Reliever Sarfate Clears Waivers



February 04, 2010|By Dan Connolly | Dan Connolly,

Reliever Dennis Sarfate, who was designated for assignment last week when the Orioles re-signed Miguel Tejada, cleared waivers and was sent outright to Triple-A Norfolk.

The 28-year-old right-hander received a spring training invitation but will not be on the 40-man roster for the first time since coming to Baltimore in December 2007 as part of the Tejada trade with the Houston Astros.

"I guess you are a little disappointed every time you clear waivers, but I wanted to stay in Baltimore," said Sarfate, who was 0-1 with a 5.09 ERA in 20 games last year after going 4-3 with a 4.74 ERA in 2008. "I like the city, and I think the opportunity is still there. I think I can still show them that I am worthy of putting on the roster."

Sarfate missed nearly four months last year with a circulatory condition that caused numbness in his right hand. He returned in September and then pitched in the Mexican Winter League.

He said he is completely healthy and that his fastball velocity is back in the mid-90s after dropping off considerably last season.

"I believe I am a big league pitcher," Sarfate said. "I don't know if I have to prove anything more than to show I am healthy and that my fastball is back, and I am working with a slider and I am getting my curveball ready for spring."

Because he had never been sent outright before and has less than three years' service time, Sarfate could not refuse the assignment to Triple-A Norfolk. Therefore, if he doesn't make the Orioles' 25-man roster this spring, he'll pitch for the Tides unless he is traded or released.

"They kind of woke me up a little bit. Now it is time to kick it in and get ready to go," Sarfate said. "I'm lucky to be here and still have the opportunity to show what I can do. I have to suck up my pride. ... If I don't [make the Orioles] this spring, I'll put up numbers at Triple-A and work my way back."

Awaiting Hendrickson signing

The Orioles have not yet announced their one-year, $1.2 million deal with left-handed reliever Mark Hendrickson because of delays involving the team physical.

It should not have any effect on the deal, which could be announced today, a team official said.

When Hendrickson's contract becomes official, the Orioles will have to make a corresponding roster move.

The club is expected to designate right-handed reliever Armando Gabino for assignment.

Guthrie's contract status quo

The Orioles and the agent for starter Jeremy Guthrie are still discussing a contract before potentially heading to arbitration later this month. Guthrie has filed for $3.625 million, and the Orioles have countered with $2.3 million.

If the sides cannot agree to a deal, a hearing will be held and an arbitrator will choose one side or the other.

Major League Baseball requests that the hearing dates no longer be made public, but Guthrie's would be held some time between Monday and Feb. 19.

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