surprising another team would go after Fox.

To get Fox, Baltimore gave up minor-league pitcher Ross Wolf, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun . Connolly notes that Wolf, 27, has been buried in the minor leagues. On the year, he has a 2.11 ERA in 38 1/3 innings. He has minimal major-league experience with the Marlins. He should provide an adequate relief arm for Oakland should they need to call upon him.

For Fox's part, he's expected to join Baltimore Tuesday and play all over. Expect prospect Chris Tillman to be optioned to the minor leagues to get regular work in the rotation, as Jeff Zrebiec of the Sun notes . While that will save Garrett Atkins' spot, it may only be a temporary reprieve as the team will need to recall Brad Bergesen to make a start on Saturday. Atkins, hitting for a terrible .574 OPS on the year, plays first and third -- positions Fox can handle.

-- Evan Brunell

UPDATE: Tillman was optioned out, and right-hander Cla Meredith was designated for assignment. Additionally, Brad Bergesen will indeed be starting Saturday.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 22, 2010 1:21 am
Edited on: June 22, 2010 1:22 am

Bedard back on mound

Erik Bedard Remember Erik Bedard? Tall guy? Left-handed? Dominating strikeout artist with unlimited future?

In 2007, Bedard racked up more strikeouts and allowed fewer hits per nine innings than anyone in the American League. The Mariners traded half their farm system to pry him from the Orioles the following winter, and disappointment has been the constant companion of Bedard and the Mariners ever since.

In his first two seasons, the Mariners paid Bedard nearly $15 million and got 30 starts out of him as he was beset by hip, back and shoulder injuries. They signed him as a free agent prior to this season for $1.5 million, figuring that with all they had invested in him, they should be the beneficiary if he returns to form.

Bedard pitched in a game Monday night for the first time since August shoulder surgery. Starting for the Mariners' rookie league entry in Peoria, Ariz., he needed 52 pitches to get through 2 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and a run while striking out three.

The Mariners are hopeful he can join the major-league club after perhaps two more rehab starts, including one at the Triple-A level.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 22, 2010 12:16 am

What are the odds?

Any Baltimore fans harboring dreams of a miracle should give up now. Even if they had a million chances, the Orioles wouldn't make the playoffs this year.

That's the conclusion of a postseason odds report compiled by baseballprospectus.com, which ran a computer simulation of the remainder of the 2010 season a million times. The Orioles were the only team that came out with a zero percent occurrence of making the playoffs. The Royals, Indians, Mariners, Nationals, Astros, Pirates and Diamondbacks each were under 1 percent.

In the crowded American League East race, the Yankees won the division 49 percent of the time, the Red Sox 26 percent and the Rays 21 percent. The best bet to reach the postseason? The Rangers, who made it in 81 percent of the simulated seasons.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 21, 2010 7:22 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2010 8:02 pm

Rockies looking at Uggla, Wigginton

Troy Renck of the Denver Post says (via Twitter) that the Rockies, reeling from the loss of top hitter Troy Tulowitzki, are looking at acquiring an infielder. He said they are keeping an eye on the Marlins' Dan Uggla and the Orioles' Ty Wigginton, both of whom are pending free agents for teams going nowhere and could presumably be had for a decent prospect.

Tulowitzki suffered a broken wrist last week and is out for six weeks. The Rockies moved Clint Barmes from second base to shortstop and brought up rookie Chris Nelson to play second.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com