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 CibaeÃ±as.
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 players for Prince Fielder unless his price drops considerably. That puts the Nationals back in the driver's seat.
As long as we're using a car analogy, an Orioles official told me last week that he wouldn't be surprised if they "kicked the tires" on Fielder at some point. But that was more speculation than scoop. And any interest from the Orioles also would require the first baseman's demands to plummet.
In case you missed it yesterday - I buried it in the update on 17-year-old New Zealand infielder Pita Rona - the Orioles haven't signed pitcher Armando Galarraga. They want to and will continue to work toward an agreement, but he hasn't put his signature on a contract.
If it doesn't happen, Triple-A Norfolk might have to settle for an eight-man rotation.
Speaking of Rona, here's what director of international operations David Stockstill says about him:
"Pita Rona is a very athletic young player who has been successful at softball, a big game internationally for New Zealand. He runs well, has good bat accuracy, shows good power potential and has good throwing accuracy. He's 6 feet 5. He's been a softball player and is switching over to baseball. We believe he has the raw tools and the ability to make the switch and become a very good baseball player. We believe his foot quickness and arm strength will allow him to make the adjustment from softball shortstop to baseball third base.
"The change to baseball will take some time and patience, as many of the actions will need to be adjusted to be more effective in baseball, but he has the ability to make those adjustments. We expect him to play in the Major League Baseball Australian Baseball Academy this summer, and we'll make necessary decisions based upon his progress.
"Brett Ward has been scouting him and has stayed ready for the moment he changed sports so that we'd be prepared to try to sign him when he made the switch in sports."
Check out this photo of Rona's father, Brad, and see if he reminds you of a certain major league player who's attempting a comeback.
It's just Brad being Brad.
Checking Twitter last night, I saw that a fan asked Adam Jones (@SimplyAJ10) what position he would play if he couldn't play center field. His response: "SS and the Orioles know it."
They sure do, and it won't happen.
New Orioles infielder Matt Antonelli (@MattAntonelli9) tweeted the following: "Day One in the books and still haven't been beat up for wearing my Brady jersey around Baltimore."
Let's hope it doesn't happen.
Jaime Moyer (Rockies) and Oliver Perez (Mariners) signed contracts yesterday. Who's next, Scott McGregor?
He turned 58 yesterday, in case you forgot to wish him a happy birthday.
The Orioles have received more than 300 applications for the job of public address announcer. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 26.
Applicants must be available for all 81 home games, as well as any make-up dates or postseason games, starting at least two hours before the scheduled game time. A complete job description can be found at www.orioles.com/voice. Those interested in applying for the position should visit the website to submit a voice recording based on the provided sample gameday script. Submissions will also be accepted via mail at Voice of Camden Yards Audition, 333 West Camden Street, Baltimore, MD 21201.