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Claim game: Orioles can nab Morse, Willingham, Kubel

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Hoping to continue their push toward the playoffs, the Baltimore Orioles made revocable waiver claims for Michael Morse and Josh Willingham and are also kicking the tires on recently released left-handed hitter Jason Kubel.

That doesn't guarantee the Orioles will acquire any or all of the players. A trade for a veteran must be completed by 11:59 on Aug. 31 in order for that player to be eligible for a postseason roster.

CBS Sports first reported Morse, who is batting .226 for the Seattle Mariners, and Willingham, another right-handed slugger, were claimed by the Orioles. Baltimore is in the thick of the American League wild-card race, led by first baseman Chris Davis, the league's leader in home runs with 47.

Willingham, a designated hitter who can play left field, was shopped heavily by the Minnesota Twins at the non-waiver trade deadline by the Minnesota Twins. He wasn't dealt and has another year remaining on his contract. Including the final month of the 2013 season, he's due to earn more than $7.7 million.

Willingham hit 35 home runs with 110 RBIs in 2012, but he's hitting just .214 this season.

Kubel, a former Twins outfielder who was designated for assignment by the Arizona Diamondbacks Tuesday, is also drawing interest from the Orioles.

"I'm confident I can still play, but we'll see if I get a chance," Kubel said.

Kubel hit .220 in 241 at-bats with the Diamondbacks. He made only two starts in August before he was released and said health was his biggest challenge this season, a far cry from his first year in the National League.

He had 30 home runs and 30 doubles with Arizona last season, the first of his two-year, $16 million contract. That deal includes a $1 million buyout the Orioles would assume if a deal is consummated.
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