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Orioles add exhibition game

The Orioles announced today that they've reached an agreement with State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) Manatees Baseball, to play an exhibition game at Ed Smith Stadium on Tuesday, April 3 at 1:05 p.m. There will be no admission charge to attend the game except for reserved tickets near the SCF dugout that will be sold by the college, with proceeds supporting Manatees athletics. Tickets

Who's your dark horse? (updated)

Following up on a tweet from yesterday, I was told that Brooks Robinson remains hospitalized in Hollywood Fla., after falling off a stage Friday night and sustaining two fractures in his rear shoulder area, including a broken clavicle. Robinson is resting comfortably. Well, as comfortably as you can rest with two fractures. Here's another look at the Orioles' spring training invites: Pitchers: Armando Galarraga, Pat

Orioles spring invites include Galarraga, Neshek and Paulino

The Orioles finally reached agreement on a minor league contract with right-hander Armando Galarraga, who's listed among nine pitchers invited to camp in a few weeks. Pitcher Pat Neshek and catcher Ronny Paulino also signed minor league deals with the Orioles and will report to Ed Smith Stadium. Other invites include left-handers Ryan Edell and Dennys Reyes, right-handers Willie Eyre, Steve Johnson, Jon Link, Miguel

Let's make a deal

I'm hitting the road this morning after a nice two-day stop in Ocean Pines. The laptop didn't stay off for as long as I intended, but I definitely reduced the amount of hours spent in front of it. I consider it progress. Maybe the Orioles will swing a trade while I'm driving home. They tend to make news at inconvenient times for me, and traveling

Orioles reportedly interested in McClellan (updated)

Let's start off by dismissing any rumors of a proposed trade involving Adam Jones and Adam Wainwright, or the Orioles hiring retired Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa in some capacity. Last night's tweet from Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wasn't referencing either one of those scenarios. According to Strauss, the Orioles are engaged in trade talks with the Cardinals involving pitcher Kyle McClellan, who

Could Kotchman become an Oriole?

It's hard to know what executive vice president Dan Duquette has hidden up his sleeve, and there's no point in ordering a strip search. This isn't the security checkpoint at BWI Airport. No one knew that Wilson Betemit was tucked up that sleeve, but he'll be introduced to the Camden Yards crowd on opening day. Taylor Teagarden's name didn't come up among backup catching options

Hudson claimed by Rangers

I just returned from the Shorebirds' Hot Stove Banquet at the Delmar VFW, where I was introduced to slippery dumplings. Where have they been all my life? Many thanks to the Shorebirds for making me feel right at home. They also overfed me. And they couldn't have been more gracious hosts. In case you missed my tweet earlier today, the Texas Rangers announced that they

Robinson breaks clavicle in fall

Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson broke his clavicle last night after falling off a stage during a charity event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. I received two e-mails earlier today informing me of the injury, and Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post confirmed it here. Capozzi had just returned from Fort Lauderdale Stadium, where Robinson was

Random thoughts

You probably know that new special assistant Brady Anderson has been training left-hander Brian Matusz in California. What you might not know is he's got Matusz doing handstands to strengthen the pitcher's shoulder muscles. Anderson, calling into "The Mid-Atlantic Sports Report" yesterday on MASN, explained that the exercise stabilizes the shoulder. It's a common method among Olympic athletes, including the ones that Anderson visited during

Brooks Robinson apparently fine after falling at event

Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson fell off a stage tonight at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood Fla., where he was attending the Joe D Legends Classic. I'm told that he was coherent as paramedics transported him to a local hospital as a precaution. The fall was unrelated to Robinson's previous health issues. Robinson, 74, tumbled as he stood up

Orioles sign 18-year-old outfielder from Guatemala

Forget the free-agent market. The Orioles clearly want to do most of their shopping in the international market. The Orioles have signed Andres Aguilar, an 18-year-old outfielder from Guatemala. He'll be assigned to the Gulf Coast League team unless the roster is full. If there's no room, he'll be placed on the Dominican Summer League team. Here's Aguilar taking a round of batting practice: Fred

Prospects and other notes

I'm still recovering this morning from the news that Robert Hegyes, who played Juan Epstein on the 1970s hit "Welcome Back, Kotter," died yesterday of a heart attack. He was 60. I've already made a "note from his mother" reference to friends, so you won't be the first. (If you're too young to know what I'm talking about, there's nothing I can do for you.

Orioles announce minor league staffs

The Orioles finally released the names of their minor league managers and coaches for 2012. There are no surprises among the managers. As you probably have read, former Red Sox first base coach Ron Johnson will be in charge of Triple-A Norfolk. Gary Kendall returns to Double-A Bowie, Orlando Gomez returns to Single-A Frederick and Ryan Minor returns to Single-A Delmarva. Gary Allenson moves down

More on Cespedes

The Orioles aren't ready to drop out of the Yoenis Cespedes sweepstakes. They may not be the favorites to sign the Cuban outfielder, but they're still in play. I was told this afternoon that they're still interested in Cespedes despite his struggles in the Dominican Winter League, where he collected only five hits and struck out 10 times in 35 at-bats. They'd rather focus on

Hoiles, Cespedes and more

As I told you yesterday, former Orioles catcher Chris Hoiles will serve as an instructor in spring training. He leaves for Sarasota on Feb. 16, two days before pitchers and catchers report. Hoiles' duties will be more clearly defined next month. He's expected to serve as a roving instructor, moving between the major league and minor league camps. He'll work with the catchers, of course,

Betemit: "I just want to go out there and play" (with note)

I just got off the phone with newest Oriole Wilson Betemit, who's back home in the Dominican Republic after signing a two-year deal worth $3.25 million that includes a $3.2 million vesting option for 2014. Betemit explained why he chose the Orioles. While the money offered is an obvious reason, he added, "My agent told me I'd get an opportunity to play over there. I

Where do we go now? (Andino signs)

Prince Fielder is off the board, and we're left to ponder how much the Orioles were really in on him. Or we can just move on and never again speak his name. I felt a sense of relief yesterday after news broke that Fielder had agreed to a nine-year, $214 million contract with the Tigers, who get to wear the 2012 label of "Scott Boras'

Fielder agrees to terms with Tigers and life goes on

The Orioles aren't "in on" Prince Fielder anymore, no matter your definition. According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Tigers have reached agreement with Fielder on a nine-year deal worth $214 million. There's your mystery team. Agent Scott Boras never fails to find one. The Tigers lost Victor Martinez to a knee injury that most likely will require season-ending surgery, but they figured to search

MASN releases its O's spring training schedule

If you can't make it down to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota for spring training this year, you'll be able to watch six exhibition games from the comfort of your favorite chair or bar stool. You can sweat the details. MASN kicks off its Grapefruit League schedule with a March 5 game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m., so we'll

Duquette on Betemit and Fielder

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette keeps placing emphasis on improving the Orioles' on-base capabilities, and he feels that he took another step in that direction by signing infielder Wilson Betemit to a two-year deal with a vesting option for 2014. Betemit has posted on-base percentages of .378 and .343 the past two seasons. And he's been better hitting from the left side, which also

Orioles remove VandenHurk from 40-man roster

The Orioles made the signing of Wilson Betemit official this morning, and they cleared room for him on the 40-man roster by designating pitcher Rick VandenHurk for assignment. VandenHurk, 26, allowed eight earned runs in nine innings over four games with the Orioles last season. He was 9-13 with a 4.43 ERA in 26 starts for Triple-A Norfolk. The Orioles acquired VandenHurk from the Marlins

This, that and the other

I had an interesting conversation with pitcher Jake Arrieta during Saturday's FanFest at the Baltimore Convention Center. (Is it necessary to say "Baltimore?" I once jumped in the back of a Manhattan cab and told the driver to take me to New York-Penn Station. I'm pretty sure "New York" was implied.) Arrieta repeated that his elbow is 100 percent and he'll be full-go in spring

Orioles reach agreement with Betemit

The Orioles may have found their designated hitter, or at least someone who can rotate into that spot. Two industry sources confirmed tonight that the Orioles have reached agreement with Wilson Betemit on a one-year contract, which will become official if he passes his physical. Betemit, 30, is a switch-hitter who's played every infield position, including 383 games at third base, and four games in

Quickly visiting the latest Fielder rumor

I'm scrambling to prep for "The Mid-Atlantic Sports Report," but I wanted to respond to the latest round of Prince Fielder rumors. Well, I didn't want to, but I figured it's better than being asked for updates as if I'm keeping secrets here. That's beyond annoying. Are the Orioles in on Fielder? They're not officially out, so it depends on your definition. There is interest

Orioles release Hudson

I won't file this one under "breaking news," but the Orioles have released outfielder Kyle Hudson. Hudson, 25, was designated for assignment to make room for left-hander Wei-Yin Chen. He couldn't be placed on waivers and outrighted to the minors before March because he was "draft excluded" due to the date that the Orioles purchased his contract from Triple-A Norfolk. The Orioles had to trade

On-base or rounding the bases?

There are times when interviewing executive vice president Dan Duquette is like being a contestant on "Wheel of Fortune." At any moment, I'm liable to blurt out, "I'd like to solve the puzzle!" Unfortunately, I haven't figured out his plans for a designated hitter. Maybe I should buy a vowel. The Orioles have watched Manny Ramirez take batting practice at least once since the Winter

A bigger Berken could yield better results

A year ago, Orioles reliever Jason Berken had reporters at FanFest fussing over his weight loss. He dropped about 30 pounds over the winter, and we figured that a slimmer Berken could handle a heavier workload, whether he remained in the bullpen or earned a starting spot. Berken didn't look noticeably different yesterday as we chatted about his beloved Green Bay Packers - we agreed

Orioles' international efforts return to Korea

While addressing fans during this morning's forum for season ticket holders, executive vice president Dan Duquette causally mentioned that the Orioles signed the top amateur pitcher in Korea three days ago - a 17-year-old left-hander who wasn't identified by name. I stored the information in the back of my mind - the front was much too crowded - until I was freed up to do

Johnson expects to be in bullpen in 2012

Jim Johnson shook hands with reporters, smiled and said, "I don't know." Hey, we're supposed to ask the questions before you answer them. Johnson knew what was coming. Is he going to be a starter or reliever this season? "You guys probably know more than I do," he said. "I'll be in the bullpen. I'm pretty sure about that." As the closer? "We'll figure that

Flaherty gets his first look at Camden Yards

Infielder Ryan Flaherty participated in the three-day mini-camp this week at Camden Yards and noticed that the ballpark might favor the hitters. Flaherty is hoping to test that theory this summer. The Orioles selected Flaherty in the Rule 5 draft at the Winter Meetings, which automatically classifies him as a long shot to make the club in spring training, but he'll give it his best

A few more notes from FanFest

Jai Miller bears a striking resemblance to Jets receiver Plaxico Burress. OK, they're not separated at birth, but they could be related. It's been a relaxing winter for shortstop J.J. Hardy, who usually sat at home wondering where he'd be playing the following season. "It was one of the first offseasons in the last three or four offseasons where I wasn't in all the trade

Markakis: "I'll be ready for opening day"

Nick Markakis said he'll probably be limited until maybe the first week into March after undergoing surgery earlier this month to repair a torn abdominal muscle. He doesn't need many at-bats to get ready for the season. He's not going to rush or do anything that sets him back. His body will largely dictate his schedule. So far, it's cooperating with him. "I'm feeling good,"

A few words from Bergesen and Reimold

Pitcher Brad Bergesen is sporting a beard that actually looks good on him. Neatly trimmed. Doesn't look like he just staggered out of the woods after an eight-month hibernation. Bergesen said he'll prepare in spring training as if he's going to be a starter, though his role is undefined. "I've had a great winter with my son and just watching him develop and he's healthy,

A few words from Duquette

The players keep filtering into the backstage area at FanFest. I click off my recorder, turn my back and someone else is waiting to be interviewed. Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette finished his forum with manager Buck Showalter that was reserved for season-ticket holders. He didn't quiet the Prince Fielder speculation when he said, "Are we going to get him? I don't know. But

As so it begins ...

I've arrived at the Baltimore Convention Center after skating from Lot A at Camden Yards. I attempted a Hamill camel, but I ended up on the seat of my pants. The Foo Fighters is cranked up here, which seems appropriate, since I'm learning to walk again after slipping all over the icy sidewalks (see what I did there?) Anyway, now it's a party. Season ticket

Quick hits from Showalter (and confirming note)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter called into "The Mid-Atlantic Sports Report" earlier today on MASN, and I wanted to pass along a few items before taping "Wall to Wall Baseball," which airs tomorrow from 11 a.m.- noon. We can't go live with that show because of FanFest. Showalter counted 11 candidates for the starting rotation, and he didn't dismiss the idea that executive vice president Dan

Matusz and lots more (and more and more)

One of the most memorable moments from my night at Sports Legends Museum, where I served as emcee for "An Evening With Buck Showalter," is when the Orioles' manager said that pitcher Brian Matusz looks to be in excellent condition. The crowd let out a collective sigh of relief that almost fogged the windows. Everyone understands Matusz's importance to this club, and that includes Brady

Orioles reach agreement with Villarreal on minor league deal

Following up on a tweet that I sent out earlier today, the Orioles have reached agreement on a minor league deal with right-hander Oscar Villarreal that includes a spring training invitation. Villarreal, 30, hasn't pitched in the majors since 2008 with the Houston Astros. He's 24-15 with a 3.86 ERA in parts of six seasons, including stops in Arizona and Atlanta. He's made only five

Orioles announce front office promotions and restructuring (updated)

The Orioles confirmed today that Brady Anderson has joined the front office as a special assistant to executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette. He will assist with player relations and player development, and oversee conditioning throughout the organization. Also, John Stockstill has been promoted from director of player development to director of player personnel. In his new role, he will oversee the day-to-day

A few leftovers (and one more)

Yoenis Cespedes belted his first home run last night in the Dominican Winter League, giving him three hits in 24 at-bats with the Aguilas Cibaeñas. You can watch his home run right here, courtesy of Baseball America. Now that the Rangers have invested at least $111.7 million in Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, who hasn't thrown a single pitch in the majors, they're not considered serious

Orioles' international efforts stretch to New Zealand (updated)

The Orioles continue to focus a lot of their energies on the international market, the latest example being the reported signing of New Zealand native Pita Rona. Rona, 17, is a former softball player who switched codes so he could concentrate on baseball. The Orioles apparently scouted him this week and signed him to a "seven-year major league deal," according to this report. The Orioles

Talking about Bordick, Chen, rotation and promotions

Now that I've managed to slow my heart rate after the excitement of the Orioles exchanging salary figures with their four arbitration-eligible players - it can't be over-written enough - it's time to move onto another topic. Let's go back to former shortstop Mike Bordick, who will serve as a MASN analyst on 81 Orioles games this season. He accepted the job last Thursday, as

Orioles exchange salary figures with four players

The Orioles and pitcher Jeremy Guthrie are $3 million apart after exchanging salary figures earlier today. Guthrie is requesting $10.25 million, and the Orioles countered at $7.25 million. He earned $5.75 million last season while going 9-17 with a 4.33 ERA in 34 games and 208 innings. Adam Jones submitted a figure of $7.4 million, and the Orioles countered at $5 million. Jones made $3.25

Joe Saunders off the board (Orioles sign Galarraga to minor league deal)

Free-agent pitcher Joe Saunders has agreed to a one-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to Steve Henson of Yahoo! Sports. The Orioles were interested in Saunders, a native of Falls Church, Va., who was non-tendered by the Diamondbacks, and they had discussions with his agent. Shortstop J.J. Hardy works out with Saunders in Arizona, and he mentioned on Jan. 3 during a phone interview

Duquette talks about Peterson, arbitration and Cespedes (updated)

Executive vice president Dan Duquette confirmed earlier today that the Orioles hired Rick Peterson as the organization's director of pitching development. Peterson signed a one-year contract. He'll basically replace former minor league pitching coordinator Alan Dunn, with expanded duties. "We've been talking to Rick since early November," Duquette said. "I was looking at my phone the other day. We've been talking to him since around

Cespedes, arbitration, Chen and Cordero

Because you can't get enough of the Yoenis Cespedes updates, I'll pass along that he went 1-for-4 last night for Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League. He was removed for a pinch runner in the ninth inning. Miguel Tejada started at second base. I'm serious. Actually, Tejada made four starts at second base for the Giants last season - the only four of his career.

Peterson accepts position with Orioles (Johnson update)

It took a while, but former major league pitching coach Rick Peterson has accepted a job with the Orioles. An announcement has been anticipated for more than a month. Peterson met with team officials on at least three occasions, the first time Dec. 1, before an agreement finally was reached today. Peterson basically will replace Alan Dunn as minor league pitching coordinator, though his title

O'Day signs, update on Hudson

The Orioles are down to five unsigned arbitration-eligible players. They reached agreement with reliever Darren O'Day last month, according to a team official, so his name should have been crossed off the list I provided over the weekend. O'Day, claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers on Nov. 2, earned $1.25 million last season while going 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 16 relief appearances.

Who's the next player to come off the 40-man?

In 32 more days, I'll be boarding a flight to Sarasota for my 16th spring training on the Orioles beat. The players, managers and top executives have changed along the way. So have the home complexes and my employers. But I'm pretty sure that I get stuck with the same rental car every year. Executive vice president Dan Duquette hasn't crossed every item off his

Hoiles is still waiting for a chance to rejoin the Orioles

Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is 1-for-11 with an infield hit and five strikeouts in three Dominican Winter League games. He hasn't gotten a ball to the outfield. At this rate, the Orioles will be able to sign him to a minor league deal with a spring training invite. I had a nice conversation a few nights ago with former Orioles catcher Chris Hoiles. He's looking

Orioles purchase Fatse's contract from independent team

In case I failed to mention this transaction in a previous entry, I'll pass along today that the Orioles have purchased the contract of infielder/outfielder Peter Fatse from the Newark Bears, according to the independent league team's Web site. It's more minor league depth, and another player from Massachusetts (Hampden, to be exact.) Here's what I know about Fatse after doing a little research: He's

A few quick hits

So much for the Yankees being quiet this winter. I blinked last night and they acquired two frontline starters. It must be nice to slot Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda behind CC Sabathia. The Yankees are about seven deep in starters right now, and they'd love to dump A.J. Burnett. They'll gladly drive him to your front door. Last night's activity takes the Yankees off

Fielder not slated to visit Charm City

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported earlier today that free agent first baseman Prince Fielder and agent Scott Boras are in Dallas to visit with the Texas Rangers. Apparently, the Fielder/Boras Tour is cranked up again. This will come as no surprise, but I'm told that the tandem isn't scheduled to meet with Orioles officials. At least not yet. We'll leave the door a little cracked,

Cespedes, Jones and a new question (updated)

Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, playing his first game last night with Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League, struck out three times and was hit by a pitch in four plate appearances. One observer noted on Twitter that Cespedes had trouble with the slider. That does it. He's overrated. You'll recall that the Orioles scouted Cespedes during a private workout in the Dominican immediately after the

Alan Mills returns to organization

Former Orioles reliever Alan Mills, who never met a brawl he didn't like, is returning to the organization as pitching coach at short-season Single-A Aberdeen. Mills, who pitched for the Orioles from 1992-1998, and again from 2000-2001, will replace Scott McGregor. The former Orioles' left-hander has been reassigned to a position in Sarasota. Mills found out about his hiring shortly after Jan. 1. I wrote

Bordick accepts analyst job at MASN (updated)

Former Orioles shortstop Mike Bordick has accepted a job as analyst at MASN after meeting earlier today with network officials. Bordick will sign a multiple-year deal with the network. He'll work 81 games, splitting commentary duties with Hall of Famer Jim Palmer. Bordick also has been offered a chance to do some on-field work for the club, including infield coordinator and baserunning instructor at the

Luke Scott talks about new contract and old team

Luke Scott signed his new contract with the Tampa Bay Rays earlier today. He'll make $5 million in 2012, and his deal includes a $6 million option in 2013 with a $1 million buyout. He was paid $6.4 million last season. Scott says the Orioles never made him an offer after non-tendering him on Dec. 12. His agent, Page Odle, only heard from the club

Orioles hire Boulanger as hitting coordinator (Scott contract info)

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette inched closer to completing his minor league staff by hiring Michael Boulanger as hitting coordinator. Boulanger held the same title with the Texas Rangers until June 8, when he replaced Scott Coolbaugh as hitting coach at Triple-A Round Rock. Coolbaugh replaced Thad Bosley as the Rangers' hitting coach. Boulanger has ties to Duquette and manager Buck Showalter. He previously

This and that

I'm filing a shorter entry this morning, so there's no "other." Luke Scott's agreement with Tampa Bay should become official later today. The Rays are expected to make an announcement on his one-year deal, which reportedly includes an option for 2013. The Orioles must have someone else in mind for the designated hitter role. Nolan Reimold remains in play, if manager Buck Showalter is comfortable

Luke Scott off the DH board

The Orioles won't be re-signing Luke Scott as their designated hitter. Scott has agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Rays on a one-year contract, according to an industry source. The deal will become official once he passes a physical. Scott batted .220 with 11 doubles, nine homers and 22 RBIs in 64 games with the Orioles last season. He underwent surgery July 26 in

A few minutes with Robert Andino

Looking back at yesterday's interview with executive vice president Dan Duquette, I find myself again trying to read between the lines without straining my eyes. Duquette isn't going to reveal much to reporters. He downplayed interest in Wei-Yin Chen on at least three occasions this winter, saying that he didn't know much about the Taiwanese pitcher. He wasn't going to admit that the Orioles had

Notes on Jones, Poitevint, Chen, rotation and orientation

Executive vice president Dan Duquette confirmed today that the Orioles haven't approached Adam Jones' agent about a contract extension. Jones, who's represented by Nez Balelo of CAA Sports, is two seasons away from free agency. Jones has been the subject of trade rumors, most notably involving the Atlanta Braves, despite Duquette's insistence that he wants to build around the center fielder. When asked today about

Orioles make Chen signing official, DFA Hudson (more)

The Orioles announced today that they signed Taiwanese left-hander Wei-Yin Chen to a three-year contract with a club option for 2015. He will wear No. 16. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Orioles have designated outfielder Kyle Hudson for assignment. Chen, 26, will be the first Taiwanese-born player in Orioles history. The 6-foot, 195-lb. left-hander went 36-30 with a 2.48 ERA and 1.06

The International House of Pitching

When executive vice president Dan Duquette promised a greater commitment to international scouting and signings, he wasn't fooling around. Yu Darvish isn't coming here. Yoenis Cespedes probably isn't coming here. You have to walk before you can run. And the Orioles are making some positive strides. Later today, they could announce the signing of Taiwanese left-hander Chen Wei-Yin (or Wei-Yin Chen if you'd prefer the

Orioles hire Poitevint as executive director of international baseball

The Orioles just announced that they've hired Ray Poitevint as executive director of international baseball. "I am delighted to have Ray Poitevint return to the Orioles where he began his career and to have his veteran baseball leadership as part of our global recruiting and marketing efforts," Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said in a statement. I'm about 20 minutes away

Larkin going into Hall of Fame, Palmeiro staying on ballot

Former shortstop Barry Larkin, who spent all 19 of his major league seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in his third year on the ballot. Larkin received votes on 86 percent of the ballots. A player must received at least 75 percent for induction. Former pitcher Jack Morris, in his 13th year on the ballot, came the closest

Chen Wei-Yin almost a done deal (updated)

The Orioles have scheduled a physical for Taiwanese left-hander Chen Wei-Yin, bringing them closer to signing another starting pitcher. The two sides have reached agreement on a multi-year deal, according to a source. It will become official once Chen passes the physical. Chen, 26, was 8-10 with a 2.68 ERA in 25 games (24 starts) this year for the Chunichi Dragons of the Nippon Professional

Taking another look at Jackson (and Chen Wei-Yin)

I've provided false hope in the past, but I'm almost certain that the Orioles will announce their minor league managers and coaching staffs this week. They also should confirm a few hires, including Rick Peterson as pitching coordinator (title pending) and Chris Correnti as part of their athletic training staff. No sense dragging it into the third week of January. Pitchers and catchers report to

Orioles trying to solve the DH riddle

I didn't take an official vote, but I sense that most fans here would pass on Manny Ramirez. Fair enough. It doesn't cost anything to watch him take batting practice in Miami. The Orioles have a scout (Juan Alvarez) who's based down there. Maybe he drove to the facility and checked out Ramirez. We're talking a few gallons of gas. If nothing else, yesterday's report

Addressing a Manny Ramirez rumor

According to a report on ESPNdeportes.com, scouts for the Oriolesand Blue Jays watched Manny Ramirez take indoor batting practice in Miami. Nothing stirs up the masses like Manny. Asked earlier today whether he could confirm the report, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said, "I heard that Manny has been working out down there." Asked again about the Orioles' interest, Duquette said, "We're aware that

Left-handers, right-handers and a right fielder

Before I dive into more rotation talk, I'll revisit one topic from yesterday. The Orioles are downplaying Nick Markakis' abdomen surgery. They truly believe that he'll be ready on opening day, and Markakis feels the same way. Markakis is one of those guys who doesn't need a lot of spring training at-bats. He was launching the ball tape-measure distances on the back fields of Ed

Markakis undergoes surgery on abdomen (updated)

Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis underwent surgery yesterday in Philadelphia to repair a torn muscle in his abdomen, but the club expects him to be ready for opening day. Markakis left the final regular season game on Sept. 28 against the Red Sox after making a diving catch. He was expected to visit a specialist this winter as a precaution, but the injury didn't heal

Source: Orioles talked to Cubs about Soriano

Another day passed without any news from the warehouse, leaving me with little to do besides count the number of calls and text messages that went unreturned and sweeping up about 12 pounds of pine needles that fell off my Christmas tree as I carried it outside. At least some of my energy wasn't wasted. For what it's worth, I've heard from an industry source

A non-update update on Adam Jones

Who were you expecting, Prince Fielder? It's a slow morning for me, mostly because I don't have to prep for "The Mid-Atlantic Sports Report." I no longer need to know that the Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom, their leading scorer with 42 points - including three assists in Tuesday's 3-1 win over Calgary - is day-to-day after being elbowed in the head by the Flames' Rene Bourque.

This, that and the other

Yesterday's trade for Jai Miller further crowds the Orioles' outfield and make it impossible to craft a 25-man roster from the current crop of contenders. Who's starting in left field? Who's on the bench besides backup catcher Taylor Teagarden? Is there room for both Miller and outfielder Endy Chavez? Could Nolan Reimold get most of his at-bats as the designated hitter, with Miller and Chavez

Orioles acquire Jai Miller, trade Brandon Snyder in separate deals (updated)

The Orioles got their outfielder, and he comes from the Oakland Athletics. Just not that outfielder. The team announced that it acquired Jai Miller from the A's for cash considerations. In a separate deal, they sent former first-round pick Brandon Snyder to the Rangers for cash considerations. The 40-man roster remains full with these moves. Miller, 26, batted .276/.368/.588 with 32 home runs, 88 RBIs

Orioles in market for outfielder, Scott update

To follow up on a tweet that I sent earlier today (@MASNRoch), the Orioles most definitely are in the market for another outfielder. Signing Endy Chavez as a free agent didn't end their search. Coco Crisp isn't coming to Baltimore. Put that rumor to bed and turn out the lights. One official termed a report that they were close to signing the veteran free agent

Cooling off the Crisp rumor (and update on hires)

Well, that was fun. I've heard from a team source that the Orioles spoke to Coco Crisp's agent a while ago, but nothing significant came from it. Another source shot down any possibility that the Orioles were on the verge of signing Crisp. Meanwhile, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com sent two tweets early this morning that read as follows: While Orioles talked to Crisp's agent, it

Are more changes coming to the outfield and rotation?

I've been pleading with the Orioles to do something this week. Trade a player. Sign a player. Announce their minor league staffs. Release the names of all the six-year minor league free agents that are under contract. Anything to make my job a little easier. Purely for selfish reasons. I admit it. Perhaps we'll find out today that outfielder Coco Crisp has signed with the

Is Crisp coming to Baltimore?

Free agent outfielder Coco Crisp reportedly is close to signing with a new team, and a hot rumor tonight links him to the Orioles. Jon Heyman from CBSSports.com is speculating that the Orioles have emerged as the mystery team. Crisp's agent, Steve Comte, recently told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that his client had made a decision. The Orioles already have Adam Jones

Orioles have "interest" in Hisashi Iwakuma

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette, still searching for another starting pitcher and also committed to increasing the club's presence in the international market, remains interested in Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma, according to an industry source. Iwakuma's name has been floated in the media over the past few months as one possibility for the Orioles, who signed Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada to a two-year deal

Did you know ... ?

Before we leave 2011 completely behind, I wanted to share a few items from the Orioles' season summary that I brought home from the Winter Meetings. Nick Markakis fell out of the 40-doubles club, but he became only the eighth player in baseball to record 30 or more doubles in each of the last five seasons. He's recorded 180 or more hits in five seasons,

What about Ryan Adams?

I woke up with a headache, so I'm asking that everyone please blink a little softer today. Thanks much. Each time that I've written about the lineup and how second base could shape up, I'm inevitably asked about Ryan Adams. I've been excluding him because his name hasn't come up in discussions with executive vice president Dan Duquette. It could be a simple matter of

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