So days 3 and 4 of the Winter Meetings came and went with much rumor and little bite. Baltimore agreed with LF Nate McLouth to a very reasonable 1-year $2m contract with another 500k possible in bonuses. The rule 5 draft was also held with Baltimore selecting TJ McFarland from CLE, who is a 23 year old lefty with a good sinker, a good change up and great command. That is pretty much the MO of this front office, as shown during the "cutter-gate" incident last year, that this team's philosophy is that they like guys that can get groundballs, and guys with a FB/CV/CH combo. McFarland doesn't have much of a chance to stick in the pen as currently constructed all season because 6 of those spots are taken up by: Johnson, O'Day, Strop, Hunter, Patton, and Ayala. It would be tough to keep McFarland there all season, but there is an outside shot due to the LHP, and GB%. I'm sure they will give him a good look in ST, and try to work something out with CLE to send him to AAA if he can't make the team.
On day 3 the O's also made some minor league signings:
Lew Ford - Fans already know about Lewwwwwwww.
Conor Jackson - Career .350 OBP, can play 1B and corner OF, could be a sleeper for the 25 man.
Jason Pridie - Another depth OF move like Ford, Buck likes veteran AAA help.
Daniel McCutchen - RHP - Had a couple games in the Pirates pen, replacement level production.
Adam Russell - RHP - Couple games in 4 different MLB pens, had a rough 2012 in the minors.
Allan De San Miguel - C - Organizational C spent last year at 3 levels for the O's.
Jose Gil - C - Organizational C from the Yankees system the past 7 years.
Chris Robinson - C - Backup C for AAA Norfolk last year.
Jan Novak - LHP - 18 years old, out of the MLB academy in Europe, has a decent low 90's FB and some potential with some other pitches. Very raw, but could be a good first step into Europe which the team has indicated that it would like to do.
Trade talks with a few teams were still ongoing according to Duquette who said some things may have to percolate beyond the meetings. They are still on the hunt for a middle of the order bat, but as expected the cost is high and the market is a bit frozen waiting on Grienke and Hamilton to sign and start dominoes falling.
It will probably be quiet for a few days, as it usually is after the meetings, but sometime next week you should see some pieces really start moving around the league.