Multiple news outlets are reporting that the Orioles are close to trading Ryan Freel to the Cubs for Joey Gathright, and Baltimore didn’t do anything to dispel the rumors Friday afternoon. Manager Dave Trembley was asked about Freel’s status during his pre-game media briefing and deferred comment to Andy MacPhail, the team’s president of baseball operations.
“I believe there will be some kind of statement coming about Ryan Freel,” he said. “I’ll let Andy MacPhail take care of it.”
Freel, who was acquired from Cincinnati in the offseason as part of a deal for Ramon Hernandez, has struggled to find playing time in his first month with the Orioles. The veteran reserve was hit in the head by an errant pickoff throw two weeks ago in Boston and has been on the disabled list ever since. If he’s dealt, he may open up a roster spot for the Orioles.
And in that case, reserve outfielder Lou Montanez would be a strong candidate to stick with the team long-term. Gathright would likely fill in at Triple-A Norfolk and prospect Nolan Reimold, who is off to a hot start, would likely be the next callup among outfielders.