MLB notes: Orioles aim to dump Reynolds, Gregg

Baltimore Orioles pitcher Kevin Gregg could be on the trade block. (REUTERS)

Baltimore Orioles pitcher Kevin Gregg could be on the trade block. (REUTERS)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:27 PM ET

Baltimore Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds and closer Kevin Gregg are on the trade block, CBSSports.com reported Thursday.

A renowned power hitter, the rap on Reynolds is his high strikeout rate and weak fielding.

Reynolds, 28, hit .221 last season with 37 homers and 86 RBI after being acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks. He also led the American League with 196 strikeouts in 534 at-bats. His 31 errors -- 26 at third base and five at first -- reinforced the theory he should be a designated hitter. Gregg, 33, is coming off a mediocre season in which he had 22 saves in 29 chances with a 4.37 earned-run average. It was his first year with the Orioles after one season with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Money could be a factor in new general manager Dan Duquette's desire to dump the duo. Reynolds will make $7.5 million this season and Gregg $5.8 million.

HOWARD HOOFS BOOT

Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard felt like a free man as he worked out at first base Thursday.

He had just been cleared by his surgeon to ditch the boot he has been wearing for three weeks on his left foot while rehabbing from a torn Achilles tendon.

"I'm going to keep (the boot) for a while," Howard told Philly.com. "Maybe burn it."

It remains unclear when Howard will return to the lineup. He could miss the first two months of the season.

MORALES BACK, FINALLY

Kendrys Morales, playing in a major-league game for the first time since May 29, 2010, had a single from each side of the plate in three at-bats Thursday for the Los Angeles Angels. The designated hitter, who had a lengthy rehab from a badly broken left ankle, also ran well from first to third.

"He's one of the most popular guys in the clubhouse, so guys are excited," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Morales, who had injured himself when he stomped on home plate after hitting a home run.

"But we're going to be excited if it's April 6 that he's in the lineup."

FINAL SEASON FOR JONES

Chipper Jones, one of the finest switch-hitters in baseball history, announced Thursday that this will be his final season.

The third baseman has spent his entire career with the Atlanta Braves, who drafted him first overall in 1990.

"I was anxious to get this announcement out and get this over with so that there is some finality to it," Jones said. "I'm tired of the speculative questions as to when it's going to happen. This way, we get it out in the open. It's final. It's definite."

Although Jones will turn 40 next month, he is coming off a productive season, having hit .275 with 18 home runs and 70 RBI.

Jones, a seven-time all-star and 1999 NL MVP, has a .304 career average with 454 home runs and 1,561 RBI in 2,387 games.

He ranks third among switch-hitters in home runs, behind Mickey Mantle (536) and Eddie Murray (504).

BRIEFLY

The Pittsburgh Pirates have chosen Canadian Erik Bedard as their opening day starting pitcher ... The Chicago Cubs assigned pitcher Andy Sonnanstine outright to Iowa of the Pacific Coast League ... Jeff Moorad has stepped down as chief executive officer of the San Diego Padres. Team president Tom Garfinkel will replace him in the interim. Moorad will remain with the organization while overseeing the development of a Fox TV affiliate in San Diego ... St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter underwent a third day of tests from specialists checking possible nerve damage in his neck and shoulders. The team did not have an update on the veteran right-hander's situation ... Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox had two homers and six RBI in a game Thursday. That's an achievement for a slugger who hit .159 with only 11 homers in 2011.


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