How many first basemen does Baltimore need?

In a continuing effort to fill out their 25-man roster, the Baltimore Orioles are in escalating discussions with former Boston Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar on a one-year deal.

Millar, 34, had expressed interest in joining the Orioles for much of the winter, according to one industry source, but talks heated up in the past week and he could be nearing an agreement soon.

Orioles vice president Jim Duquette confirmed that the team has spoken with representatives of Millar and former Texas outfielder Richard Hidalgo in their search for a veteran major leaguer. Although nothing has advanced with Hidalgo recently, Duquette said negotiations with Millar "have progressed." He wouldn't comment on specifics.

Millar became a cult hero in Boston with his "Cowboy Up" catch phrase and solid play in three years with the Red Sox.