O's negotiating to add another bat from waiver wire
BOSTON -- The Orioles are aggressively trying to add a hitter, with multiple waivers claims out and at least two that could potentially help bolster the club's lineup down the stretch. Baltimore was awarded the claim on Seattle's Michael Morse and Minnesota's Josh Willingham, and the O's are negotiating with those two clubs in hopes of working out a deal.
It's unknown if the Orioles would be willing to add both Morse and Willingham, although they have until Friday at noon ET to work that out, and both guys come with an injury history and suspect defense. Morse, whose claiming was first reported by CBSSports.com, started the season with a bang, but he has been derailed by injuries, first a broken finger and then a strained hamstring, as he has posted a .226/.283/.410 line with 13 homers over 76 games.
Willingham, after winning an American League Silver Slugger Award last year, has battled through a knee injury and hit .212/.343/.386 with 12 homers and 45 RBIs in 89 games. He missed 33 games after having arthroscopic knee surgery in early July.
The Orioles -- who have dropped the series to the Red Sox and lost their eighth consecutive one-run game on Wednesday night -- have gotten poor production all year out of the designated-hitter spot, and the organization has been proactive in trying to bolster that on the waiver wire. Multiple claims allows them some flexibility in negotiations, although Morse and Willingham have both seen their stock drop significantly and figure to command a relatively low asking price.
Willingham is owed $7 million for next season, while Morse will be a free agent. Clubs have the right to pull back the player and not trade him if they don't like the deal -- which Seattle has already reportedly done with Kendrys Morales -- although that means they're on the hook for him the rest of the year.
The Mariners need to open a spot on their 25-man roster before Friday night's game in Houston in order to activate right-hander Taijuan Walker, their top pitching prospect who is being called up from Triple-A. The Mariners are carrying an extra outfielder after activating Franklin Gutierrez off the disabled list on Monday when they designated pitcher Aaron Harang for assignment.