Crew happy Wolf appears headed to O's

Crew happy Wolf appears headed to O's

CHICAGO -- The Brewers were pleased to see reports Tuesday that recently released left-hander Randy Wolf was near a deal with the Orioles.

The deal is not yet complete, and due to Baltimore's crowded rotation, Wolf will likely be used as a reliever.

General manager Doug Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke had each expressed optimism after the Brewers released Wolf last week that the veteran would land with a contending club. The Orioles lead the American League Wild Card race as of Tuesday afternoon.

"He might be able to help them out, I think," Melvin said. "Just a change of scenery helps. Baltimore has done pretty well hitting on some of those 'extra guys' this year, which you have to do if you're going to win."

Baltimore will only pay Wolf a prorated portion of the Major League minimum salary -- about $80,000.

The Brewers will be on the hook for the rest of his remaining 2012 pay -- about $2 million -- and by releasing him they essentially declined his 2013 option, which triggered a $1.5 million buyout.

The salary ramifications were secondary on Tuesday.

"I'm real happy that he got picked up," said Brewers pitching coach Rick Kranitz, who used to hold the same position in Baltimore. "I told him, you hope guys go about their business like he does. When things like this happen, where you're let go or whatever, he can look at himself in the mirror and say, 'I did everything that I could do, and it didn't work out.' You can live with yourself like that."

Wolf was 3-10 with a 5.69 ERA in 25 games, 24 starts, this season, the final year of a three-year, $29.75 million contract he signed with Milwaukee at the 2009 Winter Meetings.

His biggest challenges figure to be pitching in the American League for the first time in a 14-year career, and potentially pitching in relief for the first time in 11 years.

But Kranitz pointed out that Wolf pitched well in Interleague outings at Boston and New York last year, and argued Wolf was mentally and physically capable to make a move to relief.

"His numbers against lefties were pretty good here," Kranitz said. "He's fine. He takes care of himself so well for a guy who's 36 years old. He could do that. He could go into the bullpen."

Brewers right-hander Shaun Marcum knows about pitching in the AL East. He was with the Blue Jays before a trade to Milwaukee.

"It's a good thing for Randy. That's a tough division, but Randy is smart enough that he'll figure out how to get those guys out," Marcum said. "He knows how to pitch. He's been doing it for 14 years, so he knows what he's doing."