By Eduardo A. Encina
The Baltimore Sun
4:41 PM CST, December 5, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- While first base remains a question mark for the Orioles, the team has not made pushes toward acquiring veterans Justin Morneau and Kevin Youkilis.
The Twins have been gauging trade interest in Morneau, who will receive $14 million in 2013 in the final year of his contract. The Orioles have had no serious discussions about trading for Morneau and would be unwilling to take on his salary unless Minnesota paid a significant chunk.
Also, the Orioles have had no dialogue with the representatives for Youkilis, who is now at free agent. Youkilis seemed like a possible fit early on, because he has roots to Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette, who drafted Youkilis in 2001 as Red Sox general manager.
Both players are former All-Stars and have been key cogs to winning teams. Morneau, the 2006 AL MVP, hit .267/.333/.440 last season in his first full year back from concussion symptoms that derailed his career.
Youkilis was a member of the World Series champion Red Sox team in 2007. He can play both first and third and won a Gold Glove at first in 2007. He also has a .384 career on-base percentage.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Tuesday that he’s spoken to Chris Davis -- who began last season as the starter at first base before struggling defensively and being moved in mid-May -- and told him he will have the opportunity to return to first this season.
After re-signing outfielder Nate McLouth, who will fill the left field spot along with Nolan Reimold, first base remains the Orioles' main hole.
The team non-tendered Mark Reynolds, making him a free agent.
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