Although the Orioles are focused on adding a starter and a hitter by Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline, they are asking about left-handed relievers in the trade market as well, according to multiple industry sources.
With one of the best bullpens in baseball, adding another lefty appears to be a lesser priority on the Orioles’ wish list than the rotation and corner infield/left field, but it also would come more cheaply than their other searches.
Currently, the Orioles have just one lefty reliever on the 25-man roster: Troy Patton, who heading into Friday has held left-handed hitters to a .227 average, the second best mark in the bullpen (lefties hit .223 against closer Jim Johnson).
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But Patton, who has a 3.07 ERA, is nearly as effective against right-handers (a .238 average), and therefore is more typically used for an inning and not a batter. Before Friday, lefties had 88 at-bats against Patton and righties had 80.
The Orioles have Zach Phillips in the minors, but if they want to go the trade route, some left-handed relievers that potentially could be available include Kansas City’s Jose Mijares, Toronto’s Darren Oliver and Seattle’s Oliver Perez, as well as Doug Slaten (Pittsburgh Pirates’ minors) and Neil Cotts (Texas Rangers’ minors).
Executive vice president Dan Duquette continues to talk with myriad teams as Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline approaches.
One interesting sighting at Friday’s game was San Diego Padres senior VP Omar Minaya. The Padres have several potential trade chips including highly coveted third baseman Chase Headley. Minaya, who likely also was scouting the Oakland A’s, is the third Padres official/scout to watch the Orioles in the past two weeks. They also had a scout at one of the Orioles’ minor league affiliates recently.