Stottlemyre, Brown put on O's wish list TTC

November 21, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

Some major-league clubs have decided to sit out the free-agent hunt until January, hoping the dearth of activity will lower salary demands. Others are sitting it out to wait to see what economic system will govern the game, thus protecting themselves from having to pay penalties for overspending.

The Orioles, meanwhile, continue to talk to free agents, but remain undecided as to how quickly they will take the next step to actually sign players.

Free-agent pitchers Bill Swift (with the San Francisco Giants in 1994) and Kevin Brown (Texas Rangers) have taken physicals, and pitcher Todd Stottlemyre (Toronto Blue Jays), left-handed-hitting catcher Matt Nokes (New York Yankees) and outfielder Jay Buhner (Seattle Mariners) are scheduled for physicals this week.

Brown's durability appeals to the Orioles, who were burned by taking a chance on injury-prone Sid Fernandez last season.

The Orioles made preliminary contact with the agent of right-hander Bobby Witt (Oakland Athletics), but their interest in him never advanced beyond the preliminary stage.

Although the Orioles no longer are interested in Witt, they remain interested in left-hander Danny Jackson (Philadelphia Phillies), Swift, Brown and Stottlemyre.

The Orioles, who are finding free agents are making high salary demands despite clubs losing millions in the strike, plan to sign one starting pitcher or acquire one in a trade. They could sign as many as two pitchers, but only if they part with a pitcher in a trade.

Right-handers Jack McDowell of the Chicago White Sox and Tom Gordon of the Kansas City Royals, and Rangers left-hander Kenny Rogers could become free agents if their service time lost during the strike is restored when a new Basic Agreement is negotiated.

The Orioles' most likely course of action? Sign a free agent now if one agrees to a reasonable salary.

Otherwise, the Orioles are likely to pursue a pitcher in a trade or wait for more pitchers to become available on the free-agent market later.

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