MacPhail on Bedard

The Orioles retain interest in left-hander Erik Bedard after going over his medical records, but they don't sense that he's on the verge of signing with anyone.

"We have had conversations, we have reviewed the medical stuff," president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said earlier tonight.

"We remember Erik the way he pitched for us, which was just positively dominating over the course of the 2007 season. We have confidence in the human being and his competitive nature.

"They've sort of told us from the get-go that this wouldn't be an early decision, that this was something that probably would move closer to the reporting date in spring training. I really don't know, nor should I know, the scope of other clubs' interest or necessarily the scope of his interest in the Orioles, though I have no reason to believe we are by any means discounted or his experience here was such that it would preclude him from considering us."

Asked if he's confident that the Orioles are an improved team through their off-season moves and the maturation of his young players, MacPhail replied: "Yeah, I think we should be. I'm going into spring training far more enthusiastically than when I first started here. I like our club. I like the fact that we're young, and I think we're talented.

"I think we saw a lot of individual progress last year on some of those guys. I think now, as an organization, we need to show collective progress. We need to show progress as a team. We need to be able to demonstrate that we can take the individual promise we saw, whether it be a Matusz or Bergesen or Tillman or Wieters or Reimold, and we need to turn that into more victories on the field. And one of the ways we do that is by surrounding those players with as many quality major league players as we can. And we think we got off to a good start with some of our acquisitions during the off-season. And we hope to add a few more."

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