NASHVILLE — Good morning from the winter meetings. Let’s jump into the rumor mill …
»»» The Orioles are seeking a bat with some pop, and might be interested in Garrett Jones. Baltimore could dangle some pitching, such Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta and/or reliever Pedro Strop. Arrieta went 3-9 with a 6.20 ERA and 1.369 WHIP in 24 games (18 starts). Britton pitched in 12 games (11 starts) and went 5-3 with a 5.07 ERA and 1.541 WHIP. Strop was the O’s setup man last season and went 5-2 with three saves and a 2.44 ERA in 70 outings. Britton, a third-round pick in 2006, has made 40 appearances in the majors. A fifth-rounder in 2007, Arrieta was the Opening Day starter, but a series of bad outings might have nudged him out of favor with O’s management.
»»» To fill the No. 4 spot in their rotation, the Pirates have expressed interest in free-agent lefty John Lannan. They’ve liked him for a while, actually — and I should have a clearer picture this afternoon about how high he is on their wish list. He would seem to be a good fit in many ways. He’s a fly-ball pitcher who’s been stung by homers, but could benefit from PNC Park’s vast left field. He made $5 million this year, but was non-tendered after a down season and might be willing to take a smaller deal — such as, one year and $3 million — to re-establish himself. This past season, Lannan made just six starts (4-1, 4.13) for the Nationals and was banished to Triple-A. He doesn’t get a lot of strikeouts (4/7 K per 9 innings) and gets a lot of contact (9.1 hits per 9 innings).
»»» I’ve heard that, over the past few weeks, at least two American League teams said they were not interested when the Pirates came to them shopping closer Joel Hanrahan. There are some concerns about Hanny’s diminished effectiveness toward the end of last season and questions about his physical conditioning. Hanrahan is expected to make around $7 million in 2013.