MLB Trade Rumors has been reporting that the Baltimore Orioles might be interested in signing free agent relief pitcher Matt Lindstrom. You’ll remember that last season Lindstrom was was aquired by the Birds along wtih Jason Hammel from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Jeremy Guthrie. Lindstrom was later traded by the Orioles during the season as part of the deal that brought starter Joe Saunders to Baltimore. However while with the O’s last year, Lindstrom was pretty strong (when he wasn’t injured). He pitched to a 2.72 ERA, with 30 strikeouts and only 12 walks. Lindstrom ended up being a setup guy of sorts, however he finished the season with Arizona and is now a free agent.
I’m not suggesting that Lindstrom wouldn’t fit back with the Orioles, however the Orioles’ pen is already pretty crowded. So…if Lindstrom was to be brought back could we deduce that a deal might be in the works to trade som relief pitching for another starter? Perhaps…but who among us really knows what’s going through Dan Duquette’s mind?! From the outset, one might infer that there was a chance of something like that being up. However during the winter meetings keep in mind that Buck Showalter also said that Brian Matusz would be given another chance in 2013 to pitch his way into the starting rotation. So…perhaps Lindstrom would be taking Matusz’s spot?
Again, anything’s possible. However I would submit that might not be as likely as some might think. Matusz is a southpaw, and a deadly one at that if the end of the season and the playoffs are any indication. (Some think his strike out of Josh Hamilton in the 7th inning of the wild card game was the biggest of the 2012 season.) However it would stand to reason that if Matusz was going to be given a shot at the rotation he would be replaced in the ‘pen by another southpaw. The O’s already have the likes of Troy Patton out there to act as a lefty specialist, but I suspect that they’d rather go into the season with more than one lefty reliever in the bullpen. (And no, I’m not counting Chris Davis!)
The only thing we know for sure is that the O’s are interested in possibly bringing Matt Lindstrom back as a relief pitcher in 2012. All the rest is speculation. On a side note; according to Roch Kubatko of MASN, the Orioles and manager Buck Showalter are nearing a contract extension.