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O's more focused on adding a bat over Santana

Sources downplay reported negotiations between Baltimore, right-hander

O's more focused on adding a bat over Santana

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles' focus is still on adding a bat -- not another starting pitcher -- before Opening Day, multiple sources told MLB.com on Friday as rumors swirled that Baltimore was still in on right-hander Ervin Santana.

CBSSports.com and FOXSports.com both reported that the Orioles have had active dialogue recently with Santana, who is the best and one of the only remaining free-agent starters still on the market. And that could certainly be true, with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette wanting to accumulate pitching depth and perhaps hoping to get a deal on Santana that would make it easier to trade for a designated hitter. But there's nothing as of Friday afternoon to suggest there's anything imminent with the Orioles and Santana, or even if the talks are serious.

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The Santana situation is interesting and certainly something to monitor, but two organizational sources downplayed any serious negotiations between the two parties.

The Orioles signed Ubaldo Jimenez to a four-year, $50 million contract and officially unveiled him in a news conference on Thursday in which Duquette later said that the club was still exploring some external DH options. Jimenez gives the O's some pitching depth and -- assuming everyone stays healthy -- there could be enough of a pool to draw from to trade for a bat. Free agents Kendrys Morales and Nelson Cruz are also still in play.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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