Orioles near deal with veteran Wolf
Left-hander can start or be used out of bullpen
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles are nearing a deal with Randy Wolf, as MLB.com first reported Tuesday afternoon, and he is expected to be added to the Major League roster when it's completed.Wolf could be used as either a starter or reliever, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Tuesday, although the team's already-crowded rotation and need for another lefty in the bullpen make the latter more likely.
A 14-year veteran, Wolf is 3-10 with a 5.69 ERA in 24 starts this season, the final year of a three-year, $29.75 million contract he signed with Milwaukee during the 2009 Winter Meetings. Wolf hasn't recaptured the form he showed in 2011, when he went 13-10 with a 3.69 ERA in 33 regular-season starts and threw a gem against the Cardinals in the National League Championship Series.
Asked how Wolf fits into the Orioles' plans, Showalter said the team is still sorting that out.
"We all know what September brings," he said. "It's very hard to acquire players after Sept. . And we are going to continue to try and be proactive. Knock on wood, you are two line drives off an elbow or shoulder from scuffling for starters again. So, you're better off covering your you-know-what as much as you can."
The O's already acquired veteran lefty Joe Saunders, who was officially added to the roster on Tuesday, to help add stability to a rotation that has used three rookies and 24-year-olds Zach Britton and Chris Tillman as of late.Lefty reliever Troy Patton, who is on the disabled list with a right ankle sprain, is also progressing slower than expected, and the team has converted starter Brian Matusz for its lone lefty in the bullpen. Patton did some running in the pool at the team's spring facility and is targeting Thursday to pick up a ball and start throwing.
Wolf could be used to help combat some tough left-handed-hitting lineups, including the New York Yankees, who will play the Orioles in a three-game series starting Friday.
"We are going to take one step at a time and get him here," Showalter said of Wolf, who was in transit to Baltimore on Tuesday afternoon and is expected to throw for the team first. "I know there was some competition for his services. And he's coveted and right now he finds us a place that he would be interested in. And I don't have to remind anybody that that hasn't always been the case."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.