Adrian Beltre and Pedro Feliz head the Orioles' list to replace Mora at third base. Injury-prone veterans Nick Johnson, Hank Blalock and Carlos Delgado are options at first. In filling both corner infield spots, the Orioles would prefer short-term options because they believe prospects Josh Bell and Brandon Snyder are close to becoming everyday starters.
Braden Looper, Randy Wolf and Jon Garland are among the options for starting pitching, though MacPhail said the club is willing to take a risk on someone with a history of injuries but a high upside. Erik Bedard, the team's former ace who was dealt to the Seattle Mariners in 2008, Ben Sheets and Rich Harden all qualify.
"We'll look at the medicals and make whatever determination the medical staff feels is appropriate," MacPhail said. "I don't know that this is an inappropriate offseason to take a risk or two if something makes sense."
The club has several internal options to save games in Jim Johnson, Koji Uehara and Chris Ray, but it would gladly add an established closer at the right price. The market is littered with them, including Billy Wagner, Fernando Rodney and Mike Gonzalez.
"Our goal will be to try and find guys to move that needle in the win column up and help our guys individually," MacPhail said.
Big free-agent spenders?
Baseball's free-agent signing period begins today, and the Orioles have money to spend and holes to fill. Here are some free agents they will consider. Name Pos. '09 team & stats SkinnyErik Bedard SP 5-3, 2.82 ERA for Mariners If he is healthy, the O's would like nothing better than to bring back their former ace. Adrian Beltre 3B .265 avg., 8 HRs, 44 RBIs for Mariners Veteran is at the top of the list to fill the vacancy at third base. Hank Blalock 1B-3B .234 avg., 25 HRs, 66 RBIs for Rangers Former O's trade target will be considered for corner infield spots.Carlos Delgado 1B .298 avg., 4 HRs, 23 RBIs for Mets Obviously not same player he once was but still a threat if injuries are behind him. Pedro Feliz 3B .266 avg., 12 HRs, 82 RBIs for Phillies Strong defensively, he could be a one-year stopgap until Josh Bell is ready.Mike Gonzalez RP 2.42 ERA, 10 saves for Braves Lefty is one of several closer options as O's look to bolster the back end of the bullpen.Rich Harden SP 9-9, 4.09 ERA for Cubs MacPhail has said he's willing to take a risk on a talented pitcher with injury issues. Mark Hendrickson RP 6-5, 4.37 ERA for O's Both sides apparently want to get a deal done, so it shouldn't take long. John Lackey SP 11-8, 3.83 ERA for Angels O's will at least kick the tires on the one legitimate ace on market, but it's beyond a long shot.Billy Wagner RP 1-1, 1.72 ERA for Mets/Red Sox O's have contacted his agent, but he would cost them second-round pick as compensation.