Mark Hendrickson Signs with Baltimore as Orioles Begin Pitching Overhaul

Sean LaveryCorrespondent IDecember 31, 2008

The Baltimore Sun is reporting that the Orioles have come to terms with left-hander, Mark Hendrickson. Terms of the deal have not been released, and Orioles' GM Andy MacPhail has declined to comment.

Hendrickson appeared in 36 games, including 19 starts, last season for the Florida Marlins, earning a 7-8 record and 5.45 ERA. Those numbers are consistent with his 50-63 career record and 5.07 career ERA.

Hendrickson's most notable accomplishment is being one of only 11 athletes to compete in both MLB and the NBA. While this is terrific news for the Orioles' charity basketball team, it won't be nearly as beneficial on the baseball diamond.

Hendrickson is the first of multiple pitchers the Orioles hope to add this offseason. Baltimore has also expressed interest in Tim Redding, John Garland, and Japanese pitchers Kenshin Kawakami and Koji Uehara.

MacPhail hopes to fill at least two rotation spots via free agency. Last season's starting rotation was horrendous, and Jeremy Guthrie seems to be the only Oriole with a guaranteed spot in the 2009 rotation.

And rightfully so, Guthrie was the only regular Oriole starter with an ERA under 5.25 and the only one with 10 wins.

Baltimore sees Hendrickson as a long-reliever and spot starter if they can sign additional pitchers or some of the Orioles young minor-league talent emerges.

Unless Radhames Liz, Chris Waters, Hayden Penn, or Garrett Olson take dramatic steps forward by spring training, it seems likely Hendrickson will be in the rotation at the beginning of the season.

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