Tuesday, July 26, 2005

MLB: Baltimore now focused on Pittsburgh's Matt Lawton

The Washington Post reported today that with the Phil Nevin deal off, the Orioles are looking into a trade that would send Larry Bigbie to Pittsburgh for outfielder Matt Lawton.

The Post says that the Orioles may ask to attempt to negotiate a contract extension with Lawton, who becomes a free agent at the end of the season, before making a trade.

This is an indication, it seems, that the Orioles now have three goals before Sunday's trading deadline; getting a starting pitcher, picking up a right-handed bat that can platoon with Rafael Palmeiro, and now adding some offense to the outfield.

Lawton is batting .270 and his on-base percentage of .376 would be second on the Orioles, only behind Brian Roberts' .411.

His strong on-base percentage and 53 walks (more than any Oriole) would make him an ideal candidate for batting second in the lineup, between Roberts and Melvin Mora. That move would also have Tejada batting cleanup and move everyone else back a spot.

Lawton, who is 33 (six years and a day older than Bigbie), also has 10 homers, 42 RBI and 12 stolen bases.

The Post also reported that the Orioles may ask Pittsburgh to pick up some of the $4.8 million that Lawton is still owed this year.

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