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Joe Mahoney talks about leaving Orioles and joining Marlins

It's been an interesting few days for now-former Orioles prospect Joe Mahoney, who this afternoon was claimed on waivers by the Miami Marlins. Just two days ago, Mahoney was designated for assignment by the Orioles when they traded for Danny Valencia. Now he is headed to a new club and feels he'll be given a good chance to win an opening day roster spot come

The pace of the offseason is about to move into a higher gear

Even though a few players have signed in recent days as free agents, the biggest fish remain out there, setting up what could be an active few days next week when baseball's Winter Meetings get going in Nashville, Tenn. We figure to hear a lot of rumors - maybe even more than usual - about players like Josh Hamilton and Zach Greinke. The Orioles probably

Duquette on Bundy and Gausman: "They have serious talent"

If you are expecting the Orioles brass to try and manage or downplay the high expectations for their top pitching prospects, Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman, don't. Simply put, the Orioles have two of baseball's best young pitchers in that duo and everyone knows it. When Baseball America releases its next list of the sport's top 100 prospects in February, they could rank among the

O's expected to add Luis Pujols to minor league staff, which could lead to other moves

Luis Pujols, who has a famous cousin and who once managed in the major leagues, has agreed to terms to work on the Orioles' minor league coaching staff for the 2013 season. The 57-year-old Pujols, whose cousin Albert has hit 475 big league homers, is a native of the Dominican Republic. He played 15 pro seasons and spent nine years as a backup catcher in

Which Oriole will be next to get a long-term contract?

Well, that new contract that Evan Longoria signed with the Tampa Bay Rays was a surprise to me. I guess if there was one player to lock up long-term for that franchise, it's Longoria. But the Rays had Longoria under team control through the 2016 season. Why add six years to that? Maybe the Rays will be proven to have made a smart move here,

O's want McLouth, but he should want them, too

The Orioles say they'd like Nate McLouth back. He played well for the last two months of last year and was the Orioles' best hitter in the playoffs. Now that he is a free agent, McLouth can sign with any team and the Orioles will likely have competition as they try to retain the 32-year-old lefty hitter. But maybe one thing they have in their

A look at the stand-pat theory

There seems to be a concern among some of the Orioles' fan base that the club wants to return pretty much the same roster as it had last year. A concern that the club may stand pat, so to speak. I say one big reason to not worry about that theory is the duo of Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter. Those men were at the

What's the price for pitching?

Jeremy Guthrie went 9-17 with an ERA of 4.33 for the 2011 Orioles. This July, he was traded from Colorado to Kansas City. After his first three starts with the Royals, he was 3-12 with a 6.10 ERA between the two teams. This week, Guthrie signed a new deal with Kansas City for three years and $25 million. The Yankees signed Hiroki Kuroda to a

On Turkey Day, thankful for baseball

On Thanksgiving Day, I'm thankful for baseball. No, it shouldn't outrank the importance of family and friends in our lives, our health and so forth, but it's pretty important to many of us. Some of us make our living in the game and we're glad and thankful there are great O's fans like you out there that make that possible. So keeping all that in

Bowie manager Gary Kendall talks about Schoop and Belfiore

The Orioles added infielder Jonathan Schoop and left-handed pitcher Mike Belfiore to their 40-man roster yesterday. It will mean, for one, that each player will report to spring training when the big leaguers do. It also could be a big step for both as they look to get to the majors with the Orioles. The man who saw the pair play every day this year

A look at some players that could be eligible for the Rule 5 draft (updated)

By 11:59 p.m. Eastern time tonight, the Orioles will have to set their 40-man roster for the Rule 5 draft which will be held Dec. 6 during the upcoming Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn. Essentially the rules state that a player in your organization that is not on your 40-man roster can be taken by another team in the Rule 5 draft if the player

Is the balance of power shifting in the AL East?

An opinion I have heard is that one reason the Orioles were able to make a 24-win improvement during the 2012 season was tied to the fall of the Boston Red Sox, who lost 21 more games in 2012 than the previous year. The Orioles moved forward and the Red Sox fell back. It may be not that simple, but that is a theory that

A matter of pitching

When you go from last in the American League to sixth in team ERA in one year, that is an impressive improvement. The Orioles did that in 2012, with a 3.90 team ERA after posting a 4.89 ERA to rank 14th the year before. The improved pitching - both the quality and depth of it - was a big key to the club's 24-win improvement.

When it comes to finding good ballplayers, should character count?

When it comes to selecting baseball players for your team, should character count? I say a big yes to that, and in a sport that seemingly has a stat for everything, how can you rate how much having players of solid character helps your team? Do you believe in having a strong clubhouse? I don't know how to rate it, but I think it's important

Quick takes on the big trade, strikeouts, David Price and more

Some quick takes today and please jump in with comments and opinions as you provide your takes on mine. The Toronto Blue Jays, 2013 American League East champs?: Pardon me if I wait for them to play the season before attending the Blue Jays' victory parade. No, the Orioles don't need to counter this move. This is not chess, or the Red Sox and Yankees.

One vote for Orioles to offer Mark Reynolds arbitration

I've come to this conclusion and I wonder if the Orioles are thinking the same way: If they truly want Mark Reynolds to be their first baseman in 2013, they should simply offer him arbitration and guarantee he stays with the club through next year. The Orioles must decide whether to offer Reynolds arbitration by Nov. 30 or they could non-tender him. That means no

The scoop on Schoop's bat and the AL Manager of the Year Award

He may be ranked as the Orioles' third-best prospect, but there are a few offensive concerns about infielder Jonathan Schoop. In my recent interview with Matt Forman of Baseball America, I asked about them. Forman wrote up the new O's top 10 prospects list recently published by Baseball America. I spoke with him about Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman here and published a Q&A with

A look at second base, backup catcher and the bullpen

While the hot stove season is still in warm-up mode, let's take a look at three aspects of the 2012 Orioles and what they might look like next season. Are the O's set at second base?: The Orioles have a lot of candidates to play at second base, but no one jumps out as the regular right now unless you have confidence that Brian Roberts

What is O's priority? Upgrade the pitching or the offense?

Here is a question I'd love to get many reader responses on this weekend. As the hot stove season now really begins to heat up, are the Orioles more in need of additions to their pitching or offense? The stats sheet says the Orioles performed a little better on the mound than they did at the bat in 2012. Where the O's offense ranked in

MLB ponders smaller September rosters (plus winter ball updates)

The time has probably come for a move like this. It looks like Major League Baseball officials are considering a change to the current rules that allow for teams to carry 40-man rosters in September. It seems some teams choose to call up few players while others bring in a truckload, and some in the sport feel it's not fair that those clubs have more

Rick Peterson talks about Boston interview and possible future with O's

Orioles director of pitching development Rick Peterson remains with the organization after interviewing for the Boston Red Sox pitching coach job, a position that went to Juan Nieves. Peterson continues to say how much he loved working with the club this year, but at the same time, does admit that he would likely have interest if any other big league pitching coach positions come open.

A teammate criticizes Josh Hamilton and a take on Showalter vs. Melvin

You don't see or hear this every day. One teammate openly criticizing another. Especially one that batted .285 with 43 homers, 128 RBIs and an OPS of .930. Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers is a finalist for the AL's Most Valuable Player award with those numbers, but Rangers relief pitcher Mike Adams didn't sound like a huge Hamilton fan yesterday. In an interview on

Showalter named finalist for AL Manager of the Year

Buck Showalter has been named as one of three finalists for the American League Manager of the Year Award, voted on by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. The winner will be announced next Tuesday during a live broadcast at 6 p.m. on MLB Network. The other finalists for the BBWAA award are Oakland's Bob Melvin and Robin Ventura of the Chicago White Sox. Showalter

Orioles make a few scouting staff changes

There have been a few changes in the Orioles' scouting department. David Stockstill is now handling some amateur scouting work with assignments in Missouri and Arkansas, in addition to continuing to handle some international scouting as well. Stockstill added some amateur duties this summer before the draft last June. A member of the O's minor league staff for the last 17 years, Stockstill has been

It's too soon for O's to give up on Nolan Reimold

Nolan Reimold has never played a full season in an Orioles uniform or had more than 358 at-bats. He has just one more chance before his 30th birthday. That's right. Reimold turned 29 on Oct. 12, and that makes him older than Matt Wieters and Adam Jones. He is a month older than Nick Markakis, a player that has 4,055 career at-bats to his 808.

Orioles announce staff promotions

The Orioles today announced several front office staff promotions. Neil Aloise, previously director of sales and fan Services, has been named vice president of ticketing and fan services. Greg Bader, previously director of communications, has been named vice president of communications and marketing; and Mike Hoppes, formerly director of finance, has been named vice president of finance. Aloise served as the team's director of sales

Q&A with the author of the O's top 10 prospects list

For more than 10 years, Will Lingo of Baseball America put together the Orioles top 10 prospects list. But this year, those duties were turned over to Matt Forman. Last week he released this list of the Orioles top 10 prospects: 1 - P Dylan Bundy 2 - P Kevin Gausman 3 - IF Jonathan Schoop 4 - IF Nicky Delmonico 5 - P Eduardo

This is not the year for the Orioles to hand out a huge free agent contract

We should get less of a couple of questions that we used to get bombarded with on these blogs every winter come free agency time - questions like when will the Orioles sign a big name free and how can the Orioles compete without one? The theory that some held to with a vice-like grip - that the Orioles had to spend a lot more

Gary Allenson, Brad Komminsk and two others not returning to Orioles in 2013

Brad Komminsk, the manager of the Orioles' Double-A Bowie affiliate from 2008-10, will not return to the organization for the 2013 season. Komminsk was a field coach at short-season Single-A Aberdeen in 2012 and the year before that was the batting coach for Triple-A Norfolk. Gary Allenson, the manager this season at Aberdeen, also will not return. Larry Jaster and Cesar Devarez will also not

Has the time come for the Orioles to trade some of their pitchers?

It is a fair question to ask. Do the Orioles now have enough pitching depth that they should consider trading some pitchers this offseason? It appears that the answer is yes. The Orioles have a long list of young pitchers that are lower-salaried and years away from free agency. When it comes to making a trade that is almost as important anymore as how talented

Justin Lord will be the new pitching coach for Delmarva

The Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds will have a new pitching coach in 2013. Justin Lord has been hired by the Orioles and will join the Shorebirds staff, even though the parent club has not yet announced any coaching assignments for next year. The past two seasons, Lord was pitching coach with the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League. The Miners won the league championship this

Talking Bundy and Gausman with Baseball America's Matt Forman

The 2012 season was one where the Orioles saw their pitching staff and pitching depth much improved. To make the future outlook even brighter, the Orioles have two of baseball's best young pitching prospects and one or both could be a mainstay in the rotation at some point next season. Dylan Bundy went 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 23 starts this year at three

Looking at the O's minor league leaders in productive team plate appearances

When Mike Boulanger was hired by Dan Duquette in January as the Orioles' minor league hitting coordinator, Boulanger told me he would track something he called productive team plate appearances both by O's minor league players and teams. PTPA, similar to something Buck Showalter referred to as productive outs for Orioles (or POFO), can be a hit, a walk, a sac bunt, a sac fly,

Nearly 800 minor league innings later, Zach Clark makes 40-man roster

If you are an elite prospect like Dylan Bundy, you can make it on your team's 40-man roster the day you sign a contract - and he did. Zach Clark took a longer road, but the former UMBC pitcher and Wilmington, Del., native finally made it yesterday. Clark got an important phone call Wednesday morning as he drove in his car with his wife. He

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