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Orioles Rumors: Talking to Saunders, Out on Lohse

The Orioles have not done much this off-season after shocking the baseball world with their playoff run in 2012. Bringing back Joe Saunders appears to be a priority, however.

Al Bello

The Orioles are still talking to lefty-handed pitcher Joe Saunders, Roch Kubatko of MASN.com says, but the rumors connecting them to free agent starter Kyle Lohse are off base according to the Orioles beat writer. Saunders came to Baltimore last August from the Arizona Diamondbacks and gave them a solid 3.63 ERA in seven starts down the stretch. Sauders is also drawing some interest from the Mets, Twins. Padres, Pirates and Mariners this off-season.

The 31 year old southpaw has been a reliable source of innings over the past few years, topping 170 innings every year since 2008 and giving his teams near-league average performaces consistently, with an ERA+ of 103 on his career.

He has a free agent for the first time this year but he has already played with three organizartions, beginning his career with Angels, heading to the Diamondback in 2010 as part of the Dan Haren trade and finally joining Baltimore in last year in a trade that sent Matt Lindstrom to Arizona.

Baltimore has been relatively quiet this off-season after their surprising playoff run last year and resigning Sauders is almost certainly a priority. The speculation about their interest in Kyle Lohse is understandable, but as Kubatko notes, it is hard to imagine the Orioles giving up a draft pick to sign the 34 year old starter.

Lohse is coming off his best season ever after posting a 2.86 ERA and a 16-3 record for the Cardinals last year, but with twelve years of basically average performances, it is easy to see why teams are not eager to pay a high cost for the veteran righty.

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