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Orioles trade rumors: Baltimore "casting a wide net" in search of starter, reliever

The Orioles are "casting a wide net" in their search to upgrade both their bullpen and rotation.

Greg Fiume

The Baltimore Orioles are looking at all facets of the trade market in an effort to upgrade both their bullpen and rotation. According to Britt Ghiroli of, the Oriole are "casting a wide net" in their search, looking at a number of options as they look to fortify their roster in order to hold onto their current AL East lead.

Ghrioli mentions that Baltimore has considered using right-hander Miguel Gonzalez as a trade chip, dangling him in talks with three clubs, including the San Diego Padres. The Orioles hope to use Gonzalez to bring back a starter, such as Padres' right-hander Ian Kennedy, who is appealing to the Orioles due to the fact that he is not a rental and is under cub control through next season. However, there appears to be some level of uncertainty about completing any deal with the Padres due to their current GM situation (or lack thereof), though assistant GM AJ Hinch is apparently inclined to get a few deals done by the deadline, and has already struck once with the Huston Street trade.

The 30-year-old Gonzalez is controlled through the 2017 season, and has a 4.04 ERA (97 ERA+) and 2.16 K/BB in 89 innings this year, though his 5.25 FIP suggests some regression is due. He has been somewhat of a revelation for Baltimore since signing as a minor league free agent in 2012. Over the past two and a half seasons, Gonzalez has accrued 5.3 WAR while posting a 111 ERA+ and 2.22 K/BB in just over 365 innings pitched. Due to his contract status and more than serviceable performance, the Orioles are in no rush to deal Gonzalez, though a roster crunch could force him into the bullpen once Ubaldo Jimenez returns from the DL.

Baltimore could also be a landing spot for right-hander AJ Burnett, who lives in Maryland. Burnett's limited no-trade clause does not include the Orioles, and Baltimore expressed interest in him over the winter. While Burnett's performance has dipped compared to the last two seasons, he is still pitching quite well, especially for a 37-year-old. In a league-leading 21 starts, he has a 4.08 ERA, 3.99 FIP, and 0.5 WAR. He carries a $15 million mutual option for 2015 if he decides to pitch, though if Baltimore declines it, Burnett can opt into a $7.5 million player option.

Ghiroli also adds that the Orioles have been linked to Jorge De La Rosa, though the Rockies' asking price appears to be too steep for Baltimore's taste, as Colorado has asked for right-hander Kevin Gausman in return.

The Orioles are also said to be looking to deal for a middle reliever and left-handed bat. The Orioles had been connected to San Diego's Seth Smith before he signed an extension to stay with the Padres earlier this month.