O's may not be dealing closer Sherrill

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Ken Rosenthal

Ken Rosenthal has been the FOXSports.com's Senior MLB Writer since August 2005. He appears weekly on MLB on FOX, FOX Sports Radio and MLB Network. He's a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter.

The Orioles were 60-63 on Aug. 17 last season before losing 30 of their final 38 games. They were 58-65 on Aug. 21, 2007 before losing 28 of their final 39.
Do they want to trade their closer, George Sherrill, and risk another late-season collapse? That's a question team officials currently are weighing. The Marlins want Sherrill, according to major-league sources. Other teams also will be interested as the July 31 nonwaiver deadline approaches. The talks between the Marlins and Orioles have "tiny legs," according to one source familiar with the discussions. But those legs, the source said, "could grow given time." The Orioles, 35-42, are in last place in the American League East. They lack an obvious replacement for Sherrill, who blew only his third save in 20 opportunities Wednesday, his ERA rising from 1.99 to 2.51 in a 6-5 loss to the Red Sox in 11 innings. However, the Orioles are deep in young pitching and rival clubs like the quality of the arms in their major-league bullpen. Sherrill, 32, could be a piece that helps the team fill another need. Right-handed setup man Danys Baez, 31, also is drawing trade interest as are some of the Orioles' veteran position players. The Orioles lack long-term solutions at shortstop and third base. They are interested in Marlins rookie Chris Coghlan, sources say, who is batting leadoff and playing left field but was predominantly a third baseman in college. The Marlins, according to one source, will not trade Coghlan for Sherrill, who is earning $2.75 million in his first year of salary arbitration and will be a free agent after the 2011 season. As for the Marlins' shortstop prospects, all of the better ones are at single-A. A three-way deal is possible — the Marlins are deep enough in young pitching to pry a shortstop from another club — but the biggest issue remains the Orioles' appetite for moving Sherrill. Losing teams generally place lower values on closers than contenders. Sherrill, though, helps stabilize a young Orioles staff that will only get younger as the team continues to promote its top pitching prospects. The Orioles, like most clubs in their position, are open to moving virtually any player at the right price. Rest assured, they will not sell low on Sherrill.
Tagged: Orioles, Red Sox, Marlins, Danys Baez, George Sherrill, Chris Coghlan

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