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Orioles Angle for Another Cub

The Orioles are not done with their offseason makeover yet, and their next move very well may involve another Cub who's out of options.

According to multiple sources -- most recently Roch Kubatko and Ken Rosenthal -- Baltimore is working on the parameters of a deal for Chicago starting pitcher Rich Hill, a man with a loopy curveball who has fallen out of the graces of manager Lou Pinella because of a lack of command.

It would have seemed ludicrious two years ago to believe that Hill could be sent packing for, well, just about whatever the Orioles want to give up. This is the pitcher who started game three of the 2007 NLDS at Wrigley Field, and who, at his best, looked almost unhittable.

Of course, the optimal word in that sentence is "at his best", and as Hill began to struggle with his command, his confidence waned and he fell out of favor in Chicago. That, in turn, meant a smaller window of opportunity with an organization that clearly felt last year was its time in the sun (we know how that turned out), and they appear no more likely to give Hill another go-round in the team's starting slots.

So what will the Orioles have to give up for a guy who, in all likelihood, would start the season as either the team's No. 2 or No. 3 starting pitcher? Not very much. All early reports are that Baltimore can offer some sort of conditional pick that ties which player Chicago gets to Hill's performance next year.

Should the Orioles pull the trigger? Yes, and fast. Maybe it won't work out. Maybe Hill never finds his stuff and ends up as a trivia answer 10 years from now. Regardless, he's absolutely worth the risk, and Baltimore knows it needs to take it. This is exactly the kind of risk the Orioles need to take, time and again, to regain relevancy in the AL East discussion. If enough of these allegedly smaller moves pan out, you never know when the Orioles will hae enough of a young core to really make a run.

By Cameron Smith  |  January 31, 2009; 11:39 AM ET
Categories:  Cubs , Orioles  
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I couldn't agree more. Hill's salary is a bargain and if he can get his command back, he could be a great pickup. I imagine Andy knows this they are just working out the compensation. It doesn't take much to get us O's fans excited. We gave up on a guy who walked 7-8 a game and we're excited about picking one up. Go figure.

Posted by: | January 31, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

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