The Baltimore Orioles, seeking to bolster their bullpen, were close to finalizing a multiyear contract with free agent relief pitcher Mike Trombley of the Minnesota Twins tonight, baseball sources said. An announcement is expected Wednesday.
Meantime, the Orioles continued to negotiate with left-hander Arthur Rhodes, whose agent said Rhodes is leaning toward re-signing with the Orioles over offers from the New York Yankees and a handful of other teams.
The Orioles worked late into the night on the deal with Trombley, a 32-year-old right-hander who is expected to get a three-year contract for around $6 million.
Manager Mike Hargrove has expressed a desire to reevaluate the team's late-inning relief, indicating that perhaps Mike Timlin will be moved out of the closer's job. Trombley, primarily a set-up man in his career, saved 24 games in 30 chances last season for the Twins.
Rhodes, 30, has expressed his desire to remain in Baltimore, and agent Dan Horwits said Rhodes would likely re-sign with the Orioles as long as their offer is "within the range" of the others. Rhodes is seeking a four-year deal for between $12 million and $16 million. Horwits said he expects a deal to be completed in the next couple of days.
The Yankees, who attempted to acquire Rhodes at last year's trade deadline, are believed to be making a strong push again. Rhodes struggled with inconsistency and an uneasy relationship with then-manager Ray Miller in posting a 3-4 record and 5.43 earned run average last season, his worst since 1995.