Orioles take a close-up of Farr

January 22, 1994|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

In their search for more bullpen depth, the Orioles auditioned reliever Steve Farr yesterday at Camden Yards.

A 10-year veteran with a career 46-44 record and 3.17 ERA, Farr, 37, registered 78 saves in the past three years with the New York Yankees. He underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove chips from his elbow last October, but has been throwing for the past six weeks.

Originally, it was thought the Orioles were going to watch Farr throw at his home in North Carolina. "I preferred to come up here," said Farr, a native of the Landover area who has relatives in Maryland.

Although yesterday was the first time he'd thrown off a pitching mound since his operation, Farr didn't restrict himself during yesterday's workout. He was observed by pitching coach Dick Bosman and bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks.

"The operation was as simple as it could be," Farr said. "I started throwing five weeks later."

Orioles general manager Roland Hemond said the club has some interest in Farr, but at this stage has not entered into negotiations. "This was more of a get-acquainted session," Hemond said.

"You can't make a judgment after one workout at this stage. Later on, when he's more advanced, we'll take a closer look."

Farr had 25 saves and a 4.21 ERA last year. Home runs (8) and walks (28), in addition to the bone chips, caused much of Farr's trouble last year.

After going 13-7 with a 1.98 ERA as a setup man for the Kansas City Royals in 1990, Farr signed with the Yankees as a free agent. He was 5-5 with 23 saves and a 2.19 ERA in 1991 and 2-2 with 30 saves and a 1.56 ERA the next year.

Farr could fit into the Orioles' picture because of the uncertain status of closer Gregg Olson, who missed most of the final two months of last season because of an elbow injury.

Olson wasn't tendered a contract by the Dec. 20 deadline and is a free agent.

The Orioles have continued to negotiate with Olson, but Hemond said he had no contact yesterday with Jeff Moorad, the right-hander's agent, who could not be reached for comment.

In addition to Farr, the Orioles have expressed interest in Bobby Thigpen.

Although Hemond would confirm only that he has had contact with Thigpen, the Orioles are believed to have offered the former White Sox closer a Triple-A contract and an invitation to spring training.

"We've talked," Hemond said, "and I expect to hear back from him next week."

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