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More on Monell

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said newly acquired catcher Johnny Monell will compete for the backup job in 2014. The Orioles obtained Monell from the Giants tonight for cash considerations and placed him on the 40-man roster. Monell, 27, batted .275/.364/.494 with 27 doubles, two triples, 20 homers and 64 RBIs in 121 games with Triple-A Fresno this season. He's a career .267/.351/.456 hitter

Looking at one rumored rotation target

If the Orioles are going to bolster their rotation, which is a primary goal of executive vice president Dan Duquette, they'll probably need to re-sign Scott Feldman or pull off a trade. Their free-agent options are severely limited. They won't spend big and they're not enthused by the market. The Cubs seem determined to deal pitcher Jeff Samardzija - a report on CSNChicago.com listed the

Who closes if Johnson's gone?

Is everyone eating turkey omelets and turkey hash this morning? The Orioles made it through Thanksgiving without being attached to a new trade rumor. For that, I am thankful. Monday is the deadline for tendering contracts to arbitration-eligible players, and executive vice president Dan Duquette indicated last week that all nine Orioles will receive offers - outfielders Nolan Reimold and Steve Pearce, left-handers Troy Patton

"Because You Asked - Beyond Cyberspace"

It wouldn't be the holidays without a movie classic and its endless sequels. On this day, I'm thankful for my family and friends, my loyal readers, a paycheck every two weeks, GNC, Biceps Day, YouTube, the RedZone Channel, "Modern Family" reruns, "Anchorman 2," expired restraining orders, dirty martinis, front-close bras, Liberatore's wine-tasting dinners and "Because You Asked." With three NFL games today, I may as

Orioles close to agreement with Ivan De Jesus Jr.

I really want to pass along news that the Orioles are on the verge of a big signing or trade, just to give you a lift before Thanksgiving, but I don't have any indication that it's true. Would you settle for a little white lie? Bad idea. The Orioles are still courting outfielder Carlos Beltran, according to this report in Primera Hora, a newspaper in

Mussina, Benitez, Timlin among former Orioles on Hall of Fame ballot

The latest ballot for baseball's Hall of Fame has been released, and it includes first-timers Mike Mussina, Armando Benitez and Mike Timlin. Other former Orioles include Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, Curt Schilling and Lee Smith. Tim Raines appeared in four games with the Orioles in 2001, allowing him to play in the same outfield as son Tim Raines Jr. Eligible voters may choose up to

Orioles strike a Cord with impatient fans

During my second conversation yesterday with Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette, I mentioned how fans are growing impatient with the lack of a big move. How they get the impression that nothing is happening in the warehouse beyond a few small signings and trades. How the offseason is moving along without the club. Duquette chuckled and said, "There's always things going on around the

Orioles will offer contract to Reimold

Executive vice president Dan Duquette indicated today that the Orioles will tender a contract to outfielder Nolan Reimold. Reimold, 30, is rehabbing from a second surgery to fuse two vertebrae in his neck. He expressed optimism in his recovery during an interview last month with MASNsports.com, and Duquette seems convinced after checking with the Orioles' medical personnel. "He's coming along pretty well. He's ahead of

Orioles claim Phelps on waivers

We have another roster move. Try to keep up. The Orioles announced that they claimed switch-hitting infielder Cord Phelps off waivers from the Indians. Phelps, 26, appeared in 53 games for the Indians over the last three seasons, batting .159/.221/.248 (18-for-113) with two homers and 11 RBIs. He played second base, third base and shortstop. Phelps batted .267/.333/.443 (68-for-255) with nine homers and 46 RBIs

Orioles acquire Brach from Padres (updated)

The Orioles made another move today to bolster their bullpen, acquiring right-hander Brad Brach from the Padres in exchange for minor league pitcher Devin Jones. Brach, 27, posted a 3.19 ERA with 19 walks and 31 strikeouts in 31 innings over 33 games for the Padres this season. In three major league seasons, Brach has gone 3-6 with a 3.70 ERA in 109 relief appearances,

This, that and the other

Bill Castro most likely will be out of baseball next season after spending 37 years with the Brewers as a player, scout and coach, and the last two with the Orioles as bullpen coach. Here's hoping that the man has hobbies. Castro replaced Rick Adair as pitching coach on Aug. 15. The Orioles offered him a scouting position, which he turned down, and he didn't

Pondering probability of prospects breaking camp

New Yankees catcher Brian McCann is a career .417/.475/.528 hitter in 10 games against the Orioles. He's 5-for-9 with two RBIs and two walks at Camden Yards. Be sure to give him a warm welcome next season. McCann batted only .231 with three home runs against left-handers last season, but he's 2-for-3 with a double and home run against Brian Matusz. Small sample size. McCann

What can Wieters do with the McCann deal?

While wondering why the Terps tried to freeze a kicker named Freese ... So much for manager Buck Showalter's "prediction" that catcher Matt Wieters would be wearing pinstripes in two years. If so, he's going to find someone else behind the plate. According to multiple reports, the Yankees have reached agreement with free-agent catcher Brian McCann on a five-year, $85 million deal that includes a

A few random thoughts

Not that anyone asked for my opinion, but any trade proposal involving Orioles catcher Matt Wieters must bring back a frontline starting pitcher. It just does. Says so right here. An established left fielder would be nice. Someone who can get on base. Someone who can steal a base. Someone who can clear the bases on occasion, though the Orioles didn't lack for power this

What's out there today

Nothing from the Orioles so far today. No major league or minor league signings. No new hires in the farm system. Don't despair. I've made plans on Saturday to meet up with my parents and great niece at my sister's house. The last time I paid them a visit, the Orioles traded Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop to the Cubs for Scott Feldman and Steve

More leftovers for breakfast

Because I care so much about your early morning nutrition, I'm heating up more leftovers for breakfast. Use your napkin or sleeve. We're not fussy here. Executive vice president Dan Duquette explained yesterday why the Orioles chose to purchase the contracts of pitchers Tim Berry and Eddie Gamboa, and catcher Michael Ohlman, and protect them in next month's Rule 5 draft. "Tim Berry's got a

Orioles sign S. Schoop, Bermudez to minor league deals

Add another Schoop to the Orioles organization. The Orioles announced this afternoon that they signed Jonathan's older brother, infielder Sharlon Schoop, and outfielder Ronald Bermudez to minor league contracts. Sharlon Schoop, 26, signed with the Royals as a minor league free agent on Nov. 25, 2011. He didn't play this year. Schoop is a career .256/.322/.353 hitter in eight minor league seasons, never rising above

Orioles won't attempt to re-sign Wada

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette confirmed today that the club won't attempt to re-sign free-agent pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada after declining to pick up his $5 million option for 2014. Wada, 32, never pitched for the Orioles after signing a two-year, $8.15 million contract on Dec. 14, 2011. He was injured in spring training, made one start with Triple-A Norfolk - allowing six runs in

Leftovers for breakfast

Though left-hander Zach Britton is determined to win a spot in the Orioles rotation in spring training, he won't complain if he has to settle for a bullpen role. And since he's out of minor league options, the possibility increases that he could be used as a long reliever and swingman. Britton has made only two relief appearances in 48 major league games - one

Orioles add Berry, Gamboa and Ohlman to 40-man roster

The Orioles have added left-hander Tim Berry, knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa and catcher Michael Ohlman to their 40-man roster, raising the total to 36. No other players may be added to the roster before the Dec. 12 Rule 5 draft unless they're acquired from outside the organization. Berry, 22, went 11-7 with a 3.85 ERA in 27 starts at Single-A Frederick. He walked 40 and struck

Orioles make Escalona signing official

Pitcher Edgmer Escalona passed his physical, and the Orioles announced this afternoon that they signed the free-agent right-hander to a one-year contract. Escalona, 27, went 1-4 with a 5.67 ERA with the Rockies this season, posting career highs in appearances (37), innings (46) and strikeouts (34). He currently ranks fourth in the Venezuelan Winter League with a 2.10 ERA in 34 1/3 innings over six

Orioles reach agreement with Escalona (updated)

The Orioles have reached agreement with Colorado Rockies reliever Edgmer Escalona and are awaiting the results of his physical before announcing the signing, which is believed to be a one-year deal. Escalona, 27, went 1-4 with a 5.67 ERA in 37 games this season, with 52 hits, 14 walks and 34 strikeouts in 46 innings. Escalona, a native of Venezuela, has spent his entire career

Britton: "Next year is important for me, and not just because I'm out of options"

New Orioles pitching coach Dave Wallace has reached out to a handful of starters and relievers on the staff, talking to some over the phone and leaving messages for others. Zach Britton figures to be one of Wallace's projects in spring training, and they had a brief conversation a few weeks ago. "It was just a quick call, kind of a touching-base thing," Britton said.

Taking another look at Jim Johnson's status

Late in the 2013 season, executive vice president Dan Duquette attempted to end the speculation over Jim Johnson's status by telling reporters that the Orioles would tender him a contract over the winter. In addition, Johnson would remain the closer despite nine blown saves and the hefty raise awaiting him. How hefty? MLBTradeRumors.com projected again today that Johnson's salary could increase from $6.5 million to

Orioles to play in Civil Rights Game (FanFest note)

Major League Baseball announced today that the Orioles will play the Houston Astros in the 2014 Civil Rights Game on May 30 at Minute Maid Park. The Orioles will be in Houston for a four-game series. The Civil Rights Game, which will air nationally on MLB Network, started in 2007 in Memphis and pays tribute to those who fought for equal rights. After another exhibition

Checking on the pitching market

Tim Hudson is no longer an option to join the Orioles' rotation. But when one door closes ... Hudson reportedly has agreed to a two-year, $23 million contract with the Giants that may include a full no-trade clause. The details are unfolding. The Orioles liked Hudson and were seen as a potential match, but they never made an offer. Would you give Hudson, a 38-year-old

Orioles sign De La Cruz

Looking to add more left-handed depth to their bullpen, the Orioles have signed reliever Kelvin De La Cruz to a one-year contract. De La Cruz, 25, was a combined 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA and seven saves in 67 1/3 innings and 50 relief appearances this year for Double-A Chattanooga (three games) and Triple-A Albuquerque (47) in the Dodgers system. He finished third in the

Orioles unveil commemorative patch for 2014

Last month, I wrote about the Orioles' plans to commemorate their 60th anniversary in Baltimore next season by wearing a patch on their right sleeve. Well, they unveiled it this morning in a tweet. This is the fourth consecutive season that the Orioles will wear a patch on their right sleeve. They sported one in 2011 with "Baltimore" or "Orioles" in script, depending on the

Taking another look at second base

What can we look forward to this week? Perhaps we can read a little something into this quote on Wednesday from executive vice president Dan Duquette, who returned my call during the last night of the GM meetings in Orlando: "We've been meeting with teams and agents and canvassing the market and seeing where we match up with teams. We've been talking to agents about

"Because You Asked - City Under Siege"

I checked my home insurance policy and I'm not covered for an avalanche of questions from Orioles fans. I'll just have to take my chances and live dangerously. The hot stove increases my risks, and not only because I could get burned if I'm out of touch with it (see what I did there?). I'm asked to confirm or shoot down various rumors. I'm asked

Wallace on why he wanted Chiti

New Orioles pitching coach Dave Wallace had a strong voice in the hiring of bullpen coach Dom Chiti. And it worked out nicely that Wallace recommended someone who also was familiar to and highly respected by manager Buck Showalter. Wallace and Chiti came from the Braves organization, which has been known to produce good young pitchers. And Chiti, of course, was Showalter's bullpen coach with

Wallace: "I'm trying to find out as much as I can"

Now that Dave Wallace is in place as Orioles pitching coach, he's started the task of reaching out to his staff. Wallace told me yesterday that he's talked to three or four of the Orioles' pitchers "just briefly to say hello," and left voicemails for about eight others. "I haven't gotten into any discussions about mechanics or abilities or anything like that," he said. "I'm

More Markakis and Urrutia note

This morning's blog entry, largely devoted to updating Nolan Reimold's contract situation, drew a significant number of comments regarding Nick Markakis. It happens. And I'm fine with it. Apparently, Mike Francesca of WFAN Radio in New York mentioned how the Orioles and Mets discussed a trade involving Markakis during this week's GM meetings in Orlando. I didn't hear it, but I'll pass along a tweet

Decision pending on Reimold (with note)

Woke up this morning and realized we're fresh out of hour-long baseball awards shows. Went back to bed and pulled the covers over my head. Without checking, I'm pretty sure that I missed on only one prediction. I had Boston's John Farrell winning American League Manager of the Year, but he placed second to Cleveland's Terry Francona. As for the Orioles, I did a little

Davis places third in AL MVP voting, Machado and Jones among top 13

Orioles first baseman Chris Davis will have to be satisfied with his Silver Slugger Award and a hefty raise that's coming to him this winter. As expected, Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera won his second consecutive Most Valuable Player award in the American League. The announcement came tonight on MLB Network. The Angels' Mike Trout finished second in the BBWAA voting, and Davis placed third

Still talking about Hardy and Wieters

I woke up this morning and discovered that shortstop J.J. Hardy and catcher Matt Wieters still play for the Orioles. Let's see if anything changes by noon. If yesterday's reports on the duo confirmed anything beyond my hatred of the hot stove season, it's how badly the Orioles want to upgrade their rotation. They're not actively shopping Hardy and Wieters, but they're going to approach

Duquette: "We like Hardy and Wieters as core players on our ballclub"

The GM meetings are supposed to wrap up tonight in Orlando, but Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette has another face-to-face scheduled for Thursday morning before he flies home. I just got off the phone with Duquette, who said he's met with a little more than half the teams. Special assistant Lee Thomas also has met with a few clubs. Here's a sampling of Duquette's

Orioles confirm Anderson hiring, more on Hardy and Wieters

The Orioles have announced the hiring of former Rangers coach Dave Anderson as minor league infield coordinator. Anderson replaces Matt Martin, who held the job for one season and is no longer in the organization. I wrote about Anderson this morning. Quick recap: Anderson played on the Dodgers team that won the 1988 World Series over the Athletics. He's managed in the minors, and he

Notes on D. Stockstill and Boulanger

Earlier today, I mentioned how David Stockstill signed the Orioles' first player from Guatemala, outfielder Manny Hernandez, back in 2009. Stockstill's contract ran out Oct. 31, and I've received confirmation that the Orioles chose not to renew it. Executive vice president Dan Duquette informed Stockstill of his decision. Stockstill previously served as the club's director of player development before switching roles with his brother, John,

Correcting the Guatemalan math, and a Hardy note

News leaked yesterday that the Orioles signed 18-year-old outfielder Juan Diego Montes from Guatemala. Various photos of the kid in an Orioles jersey circulated through Twitter. That part was accurate. The mistake came in the math. Forget what you've read about Montes being the second player from Guatemala signed by the Orioles. A reader of this blog pointed out correctly that Montes is the third.

Updating the Orioles' search for a minor league infield coordinator

The Orioles completed their major league coaching staff this week with the hiring of bullpen coach Dom Chiti. Now, they're drawing closer to filling a vacancy in the minors. According to sources outside the organization, former Rangers coach Dave Anderson has emerged as a leading candidate to replace Matt Martin as minor league infield coordinator. I don't have confirmation from the Orioles, but that's the

Showalter receives third-place vote for AL Manager of the Year

In a bit of an upset, Cleveland's Terry Francona beat out Boston's John Farrell for American League Manager of the Year. The announcement came tonight on MLB Network. Keep in mind that BBWAA ballots were submitted before the playoffs. The Red Sox's World Series title wasn't a factor. Orioles manager Buck Showalter, a runner-up to Oakland's Bob Melvin last year, received one third-place vote. He

Changes coming to Orioles bullpen

As the GM meetings proceed through their second day in Orlando, the emphasis with the Orioles remains on finding another starting pitcher and sifting through their options if they don't re-sign left fielder Nate McLouth and second baseman Brian Roberts. The Orioles also are in the market for at least one reliever, and I've heard they would like to acquire two while "shuffling the deck"

Leftovers for breakfast

I've got lots of choices after my mother filled my cooler again for the trip home. Soft-shell crabs for breakfast? Why not? A breaded pork chop on the side? What's stopping me? I've been told multiple times over the past week that I'm really going to enjoy being around new pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti. Two men with opposite personalities who

Chiti: "It's a great group of guys that are ... very good at what they do"

Dom Chiti flew back from the Dominican Republic tonight, where he was doing a little scouting for his new team. He's the Orioles' bullpen coach, but he's so much more. Showalter regards Chiti as one of the top five scouts in baseball, and those skills will be utilized here. "The last couple of years, and moreso this year than the year before, I've been very

Showalter on Chiti, Castro and FSL honor

Orioles manager Buck Showalter believes his 2014 coaching staff is as good as any that he's worked with in all of his years in baseball. The staff was completed earlier today with the official hiring of Dom Chiti as bullpen coach, following the addition of Dave Wallace as pitching coach. "I like our coaching staff and I liked our staff last year," Showalter said. "We

Duquette on Chiti, Castro and GM meetings (and AFL note)

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette took a short break from the GM meetings in Orlando to talk about the hiring of former Braves special assistant Dom Chiti as bullpen coach. "Dom Chiti is a real pro," Duquette said. "He grew up around the Orioles organization and started his coaching career here. He's very good with pitching evaluation and he's done the bullpen job before.

Orioles make Chiti hiring official, Castro won't return to organization

The Orioles confirmed today that former Braves special assistant Dom Chiti has been hired as bullpen coach. Chiti joins new pitching coach Dave Wallace, who previously served as Atlanta's minor league pitching coordinator. Bill Castro and Scott McGregor were offered positions in the organization. However, Castro said he will pursue other opportunities. McGregor will return to his former role of pitching rehab coordinator in Sarasota.

Since you asked about Hudson and Kazmir ...

Another day brings the latest set of important events in baseball. The GM/owners meetings begin today in Orlando. There won't be a flood of trades and signings during these three days, but the groundwork is often laid for further discussions at next month's Winter Meetings in Orlando. Players tendered qualifying offers must decide today whether to accept or decline. The Orioles aren't impacted here, since

This, that and the other

In case you missed my update last night, the Orioles want to keep former bullpen coach Bill Castro in the organization. I'm not sure in what capacity, but there's apparently a spot for him. Dom Chiti has been hired as Castro's replacement, and he's valued by the Orioles almost as much for his scouting abilities as his work with pitchers. The Orioles will tap that

What's next for McGregor and Castro? (updated)

Now that the Orioles have settled on a new bullpen coach, with the hiring of Dom Chiti expected to be announced Monday, the focus shifts to the two supposed in-house candidates. Scott McGregor and Bill Castro weren't contacted about the pitching and bullpen coach openings. The Orioles chose Braves minor league pitching coordinator Dave Wallace for the former job, and he had a strong voice

Hendrickson not ready to retire

While wondering whether Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson presenting Manny Machado with his Gold Glove last night was also a passing of the torch ... The list of minor league free agents includes a 39-year-old pitcher who spent the entire 2013 season at the Triple-A level and isn't ready to quit. Left-hander Mark Hendrickson is putting retirement on hold and will attempt to latch on

Machado wins Platinum Glove (updated)

Since the conclusion of the 2013 season, third baseman Manny Machado won a Rawlings Gold Glove and a Fielding Bible Award, and last night was named the Orioles' 2013 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year. Now comes another honor. Machado received the Rawlings Platinum Glove tonight as the best defensive player in the American League, the announcement coming at the annual Gold Glove Awards dinner

Orioles to name Chiti bullpen coach (updated)

The Orioles are prepared to name Braves special assistant Dom Chiti as their new bullpen coach, according to industry sources. An announcement could come on Monday. Chiti, 54, pitched, coached and scouted in the Orioles system, and served as manager Buck Showalter's bullpen coach with the Texas Rangers in 2006. Chiti last pitched professionally with Single-A Hagerstown, an Orioles affiliate, back in 1981. Chiti started

Orioles getting closer to naming bullpen coach

The Orioles still haven't announced who will serve as their bullpen coach next season, but I'm told that they could make the hire on Monday. Bill Castro, who moved from bullpen coach to pitching coach on Aug. 15 after Rick Adair took a personal leave of absence, hasn't been contacted by the club. Neither has Scott McGregor, who replaced Castro in the bullpen. Castro was

Designating someone to handle the DH role

If you're actually concerned that an entire day and night will pass without more baseball awards being distributed, you can stop rocking back and forth and scratching your arms. The Rawlings Platinum Glove Award winners will be unveiled during the Gold Glove Award ceremony at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. This is the third year that Rawlings is handing out platinum winners in

Machado honored with defensive award (updated)

Another day brings another awards show on MLB Network, and more recognition for Manny Machado's defensive excellence at third base. Machado was just named the Orioles' 2013 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year. Every team has one recipient. Last week, Machado became the first Orioles third baseman since Brooks Robinson in 1975 to win a Rawlings Gold Glove Award. He also was the only Oriole

Walking down a few aisles in the free agent market

It wouldn't be the hot stove season without names of free agents being thrown against a wall to see which ones stick. It's speculation city, baby. Population: Everyone. I've started a drinking game. I'm doing a shot every time I read that the Orioles "may," "could" or "should" sign a player. I'd stay sober if it only required "will." But it's that time of the

Chris Davis wins Silver Slugger Award (Jones and Hardy also win)

The Orioles have their first Silver Slugger Award winner in five years. Chris Davis was chosen among American League first basemen, the announcement coming tonight on MLB Network. Davis led the majors with 53 home runs and 138 RBIs. He ranked fourth among first basemen in the AL with a .286 average, tied for first with a .370 on-base percentage, and ranked first with a

More on the Silver Slugger Awards

We already know that Chris Davis is a slam-dunk to win his first Silver Slugger Award, with the results announced tonight at 6 p.m. on MLB Network. Could the Orioles have multiple winners in the same season for only the fifth time since the award was created in 1980? First baseman Eddie Murray and shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. won it in 1983 and 1984. Ripken

Chris Davis, more Manto and award predictions

While Orioles first baseman Chris Davis waits to find out where he'll place in voting for the American League's Most Valuable Player Award, he can prepare to accept his first Silver Slugger Award. Is there another first baseman strong enough to pry it out of his hands? The voting is done by managers and coaches, and they take into account several offensive categories, including batting

Davis named finalist for AL MVP

Orioles first baseman Chris Davis hit a home run with the Baseball Writers' Association of America, too. The BBWAA has named Davis as a finalist for the American League's Most Valuable Player Award. The announcement came tonight on MLB Network. Davis is joined by Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera and Angels outfielder Mike Trout. The winner will be revealed on Nov. 14 on MLB Network.

Orioles hire Manto as minor league hitting coordinator (and Martin note)

Former Orioles third baseman Jeff Manto is back in the organization. The Orioles have hired Manto as minor league hitting coordinator. He replaces Mike Boulanger, who will move into an amateur and professional scouting role in 2014. Manto served as the hitting coach for the Chicago White Sox from 2012-13. He was fired on Sept. 28 following a 99-loss season. Boulanger will scout in the

Leftovers for breakfast

While wondering why teammates of Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin didn't intervene as he was subjected to threats and racial slurs from guard Richie Incognito... Not much to update on the Orioles' search for a bullpen coach. I'm hearing that an announcement could come next week, and that Bill Castro and Scott McGregor are under consideration. "We're still working on that," said executive vice president

Davis denied twice in Players Choice Awards

Orioles first baseman Chris Davis lost out twice to Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera in the Players Choice Awards, which were announced tonight on MLB Network. Cabrera was a repeat winner as the American League's Outstanding Player and the overall Player of the Year. Davis was nominated in both categories after leading the majors with 53 home runs, 138 RBIs and 370 total bases. He

Orioles add Chris Jones to 40-man roster

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette confirmed tonight that Triple-A Norfolk left-hander Chris Jones has been added to the 40-man roster. The Orioles acquired Jones, 25, from the Atlanta Braves in April for veteran reliever Luis Ayala. Jones posted a 2.57 ERA in four games at Double-A Bowie, and he was 4-4 with a 2.67 ERA in 31 appearances (two starts) with Norfolk, allowing 72

Orioles decline option on Casilla, and other notes (updated)

The Orioles took care of another order of business this afternoon, declining the $3 million option on infielder Alexi Casilla's contract for 2014. Today is the deadline for teams to exercise or decline options. The Orioles declined left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada's $5 million option on Saturday. Casilla receives a $200,000 buyout and becomes a free agent. The Orioles selected Casilla, 29, off waivers from the Twins

What's happening now?

Today is the final day for teams to reinstate players from the 60-day disabled list. It's also the day that the Orioles are expected to decline the $3 million option on infielder Alexi Casilla's contract, removing him from the 40-man roster and making him a free agent. Casilla will receive a $200,000 buyout as a nice parting gift. No word on whether he also gets

Where did the Orioles rank in manufacturing runs?

Eduardo Rodriguez tossed a scoreless inning and was credited with a hold last night in the Arizona Fall League's Fall Stars Game. Rodriguez walked one batter in the fourth in the West team's 9-2 victory over the East. And I honestly don't know why that qualifies as a hold, but it says so in the box score. Might have something to do with the West

Orioles decline option on Wada's contract

The Orioles made the anticipated roster move official tonight, declining the $5 million option on left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada's contract. Wada, 32, is removed from the 40-man roster and becomes a free agent. Wada signed a two-year, $8.15 million deal on Dec. 14, 2011, but he never pitched for the Orioles after undergoing ligament-reconstructive surgery on his left elbow on May 11, 2012. The Orioles kept

Wondering whether Wada re-signs with Orioles

While handing out candy to the trick-or-treaters Thursday, I had a neighbor ask which Red Sox player I'd take if I were in charge of the Orioles. He happened to be wearing a Red Sox jersey, and he wasn't in costume. He's a big fan of the World Series champions. After pausing for a few seconds to consider my options, I chose second baseman Dustin

Starting the pitching speculation

One of the most intensly analyzed statements from Orioles manager Buck Showalter late in the 2013 season went something like this: "We need to pitch better." Sounds simple, right? But was he suggesting that the Orioles need to find better pitchers, or get better production from the ones currently in the organization? I'm going with the latter, which puts me in agreement with the likes

Taking another look at the 40-man roster (Dickerson, D. Johnson elect free agency)

Anyone else staring at a pile of fun-size candy wrappers this morning and feeling a bit sheepish? I could wallpaper my living room with them. And that's no fun. The Orioles made two roster moves yesterday and more are coming. None of them will blow back your hair. They're creating room for future acquisitions and players they want to place on the 40-man roster to

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