Tuesday, November 21, 2006
O's sign lefty Walker, turn attention to Carlos Lee
BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles fortified their bullpen
by finalizing deals Tuesday with left-handers Jamie Walker and John
Parrish, then turned their attention toward free agent Carlos Lee.
Lee batted .300 with 37 homers, 116 RBI and 19 steals with
Texas and Milwaukee in 2006. He would be a welcome addition to a
team that had only two players hit more than 16 homers -- Miguel
Tejada (24) and Ramon Hernandez (23).
Baltimore is one of several clubs in pursuit of Lee, who has
averaged 33 homers and 111 RBI over the last four seasons.
"We're in the mix, definitely," Orioles vice president Jim
Walker, who reached a preliminary agreement last week on a
three-year deal, passed his physical and will get $3 million next
year and $4.5 million in each of the following two seasons.
The 35-year-old was 0-1 with a 2.81 ERA in 56 games with the AL
champion Detroit Tigers this year. He walked only eight batters in
"We have targeted the bullpen as an area that we want to
improve and we certainly believe we've begun that process with the
addition of Jamie Walker," Orioles executive vice president Mike
Walker signed with Baltimore after failing to get a long-term
commitment from the Tigers, with whom he spent the past five
"It's always a tough decision once you've been in one place so
long. But the Tigers never really offered me a three-year deal,"
Walker said. "Baltimore was aggressive and were willing to give me
three years. Once I heard they were interested, there was no reason
to shop further."
Walker will be used in the back end of a bullpen that this
season had little left-handed help beyond Tim Byrdak and rookies
Kurt Birkins and Brian Burres.
"Jamie Walker is one of the premier lefties in baseball,"
Duquette said. "We will count on him to not only get out
left-handers, but right-handers as well."
Parrish missed all last season after ligament replacement
surgery in his elbow and was eligible for salary arbitration. He
gets $575,000 and would earn $20,000 bonuses for 20 games and each
additional five games through 55.
Parrish, who turns 29 next week, is 10-10 with a 4.31 ERA in 108
games over parts of five major league seasons, all with the