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Orioles sign Alex Gonzalez to minor league deal

The Orioles have signed veteran shortstop Alex Gonzalez to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to spring training, according to a team official. This is not the big announcement for FanFest. I repeat, this is not the big announcement for FanFest. It's also not an indication that the Orioles are trying to trade shortstop J.J. Hardy. They've expressed a desire to sign him

Tillman on his mindset, opening day, workouts, Wallace and Britton

Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman flew into Baltimore yesterday afternoon, an early arrival for this weekend's FanFest activities. So much has changed since the last time he signed autographs at the Baltimore Convention Center. Tillman was out of options and trying to make the club. Now he's the favorite to take the ball on opening day. What's the mindset this spring? "First, you've got to be

Duquette and Ferreira on the international acquisitions

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette and executive director of international recruiting Fred Ferreira spent a few minutes this afternoon providing additional information on today's international acquisitions. Earlier today, the club announced that it purchased first baseman Carlos Diaz, 17, from the Mexico City Red Devils and signed third baseman Jomar Reyes, 16, a native of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Both players will

Orioles announce two international signings

While Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette continues his search for a starting pitcher, the club has announced two international signings. The Orioles have purchased first baseman Carlos Diaz, 17, from the Mexico City Reds. Diaz, from Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, stands 6-foot-2 and weights 200 lbs. He bats left and throws right. The Orioles also have signed 16-year-old international free agent Jomar Reyes, a

More on Machado's upcoming knee exam

If Manny Machado's recovery from knee surgery doesn't rate as the highlight of the Orioles' offseason, it definitely belongs in the top two. Camden Yards didn't burn down. I'm not married to this list. Dylan Bundy is playing catch and could be pitching again at Double-A Bowie within the next five months. Matt Wieters is the only arbitration-eligible player on the club who hasn't signed

Reminder on Machado

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado remains scheduled to have his left knee re-examined Friday morning in Los Angeles, the final step toward being cleared for baseball-related activities. As it was explained to me a few weeks ago, Machado will undergo a final dynamic functional testing, at which point he should be given the green light. Dr. Neal ElAttrache examined Machado's knee on Jan. 16 and

Orioles sign "other" Chad Tracy to minor league deal

The Orioles have signed Chad Tracy to a minor league contract. The deal does not include an invitation to spring training. Not that Chad Tracy. This one is the son of former manager Jim Tracy. He spent the 2013 season at Triple-A Omaha and with the independent York Revolution. Tracy, 28, plays first base and left field, and has caught in 56 games. He spent

More on Burnett

If nothing else, yesterday's news that A.J. Burnett wanted to pitch in 2014 generated a spirited debate among Orioles fans. The club should make an aggressive play for him. The club should avoid him and his inflated ERAs during his last two seasons with the Yankees, and focus on Bronson Arroyo, Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez. Choose a side. I'll gladly take Burnett and pair

Reports: A.J. Burnett will pitch in 2014 (updated)

One of the Orioles' primary free agent targets, A.J. Burnett, has decided to pitch this season, according to multiple reports. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Travis Sawchik was the first to report it. Burnett is willing to pitch for a team other than the Pirates, according to Sawchik, and will test the open market. The Orioles reached out to Burnett's agent at the Winter Meetings, but turned

Manto honored by International League

Two months after returning to the Orioles organization, Jeff Manto has learned that he will be inducted into the International League Hall of Fame. Manto is enjoying another hot stretch. He's a streaky guy. Manto was hired in November as the Orioles minor league hitting coordinator. He replaced Mike Boulanger, who moved into an amateur and professional scouting role. Now comes news that he's joining

Matusz: "I couldn't be happier with the situation and the setup we have going"

Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz has been working out in Arizona for most of the winter, but he flew to California earlier this month in order to meet new pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti. His early impressions? "It was great," Matusz said yesterday during a phone interview. "It was awesome that those guys were able to come out to the West Coast

Brian Roberts: "I never really envisioned ever playing somewhere else"

Before former Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts reports to spring training with his new team, he'll continue to pull the occasional babysitting duty for his 6-month-old son, Jax, while wife Diana is able to work out or run errands. Roberts recently signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the division-rival Yankees, taking him away from the organization that selected him in the supplemental round of

Matusz still carrying a starter's mentality

While Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette continues his search for another starting pitcher, left-hander Brian Matusz is determined to win a spot in the rotation in spring training. Matusz will work out as a starter at the Ed Smith Stadium complex, and he's gotten a head start this winter. "That's the plan," he said earlier today. "This offseason, I've been long-tossing and stretching it

Is this the week?

As the baseball industry long suspected, the free agent floodgates burst open once Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka finally chose a team. Yes, Ty Wigginson and Endy Chavez signed minor league deals. Taking a closer look, I also see that Matt Garza's four-year, $50 million deal with the Brewers finally became official after a suspicious delay in the announcement that had me wondering whether he failed

Flaherty trying to win job at second base

Orioles pitchers and catchers report to the spring training complex in Sarasota on Feb. 13. Maine residents arrived in the middle of January. Ryan Flaherty needed to escape the cold and proceed with his workouts before heading to Baltimore for FanFest. He's going to show up as the favorite to start at second base. Does his status change his offseason routine? "Not really," he replied

Leftovers for breakfast

Anyone know the identity of the Orioles' representative who watched Brett Tomko throw yesterday in California? Tomko's brother, Scott, tweeted an update that said, "Great bullpen session by BT today for the #Orioles...I stood in & got a batter's perspective & his stuff was sharp." From what I've been told, the Orioles didn't send any scouts, and a couple of front-office types claim that they

Colvin remains a free agent

The Orioles are no longer offering Tyler Colvin a major league deal following his physical, according to a source, and the outfielder remains on the free-agent market. Colvin took the physical on Jan. 15 in Baltimore, according to multiple industry sources, but no announcement was forthcoming. Speculation began almost immediately that the Orioles weren't satisfied with the results, which a source later confirmed. Colvin, 28,

Another Orioles minor league signing and more Balfour

The Orioles have signed another player to a minor league contract that doesn't include a spring training invitation, reaching agreement with Scott Savastano, who will report to Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota. Agent Joe Rosen tweeted the news, offering congratulations on the signing. Savastano, 27, has spent all six of his professional seasons in the Mariners organization and is a career .282/.360/.406 hitter. He batted

Markakis on his 2013 season, his workouts and his outlook

Toward the end of last season, I approached Nick Markakis' locker and asked the right fielder whether his statistical decline could be blamed on his previous health issues. Markakis mentioned how he failed to make the necessary adjustments and it became a learning experience, which I found interesting, considering how he'd already spent eight years in the majors. I guess you're never too old to

Orioles sign Laffey to minor league deal

The Orioles have signed left-hander Aaron Laffey to a minor league deal. At this point, his contract doesn't include an invitation to spring training. Laffey will attend the minor league mini-camp on Feb. 22, and it's possible that he will be summoned to the Ed Smith Stadium complex at a later date. Otherwise, he'll do his throwing at Twin Lakes Park and attempt to win

Now the door is closed on Balfour (updated)

A month after the Orioles pulled back their offer to free agent closer Grant Balfour, he's reportedly on the verge of signing with the division-rival Tampa Bay Rays. Is anyone really surprised? Balfour has landed another two-year deal, according to multiple reports. The Tampa Bay Times confirmed that it's worth $12 million. The Rays scheduled a press conference for later today. Now, we know the

More on Colvin and something on Stinson

Before diving into this morning's blog entry, I'll quickly chime in on the Tyler Colvin news from last night. It was obvious that something happened with the physical, since it took place on Jan. 15 and we still hadn't received an announcement on his signing. The Orioles have refused to acknowledge publicly that they reached agreement with him. They weren't thrilled that word leaked to

Do dominoes start falling after Tanaka signing? (and spring training note)

Now that the Yankees have signed Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to a reported seven-year, $155 million deal, the rest of the free agent market should open wide for business. Isn't that the theory? Or maybe we should stick to the domino analogy. As far as the Orioles are concerned, it doesn't suddenly increase their interest in Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez, who would cost a

Hearing about trade to Orioles was music to Brach's ears

Figuring out the Orioles' bullpen in 2014 has been complicated by the apparent decision to make Tommy Hunter the closer and left-hander Troy Patton's 25-game suspension. Removing Hunter from a set-up role creates room for another reliever. Losing Patton creates room for another left-hander. And there are a variety of candidates for the long-relief spot that belonged last year to Rule 5 pick T.J. McFarland.

Who will be the Orioles' difference maker in 2014?

One of the national publications asks local beat writers each winter to pick a potential "difference maker" for their respective teams. A guy who is new to the organization or coming off an injury or a down season. Last winter, I chose Nolan Reimold and noted how he got off to a sizzling start in 2012, batting .313/.333/.627 with six doubles, five homers and 10

Tomko to throw for Orioles

One week after giving veteran hitter Jack Cust a tryout at their mini-camp in Sarasota, the Orioles will take a look at veteran pitcher Brett Tomko in Southern California. Tomko's brother, Scott, reported the news, which has been passed along by a couple of national writers. The session will take place on Friday. Tomko is on the comeback trail. He's 40 and hasn't pitched in

Early reviews on Wallace and Chiti

While the Orioles continue their search for another starter, they're placing a lot of faith in new pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti. Last week's mini-camp was mostly set up to give Wallace and Chiti a head start at getting acquainted with their pitchers. They spent four days in Sarasota meeting individually with each one, then flew to California and sat down

Kicking around some ideas about the 25-man roster

Unless something goes horribly wrong with my day, I intend to immerse myself in the NFL playoffs and a giant bowl of chili. I'll be sure to wear a snorkel. It's the third week in January, which is too soon to give an accurate projection of the 25-man roster on opening day. But why not? Starters Chris Tillman Wei-Yin Chen Miguel Gonzalez Bud Norris Relievers

A few afternoon notes

The Orioles still haven't decided whether to sign veteran hitter Jack Cust to a minor league deal. Discussions continue on whether to bring him to spring training as one of the invites. "It's still under consideration," said executive vice president Dan Duquette. Cust worked out for three days this week at the mini-camp in Sarasota. He left the complex unsure if he would land a

Getting to know Liam Hendriks

Liam Hendriks was destined to join the Orioles. He's been connected to them so many times, it just seemed inevitable. Hendriks can rattle off the incidents in order, and with a smile on his bearded face. Maybe they're mere coincidences, but he comes across as Baltimore baseball's version of Forrest Gump. Hendriks was scratched from an April 2012 start at Camden Yards after coming down

More FanFest autograph information

The Orioles have announced which players will be signing autographs at various stations during FanFest on Feb. 1 at the Baltimore Convention Center. The policy, if not the song, remains the same. It's designed to support youth charitable endeavors through OriolesREACH and shorten wait times. Fans must purchase autograph vouchers beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18 at www.orioles.com/fanfest. There will be 250 vouchers

Orioles and Wieters exchanging salary figures (updated)

Catcher Matt Wieters is the only arbitration-eligible Orioles player who didn't agree to terms today. The Orioles have submitted their salary figure and are waiting for agent Scott Boras to make a counter proposal. Negotiations will continue while a hearing date is scheduled for next month. A three-member panel will choose a winner if the sides go to arbitration. Wieters made $5.5 million last season

Orioles agree to terms with Hunter and Patton (Davis, Matusz also settle)

The Orioles have until 1 p.m. today to sign their remaining arbitration-eligible players before the sides exchange figures and hearing dates are arranged. Try to breathe normally. They reached agreement with pitcher Bud Norris last night and have come to terms on one-year deals with Tommy Hunter and Troy Patton this morning, according to sources. I actually was exchanging text messages with Hunter earlier today.

More on arbitration, Machado and what lies ahead

No more mini-camp news today. And no more Sarasota sunshine, though the wind yesterday cut through me like a knife while I stood on one of the back fields and watched Nolan Reimold and Delmon Young take batting practice. The temperatures dipped into the 50s, and anyone who's spent time in Florida knows that it feels more like the 30s down there. In Baltimore, it

Good news on Machado

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado has taken another step on his surgically repaired left knee toward being ready to play on opening day. A great, big step. Machado received positive news today after having the knee examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. He's considered "way ahead of schedule," according to one member of the organization. Another estimation places him at six-to-eight weeks. Machado,

Notes from the final day of mini-camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles made it through four days of their mini-camp. Manager Buck Showalter is hopping on a flight back to Dallas. Players are packing up their gear and heading home, though Dylan Bundy is renting a house in Sarasota and will stay here until FanFest on Feb. 1. "At things like this, you read the players. That's what I've always thought," Showalter

What's cooking with Gausman?

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman has spent most of the offseason away from baseball, attending LSU football games, traveling with his girlfriend and learning how to cook. His girlfriend's mother - the "best cook in the world," as Gausman described her - taught him how to prepare a few Cajun dishes, and he appears to be carrying some gumbo weight. Gausman said he's

Steve Johnson talks about learning the splitter

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles' four-day mini-camp is reaching its conclusion. A few pitchers, including Hunter Harvey and Tommy Hunter, left after yesterday's workout. Delmon Young took batting practice, met with manager Buck Showalter and appeared to make a favorable impression. Jack Cust arrived Tuesday and still can be found in the clubhouse. The Orioles signed pitcher Luis Vizcaino and infielder Brock Bond to minor

Orioles reach agreement with Colvin

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles have reached agreement with outfielder Tyler Colvin on a major league deal, according to industry sources. The deal is pending a physical. The Orioles are expected to announce Colvin's signing Thursday morning. His physical was scheduled for later today. Colvin, 28, gives the Orioles another left-handed hitter in a crowded outfield. They currently have 12 outfielders on their spring training

Orioles sign Aceves to minor league deal (with Duquette quote)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles added another arm to their bullpen today by signing former Red Sox reliever Alfredo Aceves to a minor league deal with a spring training invitation. Aceves has also made 15 starts among his 194 major league appearances over six seasons. His potential role with the Orioles is undetermined, but they could use another set-up man if Tommy Hunter is named

More notes from today's mini-camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - Hunter Harvey and Parker Bridwell threw bullpen sessions today at the Orioles' mini-camp at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Kevin Gausman will throw on Thursday before everyone heads back home. Former All-Star closer Bryan Harvey, Hunter's father, offered advice to right-handers Tommy Hunter and Steve Johnson on throwing a split-fingered fastball. Manager Buck Showalter encouraged Harvey to approach them and offer tips

Delmon Young works out at mini-camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - Delmon Young hit in the indoor cage this morning, took a few rounds of batting practice outside and shagged fly balls in left field. He later met with Buck Showalter after passing by the manager's office without a shirt and happily proclaiming that he weighed in at 223 pounds. It was a full day for Young, who signed a minor league deal

Updates on Reimold and McFarland

SARASOTA, Fla. - Outfielder Nolan Reimold just headed outdoors to do some hitting and play catch. He was cleared for "unrestricted" baseball activities over Christmas. Now he's ready to resume a career that's been stalled by injuries and rotten luck. "I'm excited to feel like I can be good again," he said. "Hopefully, everything works out and I can stay healthy and be productive. And

More mini-camp morning musings

SARASOTA, Fla. - We've entered Day 3 of this mini-camp at the Ed Smith Stadium complex, and we're still waiting for a lull. You want notes? We've got piles of 'em. Delmon Young is expected here today after signing his minor league deal. He wants to do a meet-and-greet of sorts, and Buck Showalter already has a chair waiting for him in the manager's office.

Six eligible Orioles file for arbitration

SARASOTA, Fla. - The six eligible Orioles filed for arbitration today, as expected: Pitchers Tommy Hunter, Brian Matusz, Bud Norris and Troy Patton; first baseman Chris Davis; and catcher Matt Wieters. The two sides will exchange figures Friday as a starting point for contract talks. Hearings will be scheduled at a later date if agreements can't be reached. Normally, they split the difference and avoid

Notes on Belfiore, Urrutia, Hunter, S. Johnson, Ohlman, Bridwell and more

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter estimated that five or six pitchers threw bullpen sessions today, though none of them with maximum effort in the middle of January. Showalter appreciated that left-hander Mike Belfiore came to Sarasota on his own. "That's pretty impressive," Showalter said. Belfiore, 25, drew an audience that included Showalter, pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti. "They told

Orioles sign Vizcaino and Bond to minor league deals

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles have signed right-hander Luis Vizcaino and infielder Brock Bond to minor league deals. They do not include an invitation to spring training. Vizcaino, 39, pitched in Mexico last year, posting a 1.40 ERA and recording 25 saves with Yucatan, and hasn't been in the majors since 2009 with the Indians. He's 35-30 with a 4.33 ERA in 11 seasons and

More notes and more on Cust

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles pitcher T.J. McFarland tweaked his right knee about three weeks ago while working out. He had the knee examined today and appears to be fine, though he had it wrapped at the mini-camp at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Manager Buck Showalter said McFarland was sent to a doctor today "as a precaution." Hunter Harvey's father, former major league closer Bryan

Snapshots from second day of mini-camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - It's been raining hard for most of the morning at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Players are taking their swings in the indoor batting cage. Pitchers will have to throw under cover. The sun is starting to peek through the clouds. It could be sunny and humid within a matter of minutes. The weather changes in the blink of an eye down

A frenetic first day of mini-camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - So much for easing into the mini-camp schedule. Yesterday was supposed to be a light day, with players trickling into the complex. Who knew that the Orioles would sign Delmon Young to a minor league contract and invite Jack Cust for a workout this week? Dylan Bundy provided an update on his throwing program and targeted June 28 as his first competitive

Orioles sign Delmon Young

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles decided not to wait until Delmon Young arrived at their mini-camp before signing him to a minor league contract. Young is expected to report to the Ed Smith Stadium complex later this week, and he already will be a member of the organization. The Orioles just announced that they signed Young to a minor league deal that includes an invitation

Delmon Young and Jack Cust invited to mini-camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles have invited outfielders Delmon Young and Jack Cust to their mini-camp, according to an industry source, and both players are expected to arrive Tuesday at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. The Orioles are interested in signing Young and Cust to minor league deals with invitations to spring training, according to the source. Young is more likely to be signed than

Bundy: "I'm throwing without pain for the first time in a year"

SARASOTA, Fla. - Dylan Bundy has set June 28 as his target date to pitch in a "competitive" game, exactly one year after undergoing ligament-reconstructive surgery on his right elbow. Bundy, regarded in some circles as the Orioles' top prospect - slightly ahead of pitcher Kevin Gausman - is throwing from 60 feet and said "everything's great." "I'm throwing without pain for the first time

A few snapshots from mini-camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles annual mini-camp officially begins on Tuesday, but about a dozen players gathered on one of the practice fields at the Ed Smith Stadium complex this morning to participate in conditioning drills and do some throwing. Five of the players were easy to identify - pitchers Tommy Hunter, Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Mike Wright, and outfielder Henry Urrutia. Bundy, recovering

Camping out in Sarasota

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles used 26 different pitchers last season. That may seem like a lot, but imagine if they had used the same one. The poor guy would have been exhausted and practically living with Dr. James Andrews. Yes, that's renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews to you and me. Nineteen different pitchers recorded wins in 2013, tying the 2001 and 2012 clubs for

Wallace taking his fresh eyes and slow hand to Sarasota

Longtime pitching coach Ray Miller used to instruct his staff to work fast, change speeds and throw strikes. It was such a catchy phrase, and so important in developing Cy Young candidates, that he had T-shirts made as a reminder. New Orioles pitching coach Dave Wallace shares a similar credo, though he has his own ideas to go along with it. "I think that's pretty

Showalter: "This isn't about being competitive, this is about winning"

Now that the euphoria over Alexi Casilla's signing has started to dissipate, I decided to empty out the ol' notebook and give you a few more quotes from manager Buck Showalter's interview Thursday night on WBAL Radio. Showalter was asked for his feelings on the present Orioles roster - minus Casilla, of course - and he responded that he "felt fine." Here's more: "I look

Orioles sign Casilla to minor league deal

The Orioles are bringing back one of their free agents, signing infielder Alexi Casilla to a minor league deal with a spring training invite. Casilla, 29, batted .214/.268/.295 with four doubles, a triple, one homer and 10 RBIs in 62 games last season. He also was 9-for-11 in stolen base attempts. Casilla made $1.7 million last season. The Orioles declined his $3 million option for

Showalter provides medical updates on Chen and Machado

Pitcher Wei-Yin Chen's recovery from knee surgery in October has been "a little slow," according to manager Buck Showalter. Reason for concern? Not at this point, but it's worth tracking. Chen won't be attending next week's mini-camp in Sarasota, as I wrote previously, but pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti will fly to California and check on him. Chen is working out

Showalter on Balfour physical and outside physicians commenting on it

During tonight's "Hot Stove Baseball" show on WBAL Radio, I asked manager Buck Showalter whether he found it unusual that physicians from other organizations made public comments on the Orioles' interpretation of closer Grant Balfour's physical and the decision to back away from a two-year, $15 million agreement. Rays physician Dr. Koko Eaton and Reds medical director and chief orthopedic surgeon Dr. Timothy Kremchek questioned

A few afternoon notes

Major League Baseball released its full spring training schedule this afternoon, and if offers confirmation that the Orioles will play Triple-A Norfolk in a March 29 exhibition game at Harbor Park. First pitch is slated for 3:05 p.m. The Orioles break camp the previous day after a light workout in Sarasota. Their final Grapefruit League game is March 27 against the Rays at Ed Smith

Orioles launch 60th anniversary website

The Orioles announced today that they've created a 60th anniversary website to celebrate the franchise's move from St. Louis in 1954. Featured on www.orioles.com/60 is a new video contest, "My Orioles Magic Moment," that invites fans to recreate some of the amazing moments that the club has experienced in the last 60 seasons. This month's choice may be my favorite. It's Doug DeCinces' home run

How did Maddux, Glavine and Thomas do against the Orioles?

Before closing the door on yesterday's Hall of Fame announcement and the annual controversy that attaches itself like a barnacle, I decided to check how 2014 inductees Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas fared against the Orioles. In short, quite well. Maddux went 4-2 with a 3.48 ERA in six starts, with 42 hits allowed, five walks and 20 strikeouts in 44 innings. The

Maddux, Glavine and Thomas elected to Hall of Fame, Palmeiro off ballot

One year after failing to induct any players into the Hall of Fame, the Baseball Writers' Association of America agreed that three first-timers deserve entrance into Cooperstown. Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas will be inducted in their first year on the ballot. Maddux received 97.2 percent of the votes, Glavine 91.9 and Thomas 83.7. Craig Biggio barely missed with 74.8 percent. Players must

FanFest tickets on sale today

The Orioles announced that tickets for their annual FanFest at the Convention Center go on sale today at 10 a.m., and their autograph vouchers may be purchased on Jan. 18. Tickets for FanFest will be available online at www.orioles.com/fanfest, via phone at 1-888-848-BIRD or at the Camden Yards box office and the official team store at the York Galleria in York, PA. Tickets are $12

Who's headed to the Hall?

The 2014 inductees into baseball's Hall of Fame will be announced today at 2 p.m. on MLB Network. We won't have a repeat of last year's shutout. Greg Maddux is a slam dunk, though he won't be a unanimous selection. I guess 355 victories, a 3.16 ERA, four Cy Young Awards, eight All-Star selections and 18 Gold Glove Awards - the most all-time at any

Orioles sign Gamboa and Clark to minor league deals

The Orioles announced this afternoon that they signed knuckleballers Eddie Gamboa and Zach Clark to minor league contracts. Gamboa has received an invitation to spring training. Gamboa, 29, was 4-6 with a 3.64 ERA in 16 starts at Double-A Bowie and 2-5 with a 6.23 ERA in nine starts at Triple-A Norfolk. He's 37-34 with a 3.37 ERA in six minor league seasons in the

Jones to receive award at Babe's Birthday Bash

Orioles center fielder Adam Jones will receive the 2014 Babe Ruth Museum Community Service Award at the annual Babe's Birthday Bash on Feb. 6 at Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards. The event, which runs from 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m., also will celebrate the 119th anniversary of Ruth's birth in Baltimore on Feb. 6, 1895 and commemorate the 100th anniversary of Ruth's professional baseball

Six Orioles spring training games to be aired on MASN

The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network will broadcast six of the Orioles' Grapefruit League games in 2014. All six of the games will be played at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. The five afternoon games will be replayed later in the evening on MASN HD, for folks who actually have jobs that remove them from their homes. The complete MASN HD spring training schedule for the Orioles

Because You Asked - State of the Union

The Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Jan. 16, which probably has readers of this blog pacing the floor. Settle down. I'll give you another sequel while you wait. Yes, it's the latest installment of "Because You Asked," where I attempt again to answer these same questions. It's our own little School of Roch dance. Who wants to do the bump? Never mind. I'll

Two former Orioles sign minor league deals

Former Orioles outfielder Chris Dickerson and catcher Taylor Teagarden are no longer on the free agent market. Dickerson signed a minor league deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Teagarden signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets. Both players will receive invitations to spring training. Dickerson batted .238/.266/.400 with five doubles, four homers and 13 RBIs in 56 games with the Orioles last

Expecting anything new from the Orioles' nucleus?

While the Orioles continue to be questioned for their approach to the offseason, with complementary pieces added but no major impact moves, folks in the industry agree that the team has a nucleus that's the envy of its competitors. One agent challenged me to name a club in the American League East that could top the Orioles in center field and at third base, shortstop,

Notes on the rotation, Chen and the upcoming mini-camp

I've already made an attempt to project the Orioles' lineup despite all the weeks that remain before the March 31 opener at Camden Yards. The rotation is just as tricky because executive vice president Dan Duquette is trying to acquire another starter. For now, we probably can agree that Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez and Bud Norris are in the rotation. The fifth spot

Saturday morning Orioles notes

The Orioles' primary focus right now is finding another starting pitcher. It takes precedent over a designated hitter. Unfortunately, they still don't know whether A.J. Burnett wants to pitch in 2014. The Orioles can't wait around on Burnett, the Monkton resident who turned 37 yesterday. They most definitely have interest in him, as I reported at the Winter Meetings, but they still haven't heard whether

Orioles sign Quintin Berry

The Orioles announced today that they've signed outfielder Quintin Berry to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Berry, 29, gives the Orioles another left-handed bat for the outfield. He also presents a much-needed stolen-base threat after Nate McLouth signed with the Nationals as a free agent. Berry is 29-for-29 in stolen base attempts, including the playoffs. He's a career .268/.339/.371 hitter

Orioles maintain interest in Francisco Rodriguez

The Orioles could go in two directions regarding their bullpen. Sign a closer or move Tommy Hunter into the role and acquire another set-up man. Either way, they seem likely to add another reliever before spring training. Though they made an immediate push for free agent closer Fernando Rodney after their deal with Grant Balfour fell apart, he may be too pricy for a team

The holiday hiatus is history

We've moved past the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, also known as baseball's dead zone. The Angels signed veteran left-hander Mark Mulder to a minor league contract yesterday, the Astros signed reliever Jesse Crain to a one-year deal on Tuesday and the Pirates acquired first baseman Chris McGuiness from the Rangers for reliever Miles Mikolas on Monday, so there was a slight pulse.

My Hall of Fame ballot

Eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America were required to submit their Hall of Fame ballots by Dec. 31. I mailed in mine a week early, figuring the career stats of each candidate weren't going to change. There's no perfect ballot. Voters will be criticized for playing morality police and excluding candidates who were linked to performance-enhancing drugs. They will be criticized for

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