Orioles announce Birdland Caravan to be held Feb. 2-5

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The Orioles today announced the return of the club’s ‘Birdland Caravan,’ a four-day winter tour, that will take place from Thursday, February 2, through Sunday, February 5, at multiple locations throughout the region. The first such weekend-long celebration since prior to the COVID-19 pandemic will include autograph sessions and happy hours with current Orioles players, top prospects, broadcasters, members of the front office, and the Oriole Bird. 

New in 2023, the caravan will make stops at Bowlero College Park and Topgolf Baltimore to give fans a unique and fun opportunity to interact with Orioles players and staff as they bowl and tee off with fans. The tour will also feature a community service project with the Maryland Food Bank, closed to the public, as well as fan rallies at Bel Air High School, Wilde Lake High School, and Winters Mill High School that are open to fans of all ages. Designed to take the Oriole Park experience directly to the fans, the Birdland Caravan will make stops throughout Maryland in Baltimore City, Bel Air, Bowie, College Park, Columbia, Frederick, Odenton, Salisbury, Towson, and Westminster, as well as York, Pa. Fans in Elkridge and Owings Mills will also have the opportunity to meet and take photos with the Oriole Bird.

“We are excited to reintroduce the Birdland Caravan to our fans throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and engage with them beyond the ballpark,” said JENNIFER GRONDAHL, Orioles Senior Vice President, Community Development and Communications. “The weekend’s events will feature unique opportunities to interact with players, prospects, and staff, in a larger geographical circle than ever before. We’re eager to get back out into our communities and celebrate the exciting present and future of Orioles Baseball.” 

Current Orioles participating in select events include BRYAN BAKERFÉLIX BAUTISTADL HALLAUSTIN HAYSGUNNAR HENDERSONJOEY KREHBIELDEAN KREMERRYAN McKENNAJOHN MEANSRYAN MOUNTCASTLEADLEY RUTSCHMANKYLE STOWERSRAMÓN URÍASTERRIN VAVRA, and NICK VESPI, along with Orioles prospects HESTON KJERSTAD and GRAYSON RODRIGUEZ. Additionally, Orioles Executive Vice President and General Manager MIKE ELIAS, Vice President and Assistant General Manager, Analytics SIG MEJDAL, Assistant General Manager, Baseball Operations EVE ROSENBAUM, and Manager BRANDON HYDE, a BBWAA American League Manager of the Year finalist, Baseball America Manager of the Year, and the Sporting News AL Manager of the Year, will attend select events throughout the weekend. 

Tickets are required for autograph signings, Bowlero, and Topgolf events. Fans must purchase tickets in advance as availability will be limited. Tickets will go on sale online this Wednesday, January 11 at 10:00 a.m. ET, at Orioles.com/Caravan.

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Orioles claim INF Lewin Díaz from Braves

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The Orioles have made the following roster moves:

  • Claimed INF Lewin Díaz off waivers from the Atlanta Braves.
  • Designated INF Ryan O’Hearn for assignment.

The Orioles’ 40-man roster currently has 40 players.

Nationals sign three to minor league deals

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The Nationals have signed the following players to Minor League contracts with invites to 2023 MLB Spring Training: LHP Anthony Banda, INF Michael Chavis and LHP Francisco Pérez.

Nationals agree to terms with Dominic Smith

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The Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a one-year contract with first baseman Dominic Smith and designated right-handed pitcher A.J. Alexy for assignment on Wednesday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Smith, 27, hit .246 with a .308 on-base percentage and a .424 slugging percentage in 447 games across six Major League seasons with the New York Mets. He recorded 78 doubles, three triples, 46 home runs, 179 RBI, 95 walks and 147 runs scored in that time fame. Smith hit double-digit home runs in three of his last four seasons.

From 2019 through 2021, Smith slashed .269/.332/.455 while clubbing 51 doubles, one triple, 32 homers and 125 RBI in 284 games. He set or matched career marks in nearly every offensive category in 2021, including home runs (11), runs (43), hits (109), RBI (58), walks (32) and stolen bases (two).

 Smith ranked among National League hitters in doubles (2nd, 21), extra-base hits (T2nd, 32), OPS (4th, .993), slugging percentage (4th, .616), RBI (T5th, 42) and batting average (8th, .316) during the 60-game season in 2020.

Smith appeared in 58 Major League games in 2022, hitting .194 with 10 doubles, one triple, 17 RBI, 12 walks and 11 runs scored. He hit .284/.367/.472 with 11 doubles, 10 homers, 38 RBI, 25 walks, four stolen bases and 42 runs scored in 54 games with Triple-A Syracuse. 

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Orioles acquire Ryan O'Hearn from Royals

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The Orioles today announced that they have acquired infielder/outfielder RYAN O’HEARN from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for cash considerations.

 O’Hearn, 29, slashed .239/.290/.321 (32-for-134) with six doubles, one triple, one home run, 14 runs scored, 16 RBI, and eight walks in 67 games with the Royals last season. He spent the entire year on the active roster and led all Major League players with 11 hits as a pinch-hitter, becoming the seventh Royal in team history with 10-or-more pinch-hit hits in one season. In 342 career MLB games, all with Kansas City, he has batted .219/.293/.390 (210-for-960) with 40 doubles, five triples, 38 home runs, 99 runs scored, 131 RBI, and 98 walks. He was originally selected by the Royals in the eighth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Sam Houston State University (TX).

 Additionally, right-handed pitcher CHRIS VALLIMONT has been designated for assignment. The Orioles’ 40-man roster currently has 40 players.

Orioles trade Tyler Nevin to Tigers for cash

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The Orioles have traded Tyler Nevin to the Detroit Tigers for cash considerations.

Nevin was designated for assignment on Dec. 21.

Orioles name Cal Perry Senior Vice President and Chief Content Officer

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The Orioles today announced that CAL PERRY has joined the organization as Senior Vice President and Chief Content Officer. Perry will oversee the Orioles’ creative content efforts and be responsible for integrating the team’s content throughout the organization and with club partners. In this role, he joins the club’s Senior Leadership Team that manages all aspects of the organization’s business and baseball operations, consisting of seven veteran executives each holding decades of industry experience.

“Today, I am extremely proud to announce that yet another highly sought-after, world-class executive from the entertainment, sports, or media industries has accepted my invitation to join the Orioles, as the Club continues to recruit the most talented, forward-thinking individuals inside or outside of MLB and the media space,” said Orioles Chairman and CEO JOHN ANGELOS. “During his two decades covering the world’s biggest stories for the most prestigious media organizations, including CNN, MSNBC, and Al Jazeera, Cal Perry’s reputation as a master storyteller and journalist who brings his audience to the front lines of generational news and human-interest stories, from middle America to the Middle East, is unmatched. Cal joins the Orioles’ Senior Leadership Team at a transformational moment, when there are countless stories to tell, memories to make, and visitors to attract to this community as we expand the Club’s on-field progress and important leadership role in helping the City of Baltimore reach its full potential.”

Perry began his journalism career at CNN as an assignment editor on the International Desk before being promoted to Baghdad-based producer, where he served as an embedded reporter during the Iraq War. At CNN, he gained experience as both a Bureau Chief and correspondent, serving in posts around the world and covering a variety of stories. Perry also spent time with Al Jazeera Media Network as a Senior Correspondent in the Middle East. He later worked as an executive at Voice of America before joining MSNBC. There, Perry has served both as the Global News Editor, Digital Content and most recently as an on-air network correspondent.

A native of Washington, D.C., Perry received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Nationals claim former top-100 prospect Jeter Downs

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The Nationals have claimed infielder Jeter Downs on outright waivers from the Boston Red Sox.

In order to make room on the 40-man roster, the Nationals have designated Reed Garrett for assignment.

The 40-man roster stands at 40.

Orioles acquire James McCann

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The Orioles today announced that they have acquired catcher James McCann and cash considerations from the New York Mets in exchange for a player to be named later.

McCann, 32, slashed .195/.257/.282 (34-for-174) with six doubles, three homers, 19 runs scored, 18 RBI, and three stolen bases in 61 games with the Mets last season but was limited in action due to nine weeks spent on the Injured List with a left hamate fracture (May 11 to June 24) and a left oblique strain (July 10 to August 4). He appeared in one postseason game in the Wild Card Series against the San Diego Padres, entering as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning of game three. McCann is a veteran of 783 MLB games between the Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, and Mets, and caught Lucas Giolito’s no-hitter with the White Sox on August 25, 2020 vs. Pittsburgh. The 2019 American League All-Star was originally selected by Detroit in the second round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Arkansas.

He was named the Mets’ 2022 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes a player from each club who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, sportsmanship, community involvement, philanthropy, and positive contributions, both on and off the field.

Additionally, infielder Tyler Nevin has been designated for assignment. The Orioles’ 40-man roster currently has 40 players.

Orioles agree to terms with right-handed pitcher Mychal Givens

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The Orioles today announced that they have agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher MYCHAL GIVENS on a one-year contract for the 2023 season with a mutual option for 2024. 

Givens, 32, appeared in a combined 59 games between the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs in 2022, pitching to a 7-3 record with two saves, a 3.38 ERA (23 ER/61.1 IP), and 71 strikeouts. His seven wins were tied for third among NL relievers and tied for fifth among MLB relief pitchers. He began the season in Chicago, where he went 6-2 with a 2.66 ERA (12 ER/40.2 IP) in 40 games, including recording his 500th career strikeout in his 387th career game on June 22 at Pittsburgh. He did not allow an earned run in 16 consecutive outings (17.1 IP) from June 16 to July 29, a career best. After he was acquired by the Mets in exchange for right-handed pitcher Saúl González on August 2, Givens appeared in 19 games and went 1-1 with a 4.79 ERA (11 ER/20.2 IP), including pitching to a 1.23 ERA (2 ER/14.2 IP) in his final 12 games of the season, which ended with 11.1 scoreless innings.

A native of Tampa, Fla., Givens was selected by the Orioles as a shortstop in the second round (No. 54 overall) of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of H.B. Plant (FL) High School. He played three minor league seasons as a position player before converting to a pitcher prior to the 2013 season. Givens was named the named the Orioles’ 2015 Jim Palmer Minor League Co-Pitcher of the Year. He made his Major League debut with Baltimore on June 24, 2015. In 419 career appearances over eight Major League seasons with the Mets (2022), Cubs (2022), Cincinnati Reds (2021), Colorado Rockies (2020-21), and Orioles (2015-20), Givens has gone 32-23 with 31 saves, a 3.40 ERA (173 ER/457.2 IP), and 537 strikeouts. His 537 strikeouts since 2015 are the 10th-most by a relief pitcher during that span. 

Additionally, infielder LEWIN DÍAZ has been designated for assignment. The Orioles’ 40-man roster currently has 40 players.

Nationals agree to terms with right-handed pitcher Erasmo Ramírez

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The Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a one-year contract with right-handed pitcher Erasmo Ramírez on Tuesday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Ramírez, 32, went 4-2 with a 2.92 ERA in 60 games for the Nationals in 2022 on his way to being named Nationals Pitcher of the Year by the Washington D.C. media. He ranked among National League relievers in innings pitched (1st, 80.1) and inherited runners scored (5th, 27.3%). He led Washington’s bullpen with a 2.46 ERA in 58 relief appearances. Ramírez made two starts last season, both against Atlanta, on June 13 and July 17. Ramírez pitched 2.0 or more innings in relief in 16 games during the 2022 season. He had a 1.43 ERA over 37.2 innings in those games.

Ramírez posted team-best scoreless innings streaks of 18.0 (Aug. 12 – Sept. 11) and 16.0 (July 17 – Aug. 9) last season. His 18.0 scoreless innings streak was the eighth-longest by a National League reliever in 2022.

Over his final 28 relief appearances last season, Ramírez went 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA (7 ER/42.0 IP), 28 strikeouts, five walks and a .189 opponents’ batting average. He allowed just three of 17 inherited runners to score over that stretch (17.6%).

A veteran of 11 Major League seasons, Ramírez is 37-42 with a 4.21 ERA in 276 career games (94 starts) with Seattle (2012-14, 2017-18), Tampa Bay (2015-17), Boston (2019), New York-NL (2020), Detroit (2021) and Washington (2022).

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Orioles add three players on minor league deals

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The Orioles have made the following roster moves:

  • Agreed to terms on 2023 minor league contracts with RHP Eduard Bazardo, RHP Wandisson Charles, and RHP Kyle Dowdy.

Orioles agree to terms with infielder/outfielder Adam Frazier

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The Orioles today announced that they have agreed to terms with infielder/outfielder ADAM FRAZIER on a one-year contract for the 2023 season. 

Frazier, 31, appeared in a career-high 156 games for the Seattle Mariners in 2022, pacing the team. He slashed .238/.301/.311 (129-for-541) with 22 doubles, four triples, three home runs, 61 runs scored, 42 RBI, 46 walks, and a career-high 11 stolen bases. His four triples led the team and ranked tied for ninth in the American League. According to Statcast, he ranked in the top five percent of MLB in strikeout rate (12.1%) and whiff rate (14.4%). Defensively, he made appearances at five different positions, playing 124 games at second base, 21 in right field, 16 in left field, four at shortstop, and two in center field. He ranked eighth among MLB second basemen with six outs above average, per Statcast. Frazier made his Postseason debut in 2022, appearing in five games for Seattle and tallying five hits with one double, three runs scored, one RBI, and one walk.

In 2021, Frazier was named to his first career All-Star team as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates after slashing .330/.397/.463 (115-for-348) with 26 doubles, four triples, four home runs, 53 runs scored, 29 RBI, 33 walks, and five stolen bases in 89 games prior to the All-Star Break. He finished the year with career highs in hits (176), batting average (.305), doubles (36), runs scored (83), walks (48), and on-base percentage (.368) in 155 combined games between the Pirates (98 G) and San Diego Padres (57 G). He ranked among Major League leaders in hits (8th) and average (10th).

A native of Athens, Ga., Frazier was selected by the Pirates in the sixth round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Mississippi State University. He made his Major League debut with Pittsburgh on June 24, 2016. The left-handed batter is a career .273/.336/.392 (751-for-2,751) hitter with 149 doubles, 25 triples, 43 home runs, 374 runs scored, 257 RBI, 228 walks, 41 stolen bases, and a .728 OPS in 821 combined games with the Mariners (2022), Padres (2021), and Pirates (2016-21). He is a two-time Gold Glove Award finalist at second base (2019-20) and was the Pirates’ recipient of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) Heart and Hustle Award in 2017 and 2021.

The Orioles’ 40-man roster currently has 40 players.

Nationals agree to terms with right-handed pitcher Trevor Williams

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The Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a two-year contract with right-handed pitcher Trevor Williams on Saturday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Williams, 30, went 3-5 with a 3.21 ERA in 30 games (nine starts) for the New York Mets in 2022. He struck out 84 hitters in 89.2 innings and walked just 23. In his nine starts last season, Williams was 2-4 with a 4.19 ERA. As a reliever he was 1-1 with a 2.47 ERA. He collected his first career save at Wrigley Field on July 14, when he finished the final 3.0 innings in an 8-0 win over the Cubs.

A veteran of seven Major League seasons, Williams was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the second round (44th overall) in the 2013 MLB Draft out of Arizona State University. He has gone 38-44 with a 4.27 ERA with three teams since making his debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates as a 24-year-old on September 7, 2016 against the St. Louis Cardinals. He pitched for Pittsburgh from 2016-20, Chicago-NL in 2021 and New York-NL from 2021-22.

In his career, Williams is 35-41 with a 4.33 ERA in 118 starts and 3-3 with a 3.84 ERA in 41 games as a reliever.

The Nationals now have 40 players on their 40-man roster.

Orioles select Andrew Politi in 2022 Rule 5 Draft

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The Orioles have selected RHP Andrew Politi from the Boston Red Sox with the No. 17 overall pick in the Rule 5 Draft.
 

Nationals select Thad Ward in 2022 Rule 5 Draft

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The Washington Nationals selected right-handed pitcher Thad Ward in the Major League phase of the 2022 Rule 5 Draft on Wednesday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Ward, 25, went 0–2 with a 2.28 ERA in 13 starts across four levels of Boston’s Minor League system in 2022. He struck out 66 batters and held opposing batters to a .212 batting average in 51.1 innings pitched. Ward posted a 2.84 ERA with 15 strikeouts in four games (three starts) during the Arizona Fall League season.

The 6-foot-3, 192-pound right-hander was Boston’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2019 after leading the system with 157 strikeouts. He went 8–5 with a 2.14 ERA in 25 starts between Single-A Greenville and High-A Salem in his first full professional season. Ward did not pitch during the 2020 season and underwent Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery on June 3, 2021.

Ward entered the 2022 season rated as the №15 prospect in the Red Sox organization according to MLB Pipeline and the №19 prospect according to Baseball America. He was among Boston’s top 10 prospects in 2021 (№10) and 2020 (№7) and was cited by Baseball America as having the organization’s “best control” in 2021 and “best slider” in 2020.

Ward was selected by the Red Sox in the fifth round of the 2018 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Central Florida. He is 8–10 with a 2.53 ERA, 10.8 strikeouts per 9.0 innings and a .218 opponents’ batting average in 51 career Minor League starts.

Orioles agree to terms on minor league contract with Josh Lester

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The Orioles have made the following roster move:

  • Agreed to terms on a 2023 Minor League contract with INF Josh Lester.

Orioles agree to terms on minor league contract with Nomar Mazara

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The Orioles have made the following roster move:

  • Agreed to terms on a 2023 Minor League contract with OF Nomar Mazara.

Nationals announce select 2023 giveaways and promotions ahead of holiday season

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Just in time for the holidays, the Washington Nationals today unveiled highlights of the club’s 2023 promotional schedule featuring an exciting array of exclusive bobbleheads and other collectibles. Fans can guarantee access to the giveaways of their choice by customizing multi-game ticket packs, available now at nationals.com/TicketFinder. Single-game tickets go on sale later this month with early access for Season Plan Holders and Fan Club members.

The full schedule of promotions and theme nights will be released in early 2023. 

Giveaways

Visitors to Nationals Park will have multiple opportunities to leave with special giveaways commemorating their time at the ballpark. Young stars CJ AbramsJosiah Gray and Keibert Ruiz are immortalized in bobblehead form, while a special two-part series featuring the world-famous Racing Presidents and an exclusive Screech Night OUT bobblehead are exciting must-haves for any Nationals fan.

Additionally, the popular cherry blossom-themed City Connect design will return on and off the field, including as part of the Opening Day t-shirt, Josiah Gray bobblehead and Nationals’ beer stein giveaways.

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Orioles agree to terms with right-handed pitcher Kyle Gibson

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The Orioles tonight announced that they have agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher KYLE GIBSON on a one-year contract for the 2023 season.

Gibson, 35, made 31 starts for the National League champion Philadelphia Phillies in 2022, the fifth time in his career making at least 30 starts in a season. He went 10-8 with a 5.05 ERA (94 ER/167.2 IP) and a career-best 3.00 K/BB ratio (144 K/48 BB). In 18 home starts, Gibson pitched to a 7-4 record with a 4.57 ERA (52 ER/102.1 IP) and 80 strikeouts, compared to a 3-4 record with a 5.79 ERA (42 ER/65.1 IP) and 64 strikeouts in 13 road starts.

Gibson appeared on his fifth career Postseason roster and made his World Series debut in Game 3 at Citizens Bank Park, working 1.0 scoreless inning out of the bullpen with one hit and one strikeout in Philadelphia’s 7-0 loss to the Houston Astros. In two relief appearances during the 2022 Postseason, he worked 2.1 scoreless innings, allowing two hits with one walk and two strikeouts. 

He was named the Phillies’ 2022 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes a player from each club who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, sportsmanship, community involvement, philanthropy, and positive contributions, both on and off the field. While with the Phillies, Gibson donated to Philabundance (a Philadelphia-area nonprofit food bank) and Cradles for Crayons after every strikeout and win and started a Philly Fantasy Football League to support Help One Now, an organization that empowers families in developing countries to end extreme poverty. Gibson serves as vice president of Big League Impact, a nonprofit founded in 2013 by Roberto Clemente Award winner Adam Wainwright (2020) to help people meet basic human needs, including food, clean water, medical care, shelter, and education. He was also nominated for the Clemente Award in 2019 as a member of the Minnesota Twins.

A native of Greenfield, Ind., Gibson was selected by Minnesota in the first round (No. 22 overall) of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Missouri. The 2021 American League All-Star was also a 2011 All-Star Futures Game selection before undergoing ligament transplant surgery on his right elbow late in 2011. He made his MLB debut on June 29, 2013 vs. Kansas City (W: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, HBP, 5 K) and became the third Minnesota pitcher all-time to win his debut while recording at least five strikeouts. Gibson is 89-91 with a 4.52 ERA (755 ER/1,504.0 IP) in 267 career games (261 starts) between the Phillies, Twins, and Texas Rangers. He has appeared in six games, all starts, at Oriole Park while going 3-1 with a 4.13 ERA (15 ER/32.2 IP).