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Buyer beware: O's looking like good trade partner

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Jon Paul Morosi

Jon Paul Morosi is a National MLB Writer for FOXSports.com. He previously covered baseball for the Detroit Free Press and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He began his journalism career at the Bay City Times in his native Michigan. Follow him on Twitter.

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For three reasons, the Orioles will be the perfect seller at the trade deadline this year. 1. They have veteran hitters and pitchers coveted by other teams. 2. A number of their players are attractive because they have reasonable or expiring contracts. 3. General manager Andy MacPhail can feel comfortable trading big-league players, because the Baltimore farm system has impact talent at the upper levels, even beyond Matt Wieters and Nolan Reimold. Of course, of equal importance, there are no illusions about whether the Orioles might make a run in the American League East this year. "We have an obligation to listen (to offers), no matter what, because of where we are in the standings," MacPhail said Friday in a telephone interview. For some time now, the names of Baltimore's most attractive players have been well-known: first baseman/designated hitter Aubrey Huff, DH/outfielder Luke Scott, starter Jeremy Guthrie, and relievers Danys Baez and George Sherrill. All of them have already drawn interest from other teams. Recently, according to a major league source, clubs have started asking about another Oriole: veteran infielder Ty Wigginton, who has played frequently at first and third this year. Wigginton batted .400 over his last 14 games entering the weekend, according to Retrosheet.org. Wigginton, 31, is regarded as a good character player who would probably be highly motivated to reach his first postseason as a major leaguer. He hit 12 home runs for the Astros last August, and a team could acquire him with the idea that he would be similarly productive in the second half this season. It's also possible that the Orioles will decide to keep Wigginton and make him their third baseman next year at a salary of $3.5 million. The Orioles have a 2010 option on incumbent third baseman Melvin Mora, but Wigginton would be a less-expensive option. (It would probably be difficult for the team to trade Mora this year, because he has a no-trade clause.) In general, this is an organization in good standing. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Orioles are the first team since 1890 to have at least four pitchers start and win their major-league debut in the same season: Koji Uehara, Brad Bergesen, Jason Berken and David Hernandez. A new group of pitching prospects — Chris Tillman, Troy Patton, Jake Arrieta and Brian Matusz — is close to arriving in Baltimore, too.
Tagged: Orioles, Astros, Melvin Mora, Danys Baez, Aubrey Huff, Ty Wigginton, Jeremy Guthrie, George Sherrill, Luke Scott, Troy Patton, Brad Bergesen, Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, Jason Berken, David Hernandez

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