The Baltimore Orioles, seeking to add a proven starting pitcher to what is already a solid rotation, are among the teams in the running for free agent left-hander Chuck Finley.

Tim Shannon, Finley's agent, spoke with Orioles director of player personnel Syd Thrift this morning, and said the Orioles have made a strong impression on his client. Finley, who turns 37 later this month, is believed to be seeking a three-year contract for around $26 million. The Yankees and Indians are also pursuing Finley.

"Chuck wants to go somewhere where he believes he'll have a chance to win a championship," Shannon said. Asked if the Orioles fit that description, Shannon said, "The Orioles are right there."

Thrift would not comment on discussions with Shannon, but said, "We like Chuck Finley. He's one of the top [free agent] pitchers out there."

The Orioles would like to have a left-hander to go along with right-handers Mike Mussina, Scott Erickson, Sidney Ponson and Jason Johnson in their 2000 rotation.

Orioles Notes: The team lost Mike Figga on waivers to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays today, and do not have another major league-ready backup catcher in their system. Thrift said the Orioles will be seeking to acquire a catcher via free agency or trade this winter.