Report: Orioles make offer to Byrd

Report: Orioles make offer to Byrd

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles have turned their sights toward starting pitchers, reportedly offering a contract to free agent Paul Byrd, who played for the Angels last season.

The Baltimore Sun reported on Sunday that sources with knowledge of the negotiations said that Baltimore has offered Byrd a two-year deal with an option for a third season. The Sun said the deal is believed to be worth somewhere between $10 million and $13 million.

Byrd, who will turn 35 on Saturday, went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA last year with the Angels, who lost to the Chicago White Sox in the American League Championship Series. He is 72-64 with a 4.23 ERA in 10 Major League seasons. He pitched for the Mets, Braves, Phillies, Royals and Braves for a second time before siging with Los Angeles last offseason.

The Orioles spent last winter looking for a more experienced starter to support their group of young starting pitchers, but never got one -- and they're looking once more this offseason.

Orioles executive vice president Mike Flanagan told The Sun that the Orioles have talked with Byrd's agent, Bo McKinnis, but did not confirm or deny that an offer was made. The Sun also said that the Orioles are going to go after Nomar Garciaparra, a shortstop who finished last season playing third base, and catcher Ramon Hernandez.

The paper also reported the Orioles will take a shot at starter Kevin Millwood, regardless of what happens with Byrd, and have talked with first baseman Paul Konerko's agent.

The Orioles also appear on the verge of losing closer B.J. Ryan, who has reportedly agreed to a five-year, $47.5 million deal with Toronto. They would then have to decide who to go after or if they're confident in giving Chris Ray the job.

Team officials have said in the past that they'd rather wait another year or two before making Ray the closer.

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.