First base-man Rafael Palmeiro and second baseman Roberto Alomar, both potential free agents after the season, could leave the Baltimore Orioles within the next month to make room for younger talent.
Majority owner Peter Angelos is considering reducing the club's $69 million payroll, the highest in baseball history, which contains 12 pending free agents and eight players older than 35.Angelos said Sunday while some of his players have played poorly this season, the root of the slump has been injuries to starting pitchers. Acknowledging that his team's playoff hopes may have all but been extinguished this year, Angelos said he's prepared to spend what it takes to field a winning team.
"We will spend the money," Angelos said. "We will do whatever needs to be done to put the team back into a first-rate, competitive position. . . . Maybe it won't be this season. But we'll do what we can, when we can do it."
Baltimore's bid to spend a record amount for a winning team has backfired thus far. The Orioles extended their losing streak to six games and dropped eight games below .500 (37-45) after Sunday's 8-4 loss to the Montreal Expos.