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Orioles among six teams interested in reliever Koji Uehara

Dec 7, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

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Two weeks ago the Orioles declined to offer arbitration to Koji Uehara, but Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that they’re now interested in re-signing the 36-year-old reliever. And they have plenty of company.

According to Connolly at least six teams have expressed interest in Uehara, with the Orioles being joined by the Twins, Red Sox, Mariners, Brewers, and Cardinals.

Connolly speculates that the Orioles could have the edge if they offer Uehara a chance to close again after he saved 13 games in 15 chances this year, but Baltimore is unlikely to offer him a multi-year contract and another team may step up with a two-year deal.

He couldn’t stay healthy as a starter, but Uehara was amazingly good after shifting to the bullpen with a 2.86 ERA, .220 opponents’ batting average, and 55/5 K/BB ratio in 44 innings, including an absurd 45/2 K/BB ratio in the second half.

  1. randomdigits - Dec 7, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    Word is that Koji would have accepted arbitration if offered and AM thought he could resign him for less then an arbitration reward. Now that the O’s have traded away two relievers retaining Koji is more important. It will be funny if Koji ends up with a better deal from the O’s then he would have received from arbitration, it will not be funny if he walks and the O’s miss out on the pitcher and the draft pick.

    BTW Koji is a joy to watch,throws strikes, works fast and gets the job done with an 86 mph fastball.

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