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Notes and quotes from Wednesday’s workout

SARASOTA, Fla. - Jake Arrieta will oppose Jason Hammel in Friday’s intrasquad game at Ed Smith Stadium. Other pitchers will include Kevin Gregg, Matt Lindstrom, Brian Matusz, Alfredo Simon, Dana Eveland, Darren O’Day, Pedro Strop, Zach Phillips, Brad Bergesen, Troy Patton and Miguel Socolovich. Luis Ayala and Armando Galarraga will start Saturday’s intrasquad game, unless manager Buck Showalter decides to replace one of them with

Bundy impresses in live batting practice

SARASOTA, Fla. - The highlight of a slow day this afternoon came when first-round pick Dylan Bundy threw his first live batting practice session behind a protective screen and with hitters given the green light to swing away. They weren’t just tracking pitches here. Chris Davis joked about getting into a low crouch - he almost was scraping the ground - before taking the first

Machado and Schoop in camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - It’s been a pretty slow morning, but I wanted to pass along that top position prospects Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop are in camp. They weren’t extended invitations this spring, but the Orioles planned all along to bring them over and let them work out with the guys in major league camp. They also could play in a few games, especially the

Neshek brings new look to Orioles

SARASOTA, Fla. - I had laptop issues my first week here. Now I need a new phone. I can’t wait to see what March brings. My Blackberry is on its way out. I couldn’t text with half of the keys last night, it kept locking up on me and now the screen is so bright I can barely read it - probably from me smacking

Banks, Showalter and more

SARASOTA, Fla. - So much for another slow day. Yesterday was pretty dead, but there have been nuggets of news today. Let’s start with Josh Banks. Banks, who still lives in Severna Park, signed a minor league deal with the Orioles today after throwing at the Twin Lakes Park complex. He’ll remain there, as I wrote earlier, but could be brought over to the Ed

Simon and Matusz to start exhibition openers

SARASOTA, Fla. - Alfredo Simon and Brian Matusz will start the split-squad exhibition openers on March 5. Simon will face the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte and Matusz will face the Pittsburgh Pirates at Ed Smith Stadium. “Somebody’s got to be first,” manager Buck Showalter said. “That’s probably 80 percent of it.” Also, pitching coach Rick Adair clarified left-hander Zach Britton’s throwing schedule. Britton

Orioles sign Josh Banks

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles have signed former Severna Park High pitcher Josh Banks to a minor league contract. Banks will be assigned to the minor league complex at Twin Lakes Park, but he could come to the Ed Smith Stadium complex at a later date. Banks said the Yankees and Dodgers also were interested. More to come.

Quick Berken and Britton updates

SARASOTA, Fla. - Reliever Jason Berken said he left hamstring feels “a lot better” after receiving more treatment today and running on the water treadmill. Berken said he might play catch Wednesday, depending how his leg feels when he wakes up. “Every day it’s getting better. Hopefully, it will be more of the same tomorrow,” he said. “This is the fifth day rehabbing it and

Josh Banks drawing interest from Orioles (updated twice)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette just confirmed that former Severna Park High pitcher Josh Banks, currently a free agent, is working out at the Twin Lakes Park complex. Banks, who is here for a tryout, is represented by former major league outfielder Gary Sheffield. Yes, Sheffield is an agent, and he just rolled out of camp in a cream-colored Bentley. Banks,

Johnson and Johnson

SARASOTA, Fla. - Jim Johnson threw his second bullpen session this morning, the latest progression from lower-back discomfort that no longer seems to be an issue with the Orioles’ reliever. Johnson is scheduled to throw off a mound again on Friday, Sunday and March 7. He’ll throw live batting practice for the first time on March 10. Yes, the Orioles are being extremely cautious with

Hardy hardly worried about double play partner

SARASOTA, Fla. - Today’s workout begins at 10 a.m., which means clubhouse access for the media from 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Players will stretch and play catch before separating for infield drills, with the regulars occupying the Camden Yards field. Up to this point, Robert Andino has been taking ground balls at second with the projected starters while Brian Roberts heads back indoors to swing off

A few notes from Monday’s workout

SARASOTA, Fla. - The weather here is insane today. The sun was shining when I walked off the back fields, but it started pouring while the media met with manager Buck Showalter. We could hear the rain pounding the roof. I returned to my laptop, and the rain had just about stopped. Maybe a few drops were falling. A minute later, the sky opened up

A few injury updates

SARASOTA, Fla. - I didn’t bother approaching Tsuyoshi Wada’s locker this morning, since that cortisone injection in his left elbow needs another day or two to take effect. His status hasn’t changed. He’ll receive treatment and avoid picking up a ball. Zach Britton will have a light catch day from 60-70 feet. Tomorrow, he’ll repeat Sunday’s routine of long-tossing from 60, 90 and 120 feet

Nick Johnson: “For me, it comes down to health”

SARASOTA, Fla. - How do you know when you’ve had too many surgeries? First baseman Nick Johnson says he’s undergone three or four of them on his right wrist. When I asked how long ago he had a tendon removed, he replied, “I’d be guessing.” When you can’t recall the exact year that a tendon came out of your wrist, that’s a lot of surgeries.

Wada talks about his elbow

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada mostly downplayed the condition of his left elbow, saying, “This is something that’s not even on a level I would consider reporting in Japan.” “It’s a discomfort that I feel about every year and I just thought I would say something about it right off the top,” Wada said through interpreter Danny MacLeith. “It comes about this time

More notes from Sunday’s workout

SARASOTA, Fla. - Here are a few more items from today’s workout. Later, I’ll post comments from pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada, who’s meeting with reporters at 2:30 p.m. Double-A Bowie catcher Caleb Joseph has reported to camp. I watched Zach Britton throw off flat ground, moving back from 60 to 90 to 120 feet - him, not me - and later simulating his delivery, and he

Wada and Johnson updates

SARASOTA, Fla. - Japanese pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada had fluid removed from his left elbow today and he received a cortisone injection. The Orioles will know more about his condition on Tuesday. Wada apparently develops inflammation in the elbow every year around this time, so there doesn’t seem to be much concern. X-rays taken today didn’t reveal anything new beyond the swelling. No structural damage. “We’ll

Wada missing from workout

SARASOTA. Fla. - Following up on my earlier tweet, pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada isn’t participating in today’s workout. Wada reported to the facility, but apparently is dealing with some sort of an injury. Manager Buck Showalter will provide more information after the workout. Jim Johnson threw his first bullpen session at 9 a.m., and Showalter said it “went great.” Zach Britton threw off flat ground again,

Berken update, Strop quotes

SARASOTA, Fla. - Reliever Jason Berken said his sore left hamstring is “definitely feeling better,” but he’ll go at least one more day without throwing. Berken continues to receive treatment on the hamstring, which he strained while running sprints toward the end of Thursday’s workout. “There’s definite improvement,” he said. “The stability is better. Walking feels more normal.” Berken is competing for a bullpen spot.

Notes and quotes from Saturday’s workout

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles will play intrasquad games on March 2 and 3, and they’ll probably add at least one more before breaking camp. My guess is the off-day on March 19 will end up being a pretty busy day for the hard-working media. Same as last spring. The Orioles will take live batting practice Sunday, though it’s mostly “tracking,” with hitters instructed not

Berken better but not back

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles reliever Jason Berken received treatment on his sore left hamstring again today and didn’t take the field with the rest of his teammates. Berken iced the back of his leg and also did some stretching exercises. “It’s feeling better,” he said. “It’s improved from yesterday. That’s a good thing. As far as a timetable goes, I can’t tell you, but it

Quick updates on Johnson and Britton

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles will take the field at 10 a.m. for today’s workout. No bullpen sessions are scheduled, just more pitchers fielding practice, pick-off drills and batting practice. Continue to breathe normally. Jim Johnson got his days mixed up. He’s scheduled to throw off a full mound on Sunday, not today. I’m not sure what I’ll do with my free time. Johnson (lower

This, that and the other

SARASOTA, Fla. - Welcome to the spring training edition of “This, that and the other.” It’s pretty much the same as the Maryland edition, only with tan lines. Executive vice president Dan Duquette wouldn’t comment yesterday on the club’s level of interest in Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler. Fred Ferreira, the organization’s executive director of international recruiting, flew to the Dominican Republic over the weekend to

Markakis says he’s “maybe a little ahead of schedule”

SARASOTA, Fla. - Right fielder Nick Markakis took batting practice earlier today, though he’s not using maximum effort and continues to be brought along slowly as he recovers from abdominal surgery last month. He remains optimistic that he’ll play on opening day. “I feel great,” he said. “I know I’m not there, but I’m on schedule or maybe a little ahead of schedule, depending on

Roberts meets the press

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts seemed cautiously optimistic today about the way he’s progressing, but it remains a mystery whether he’ll be ready for the April 6 opener against the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards. Roberts can’t say for sure when or if he’ll play in an exhibition game. He’s truly day-to-day as he works toward a return. Here are some quotes

Quick hits from camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - Second baseman Brian Roberts met with reporters after today’s workout. I’ll post quotes later. Roberts said he’s “feeling pretty good in general,” but he can’t offer a timetable for when he’ll be ready to play in an exhibition game. He’s limited to “beginning” baseball activities. It’s a “systematic progression” for Roberts. “Every day that goes by, you’re more encouraged,” he said. Jason

Roberts on field, Berken absent (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles took the field an hour early for their first full-squad workout, beginning their stretching exercises at 11 a.m. The clubhouse never opened to the media. The schedule changed because so few position players needed to take their physicals this morning. Most of them already had reported. Second baseman Brian Roberts is on the field. He chatted briefly with pitcher Dylan

Patton’s role is pending

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles are preparing for their first full-squad workout today, which means players won’t take the field until noon. Which means the clubhouse won’t open to the media until 11 a.m. - 2 1/2 hours later than usual. Which means I could have slept longer. Manager Buck Showalter arranged another trip to the local movie theatre here on Main St., just as

More notes from Thursday’s workout (and Berken update)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Reliever Jim Johnson threw off a half mound today and will progress to a regular mound on Saturday. Johnson has been receiving treatment for tightness in his lower back, but he appears to be fine. “Everything’s good,” he said. “I’ll be on a full mound Saturday. Riveting stuff.” I can appreciate good sarcasm. Zach Britton threw on flat ground again today. “Neither

Berken injures hamstring, Roberts update

SARASOTA, Fla. - Reliever Jason Berken tweaked his left hamstring today during conditioning drills. Berken had left the facility before reporters returned to the clubhouse and wasn’t immediately available for comment. Manager Buck Showalter used the word “tweaked,” but added that he wasn’t certain of the severity. He was collecting more information from the training staff. “We’ll see where that is tomorrow,” Showalter said. “I’m

Matusz intent on making 2012 matter

SARASOTA, Fla. - Position players must report to camp today. Third baseman Josh Bell and outfielder Jai Miller arrived this morning. Outfielder Endy Chavez might be the last player to check into the Ed Smith Stadium complex. I haven’t seen Steve Tolleson, but one of the reporters here says that he’s pretty sure that he spotted the infielder earlier this week. I’m taking his word

Mahoney seeking a healthy return

SARASOTA, Fla. - Once the Orioles cut ties with former first-round pick Brandon Snyder over the winter, a path was cleared for Joe Mahoney at Triple-A Norfolk. Nobody is standing in his way. All he has to do is stay on the field. That’s no small feat for the 6-foot-6 Mahoney, considering that he dealt with a variety of injuries in 2011 and seemed to

Showalter speaks after workout

SARASOTA, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter didn’t have to wait long today before a reporter asked about Dylan Bundy’s bullpen session. Five seconds, tops. “Good. As advertised,” Showalter said. “I’ve seen him before. But he’s in a good place. He’s a very serious young man and he’s got a great background and he’s blessed with a lot of skills you have to have to have

More from the bullpen sessions

SARASOTA, Fla. - Dylan Bundy wasn’t the only pitcher who threw in the bullpen today, just the most heavily anticipated. Wei-Yin Chen, Pat Neshek and Armando Galarraga were in Group 1, Willie Eyre, Jason Berken and Brian Matusz were in Group 2, Oliver Drake, Chris Tillman and Oscar Villarreal were in Group 3, Jon Link and Miguel Socolovich were in Group 4, and Steve Johnson

Britton, Bundy and catching update

SARASOTA, Fla. - Zach Britton is scheduled to throw off flat ground Thursday and Friday. According to the left-hander, he’ll rest on Saturday and long-toss again Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, though that schedule is subject to change. Britton is hoping to throw off a mound no later than next weekend. The Orioles will increase the number of Britton’s throws to 100 and more to raise

Wieters and Hester give scouting reports

SARASOTA, Fla. - Matt Wieters caught Tsuyoshi Wada’s bullpen session yesterday, so I decided to get a quick scouting report on the Japanese left-hander before today’s early workout. “I think he’s going to be a good pitcher,” Wieters said. “He’s going to be a mix-it-up guy. It was just a bullpen session, but he was throwing all four pitches on both sides of the plate,

Eveland hoping to plant roots and bury the starter competition

SARASOTA, Fla. - Dana Eveland isn’t known for bringing the heat, so he might want to join a different group when throwing a bullpen session in spring training. Eveland stood next to reliever Matt Lindstrom earlier today. Lindstrom almost knocked the mitt off catcher John Hester’s hand. Eveland appeared to be soft-tossing by comparison. That’s OK. Eveland is more about location anyway, and he looked

More notes from Tuesday’s workout

SARASOTA, Fla. - Tsuyoshi Wada, Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter, Dana Eveland, Matt Lindstrom and Jason Hammel were among the pitchers who threw bullpen sessions today. Wada has a pause in his delivery that batters will need to time. He’s got some deception to it. Matt Wieters insisted on catching Wada and Hammel. He needs to learn more about them. Lindstrom was bringing the heat. He

Sardinha fails physical

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles lost one of their camp catchers today when Dane Sardinha failed his physical. Sardinha, who signed a minor league contract with a spring training invite, has been removed from the roster. The Orioles will summon Michael Ohlman from the minor league complex as a replacement, but it may be temporary. They are expected to add another catcher, either internally or

Britton: “Today was a big step from yesterday”

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles left-hander Zach Britton noted the progress he made during today’s long-toss session at the Ed Smith Stadium complex, and he’s hoping to throw off a mound for the first time by the middle of next week. Britton repeated Monday’s session by making 60-70 throws from about 100 feet, and another 10-15 while simulating his delivery, “It went really well,” he said.

Roberts back in camp (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Second baseman Brian Roberts is hitting off a tee in the covered batting cage at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Roberts is hitting from both sides. At this point in camp, his every move is newsworthy. A few reporters are staking out the cage, hoping to get a quick interview. Also, Ryan Adams is here. Update: Roberts said he’ll speak to the

A few minutes with Betemit and Teagarden

SARASOTA, Fla. - Wilson Betemit is the latest position player to report early to camp. I still haven’t seen Josh Bell, Ryan Adams, Endy Chavez, Jai Miller, Steve Tolleson and Ronny Paulino. Paulino and pitcher Dennys Reyes are having visa issues. Betemit said he’s “really excited” to be here, “especially on a new team and seeing some new guys. I know some guys, a couple

Another chance for Chris Davis

SARASOTA, Fla. - First baseman Chris Davis is out of options, but not out of chances to establish himself in the majors. He’s getting another one in 2012. It’s time to make the most of it. “For me, it feels like the first time in a couple years that I’m going to actually be given a shot to play every day in the big leagues,”

Showalter speaks after workout

SARASOTA, Fla. - Six more pitchers need to be tested Tuesday on director of pitching development Rick Peterson’s biomechanical analysis. I think you should pass the test if you can repeat that sentence without stumbling. Asked about Zach Britton’s progression, manager Buck Showalter said, “So far, so good. It’s kind of like trying to keep in mind where the finish line is. The only thing

The hunt for Brian Roberts

SARASOTA, Fla. - Second baseman Brian Roberts showed up at major league camp today. We’re not ready to put a tracking device on him, but it’s good to know he’s at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Roberts took some swings in the cage. He’s been hitting soft toss and off a tee, and he’s playing catch. Manager Buck Showalter has been darting from one back

More positive results for Britton (and notes)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Zach Britton said his flat-ground session went “really well” today, and he remains encouraged by the progress he’s making after being bothered again by inflammation in his left shoulder. Britton moved back to 100 feet today while making 60-70 throws. He also simulated his delivery on another 10-15 throws, also on flat ground. Britton said he’ll do the same thing Tuesday in

Andino: “My focus is just to be ready”

SARASOTA, Fla. - Don’t try to pin a job description on Robert Andino. Second baseman? Super-utility player? Leadoff hitter? It doesn’t matter to him. You can ask all you want, but his answer isn’t going to change. “My focus is just to be ready,” Andino said. “Whatever the boss says to do, I’m going to do. I’m just here trying to help the team win,

Bundy satisfied to be a student in camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - Dylan Bundy is in camp with the Orioles with one goal in mind, and it’s not to be introduced on opening day. Give the kid credit for being a realist. “It’s to learn from all these older guys and pick their brains and see what they’re thinking and what their thought process is on the field and learn as much baseball as

More from Showalter

SARASOTA, Fla. - Dylan Bundy, the Orioles’ first-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, won’t throw until Monday, but he’s already made a favorable impression on manager Buck Showalter. “He’s a pretty serious kid, and rightfully so. And it’s not because he’s nervous, either,” Showalter said. “I’m sure he’s trying to figure out a way to make the club. He’s a very attentive listener.

Wrapping up the first day of workouts

SARASOTA, Fla. - Today’s first workout consisted mostly of pitchers fielding practice, which rivals watching paint dry in terms of excitement. A group of pitchers threw inside the covered batting cage, which is off-limits to reporters. They also underwent the biomechanical pitching analysis designed by new director of pitching development Rick Peterson. “We’re breaking them up. It’ll go on for at least two more days.

Wada getting acclimated to new surroundings

SARASOTA, Fla. - Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada threw in the indoor batting cage today as the Orioles’ first workout for pitchers and catchers concluded at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. The area is off-limits to media, so I can’t tell you how the ball came out of his hand. Wada is drawing a lot of attention from the Japanese media. They filmed him tying his

Johnson downplays “little strain” in lower back

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles reliever Jim Johnson said he’ll probably be a week behind the other pitchers in camp because of lower-back discomfort that has subsided. Johnson described his condition as “a little strain” and playfully chided reporters for rushing to his locker for an update. “I had a little problem in the offseason and went and saw a doctor and we’ve been working on

Preparing for the first workout

SARASOTA, Fla. - Pitchers and catchers are taking their physicals this morning, which pushes back the time of today’s first workout to noon on the back fields of the Ed Smith Stadium complex. One field is under construction, with concrete being spread over it yesterday. I’ll assume it’s an artificial surface. Otherwise, the grass is going to look the same as the stuff growing in

More notes and quotes from camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - Brian Roberts showed up today, according to manager Buck Showalter, who told reporters that the second baseman had a good look on his face and seemed upbeat. Outfielders Nolan Reimold and Scott Beerer also are in camp, and they have a very similar look. Beerer is the early favorite to beat Reimold in a sprint, which is interesting. You’ve seen how fast

Showalter taking it slow with Jim Johnson (with quote)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he’s going to be cautious early in camp with pitchers Zach Britton and Jim Johnson. Britton is receiving treatment for inflammation in his left shoulder. He played long toss again today, and pitching coach Rick Adair told Showalter that the session went very well. No soreness, no symptoms. Meanwhile, Showalter revealed that Johnson has “some patella stuff

An empty clubhouse slowly fills up

SARASOTA, Fla. - By the time I left the clubhouse this morning, I had spotted pitchers Zach Britton, Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, Alfredo Simon, Pedro Strop, Tommy Hunter, Jason Berken, Brad Bergesen, Jason Hammel, Oliver Drake, Pat Neshek, Matt Lindstrom, Jon Link, Dana Eveland, Zach Phillips, Dylan Bundy, Darren O’Day and Wei-Yin Chen, and catchers Matt Wieters, Taylor Teagarden and Brian Ward. Pitcher Steve Johnson

Reporting for duty (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Pitchers and catchers will report to camp today, and the media has been granted clubhouse access from 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m. In the past, we’ve been allowed to stake out the clubhouse all morning and afternoon, so I’m not sure why a change has been implemented. New regime, new rules? I’ve already experienced my weird moment of the day. I got into my

The view from inside the clubhouse

SARASOTA, Fla. - I’m staying in a different hotel this spring, so I must rely on my horrible sense of direction and my GPS to find my way to Ed Smith Stadium and downtown Sarasota. The good news: I’m very close to the Sarasota airport. The bad news: I flew into Tampa. Though it’s overcast and a light rain has been falling, the temperature was

Off to Sarasota

Did I actually make it out of Maryland this winter without shoveling snow? Will I actually go another year without missing my flight? I don’t even know who I am anymore. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training Saturday, which means I need to be in Sarasota today. Players start to trickle in early, and I always love playing “Who’s that guy?” There’s no way

Quick Britton update

Orioles pitcher Zach Britton was encouraged by today’s long-toss session at the Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota. Britton wrote in a text message that the session went “really well.” “My arm felt fresh,” he said. Britton will play catch again on Saturday and continue to take anti-inflammatory medication for his left shoulder, which began bothering him again in the middle of December. The key

Listing this and that

The final items on my to-do list must be crossed off today. I’m running out of time before boarding my flight to Sarasota tomorrow morning for the start of spring training. The Orioles don’t have any other players facing arbitration hearings, and they’re not expected to anger any other countries. It should be a slow day. Speaking of lists, I’ll be sure to add Zach

Sources: MLB will void Seong-Min Kim’s contract

The Korean Baseball Organization’s protest over the Orioles’ signing of Seong-Min Kim will lead to Major League Baseball voiding the contract of the 17-year-old Korean pitcher, according to industry sources. I’m still trying to receive confirmation from the Orioles. I’m told that the Orioles could be facing some sort of punishment, and they will have to restart the negotiating process at a later date if

Britton dealing with inflammation in shoulder, but MRI negative

Orioles pitcher Zach Britton said he’s been dealing with inflammation in his left shoulder since the middle of December, but an MRI didn’t reveal any structural damage and he isn’t concerned about his availability for the April 6 opener if he makes the team. Britton will play catch from 90 feet Thursday and throw again on Saturday if his shoulder responds favorably. “They want to

Dan Duquette issues statement on Zach Britton

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette has been fielding calls this morning about left-hander Zach Britton’s health, which led to the club issuing the following statement on his behalf: “We are currently monitoring Zach Britton. He has already reported to spring training and is scheduled to begin his throwing progression this Friday.” Duquette’s cousin, former Orioles executive Jim Duquette, tweeted this morning that Britton will

Showalter says Andino “front-runner” for second base job (with Britton note)

Now that Adam Jones is under contract for 2012, we can focus on other matters, like whether the Orioles will sign him to an extension. Executive vice president Dan Duquette prefers to wait until after the season and avoid any distractions. Those talks remain on the back burner, where they’ve been all along. In the meantime, Jones can report to Ed Smith Stadium later this

Orioles avoid arbitration with Adam Jones (updated)

The Orioles have signed center fielder Adam Jones to a one-year contract, avoiding an arbitration hearing that was scheduled for Friday morning in St. Petersburg, Fla. Jones, 26, batted .280/.319/.466 and set career highs in games (151), doubles (26), home runs (25), RBIs (83), stolen bases (12) and total bases (264). He was named Most Valuable Oriole by the media covering the team. Jones was

A few random thoughts

Because so many of you must be curious, I’ll reveal that my car passed the emissions inspection. The entire test lasted about two minutes. So worth the drive to Westminster. I’ve got more items to cross off my to-do list before Friday morning’s early flight to Sarasota, but I’ll keep at least one eye on the blog. There’s still a good chance that the Orioles

Orioles retain interest in Soler, five others

Fred Ferreira, the Orioles’ executive director of international recruiting, still plans on flying to the Dominican this weekend to scout six Cuban players, including 19-year-old outfielder Jorge Soler. Ferreira said he spoke this morning with Soler’s representatives. He has a general idea of what they’re looking for in terms of a contract. “A little bit, but that changes sometimes day to day,” Ferreira said. “When

Are the Orioles done for now? (with notes)

We could be facing a fairly quiet week if executive vice president Dan Duquette really is finished making changes to the roster before pitchers and catchers report to spring training. I’m still expecting a trade or two to go down before opening day, with the bullpen surplus a likely selling point to opposing teams. The last remaining order of business this week could be settling

Late-inning intrigue (updated)

We’re less than a week away from pitchers and catchers taking the back fields at Ed Smith Stadium for the Orioles’ first spring training workout. I can’t guarantee much these days, but I’m fairly certain that it won’t be snowing sideways. Here’s the list of non-roster invitees: Pitchers Edell, Ryan LHP Eyre, Willie RHP Galarraga, Armando RHP Johnson, Steve RHP Link, Jon RHP Neshek, Pat

40-man maneuvering

Take another look at the 40-man roster and count how many players were added from outside the organization after Robert Andino’s walk-off single beat the Red Sox on Sept. 28. I’m not including pitcher Oliver Drake, who was protected in the Rule 5 draft: Pitchers: Jake Arrieta Luis Ayala Brad Bergesen Jason Berken Zach Britton Dylan Bundy Wei-Yin Chen Oliver Drake Dana Eveland Kevin Gregg

Duquette on Ramirez and other topics

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette has pretty much dismissed the possibility that he’ll sign veteran designated hitter Manny Ramirez. “I don’t think there’s going to be a fit for Manny,” Duquette said. “We’ve looked at that all winter and I’m not sure there’s a fit there for the Orioles. I wish Manny a lot of luck, but I just don’t think he fits in

Orioles issue statement regarding Seong-Min Kim

Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has issued the following statement regarding 17-year-old Korean pitcher Seong-Min Kim: “On behalf of the Orioles organization, I offer a sincere apology to the Korea Baseball Organization and the Korea Baseball Association for the club’s unintentional breach of protocol in failing to tender a status check in the process of signing Seong-Min Kim. The Orioles respect

Orioles not likely to sign Ramirez

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette indicated tonight that the Orioles won’t sign veteran designated hitter Manny Ramirez. Duquette, talking to a small group of reporters at Babe’s Birthday Bash, said he doesn’t see a fit between the Orioles and Ramirez. Duquette also said he doesn’t expect to add any more players between now and the start of camp. I’ll post his comments later.

Matt Angle designated for assignment

Outfielder Matt Angle was designated for assignment today to make room for reliever Luis Ayala on the 40-man roster. Angle, 26, batted .271/.347/.344 in 108 games for Triple-A Norfolk in 2011 before joining the Orioles for 31 games and hitting .193/.293/.266 with four doubles, one homer - off Cy Young winner Justin Verlander - seven RBIs and 11 stolen bases. Angle and Kyle Hudson were

Orioles reach agreement with Luis Ayala (updated)

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette found another late-inning reliever without making a trade. The club has reached agreement with right-hander Luis Ayala, and the deal will become official once his physical is completed and the results are known. It’s believed to be a major league deal, which would require a corresponding 40-man roster move. Ayala, 34, was 2-2 with a 2.09 ERA in 52

So ... what now?

Now that the dust has settled from that flurry of activity yesterday - Brad Bergesen’s arbitration ruling, Nick Johnson’s minor league contract - it’s time to wonder whether the Orioles are finished with the roster before pitchers and catchers report to spring training Feb. 18. I’m guessing that at least one more move is made before that date. Perhaps another late-inning reliever is added to

Orioles reach agreement with Nick Johnson

The Orioles have reached agreement with first baseman Nick Johnson on a minor league contract that includes an invitation to spring training. Johnson could give manager Buck Showalter another option at first base and designated hitter. He also could share time at those spots with Joe Mahoney at Triple-A Norfolk. No promises come with the deal, only an opportunity. Johnson, 33, didn’t play in the

Bergesen loses in arbitration (O’s sign Stuart Pomeranz)

Orioles pitcher Brad Bergesen came out on the losing side in yesterday’s arbitration hearing in St. Petersburg, Fla. Bergesen will make $800,000 this season after earning $434,000 in 2011. He sought $1.2 million. The Orioles haven’t lost a hearing since 1995 with pitcher Ben McDonald. They’re 7-0 with general counsel H. Russell Smouse. Yesterday’s hearing included Smouse, executive vice president Dan Duquette, director of baseball

Deep depth thoughts (and more)

We should find out today whether Brad Bergesen was declared the winner in his arbitration hearing, which would represent the Orioles’ first defeat since 1995 with former pitcher Ben McDonald. Don’t feel bad if it happens. The money isn’t coming out of your checking account. Either way, Bergesen will receive a healthy raise. In this economy, that’s reason to celebrate. Also, the Orioles could announce

Orioles interested in Nick Johnson (updated)

The Orioles have discussed signing free-agent first baseman Nick Johnson to a minor league contract. No word yet on whether an agreement has been reached, but his name has come up in the warehouse. Update: No deal is in place, but the sides are close to an agreement. Johnson, 33, didn’t play in the majors last year. He appeared in 53 games with Triple-A Columbus

Revisiting the Adam Jones debate (and more)

Just a reminder that Brad Bergesen’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for today in St. Petersburg, Fla. Bergesen is seeking $1.2 million and the Orioles are offering $800,000. He made $434,000 last season. Adam Jones’ hearing is scheduled for Feb. 17. He’s seeking $7.4 million and the Orioles countered at $5 million. He made $3.25 million last season. I’ll say it again: The Orioles need to

Ferreira will scout Cespedes and Soler in Dominican

The Orioles are still trying to determine their level of interest in Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. The next step is for Fred Ferreira, their executive director of international recruiting, to take another look at him. Ferreira will head to the Dominican Republic in about 10 days to watch Cespedes work out. This will be his first look at the 26-year-old Cuban defector since shortly after

Former Orioles outfielder Danny Clyburn shot and killed in S.C.

I have the unfortunate task of passing along some tragic news regarding former Orioles outfielder Danny Clyburn. Clyburn was shot and killed early this morning in Lancaster, S.C., according to a report in The Herald. He would have been 38 on opening day. The Herald reported that Derrick Lamont Mcilwain, 36, of Lancaster, has been arrested and charged with murder and possession of a weapon

This and that

I woke up this morning without another pitcher being traded. We’re off to a good start. Brad Bergesen’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for tomorrow in St. Petersburg, Fla., and there will have to be a flurry of activity between the two sides today to avoid it. Right now, it seems inevitable. Bergesen, also a trade candidate, is seeking $1.2 million. The Orioles are offering $800,000.

A few more items from today’s trade

One member of the organization insisted today that the Rockies provided “by far the best offer” that the Orioles received for pitcher Jeremy Guthrie. Some teams wanted the Orioles to eat a lot of salary and they weren’t dangling prospects in return. The Orioles and Guthrie were $3 million apart and headed to arbitration this morning. The Orioles weren’t going to split the difference, and

Duquette: “We didn’t have any offers of young prospects for Jeremy”

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette just completed a conference call with reporters that also included new pitchers Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom. He described them as being dependable, durable, qualified major league pitchers. Hammel is viewed as capable of replacing Jeremy Guthrie’s innings in the rotation, and Lindstrom will work the back end of the bullpen with experience as a closer and set-up man.

Guthrie talks about the trade

The Orioles officially announced today’s trade that sent Jeremy Guthrie to the Colorado Rockies for pitchers Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom. They also confirmed that left-handed specialist Clay Rapada has been designated for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Guthrie said the deal was pretty much done Saturday night. “I talked to my agent, Brodie (Van Wagenen) and all parties involved and

Guthrie headed to Colorado (updated)

The Orioles had an arbitration hearing scheduled today with pitcher Jeremy Guthrie in St. Petersburg, Fla., but it’s been postponed amid rumors that he’s about to be traded. And according to a source, a deal is close with the Rockies that would bring pitchers Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom to Baltimore. Hammel, 29, was 7-13 with a 4.76 ERA in 32 games - including 27

Orioles lineup remains unsettled

Let’s get this one out of the way first: Giants 27, Patriots 24. Victor Cruz is MVP. And the Ravens are still the best team in the AFC. Judging by the 310 comments I’ve received on yesterday’s Manny Ramirez entry, it appears that the majority of readers here don’t want the Orioles to sign him. It’s an unscientific poll, but that’s telling. According to MLBTradeRumor’s

Should Manny be Manny in Baltimore?

I opened yesterday’s “Mid-Atlantic Sports Report” with a mini-rant against the Orioles signing Manny Ramirez. I may as well expand on it here. I’m just searching for the logic behind their interest, beyond a few obvious points. First of all, executive vice president Dan Duquette is looking for another bat, and it would fit nicely in the designated hitter and cleanup spots. As it currently

Larish signs minor league deal with Orioles (updated)

Former Tigers and Athletics outfielder Jeff Larish posted on Facebook today that he signed a minor league deal with the Orioles. A team official confirmed it. That’s the usual order. Facebook first, then the team. Larish 29, won’t receive an invitation to spring training. Larish, a left-handed hitter, has been a corner infielder and outfielder. He’s hitting .224/.308/.360 with eight homers and 32 RBIs in

Your most intriguing spring training story lines

I realize that pitchers and catchers don’t report to spring training for 15 more days, but I’m already making a mental list of the most important story lines that I’ll be following through March. I should probably write them down, since I don’t trust my memory, but I’d probably forget where I put the list. There are three that instantly come to my mind. I’m

Jackson’s off the board (Kotchman too)

The Nationals just confirmed that they have reached agreement with free-agent pitcher Edwin Jackson on a one-year deal. Various reports place its worth at approximately $10 million. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports was the first to tweet the news, saying that Jackson was spotted at the airport as he arrived in town for his physical. Heyman didn’t specify which airport. Plenty of people fly into

Tillman trying to turn around career (and note)

If Chris Tillman isn’t part of the Orioles’ rotation when they break camp, it won’t be from a lack of effort. Tillman continues to work out with Orioles special assistant Brady Anderson in California, part of a group that also includes Brian Matusz, Tommy Hunter, Scott Beerer and Rick VandenHurk. “Workout-wise, we’re getting after it pretty good, whether Brady is here or not,” Tillman said.

Katz keeping quiet about Cespedes

This is going to qualify as one of those non-update updates that you’ve grown to love or hate. I’m not sure which side you’re on, but here it comes. Adam Katz, the agent for Yoenis Cespedes, would only confirm earlier today that “several teams are involved” with the Cuban outfielder, who became a free agent last month. The Orioles are one of them, and executive

Impacted wisdom truth

Breaking news: The Orioles aren’t expected to sign Edwin Jackson. In other news, Rhode Island isn’t a road or an island, and Billy Cundiff isn’t automatic from inside the 35. The Orioles weren’t going to give Jackson more than three guaranteed years for the money he’s been seeking, and he wasn’t going to sign with them for one year and re-enter the free-agent market next

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