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Showalter meeting with Rasmus this week

If the Orioles are going to sign free agent outfielder Colby Rasmus, he’s got to pass the eye test of manager Buck Showalter. Showalter is planning to meet with Rasmus this week at the outfielder’s Georgia home, according to a source. An agreement could be reached soon after on a one-year deal. The Orioles believe they can get Rasmus in the range of $5 million

A few thoughts on 25-man and 40-man rosters

The Mariners reportedly have acquired Seth Smith from the Padres, removing another outfielder from the Orioles’ list of possible winter acquisitions. The Orioles have been in discussions with the Padres while continuing their search for a left-handed hitting outfielder who also can rotate into the designated hitter slot. I’m not close to the Padres, but I assume that they’ll hold onto Will Venable, who also

Orioles have real interest in Rasmus

I’m still hearing that the Orioles don’t have serious interest in free agent Ichiro Suzuki. However, they do hold legitimate interest in another left-handed hitting outfielder, Colby Rasmus, and have maintained a dialogue with agent Casey Close since the Winter Meetings in San Diego. This is more than just rumor or speculation. The Orioles need a left-handed hitting outfielder who can rotate into the designated

Random Orioles notes

The Orioles have been viewed as the favorites to host the 2016 All-Star Game, but I’m told that it’s not going to happen. The club hasn’t been officially notified, but a source says it won’t be played at Camden Yards. The Orioles last hosted the All-Star Game in 1993, one year after the ballpark opened. The 2015 All-Star Game will be played in Cincinnati, and

Is Pearce poised to become prized free agent?

Throughout the Winter Meetings and the days that followed, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette stated that the club was more likely to sign a free agent than make a trade. The Orioles reached agreement with left-hander Wesley Wright and outfielder Delmon Young on one-year deals, taking two free agents off the market, but their next move could come via trade. How else are they

Hardy signing still a bargain

The Orioles have been quiet since reaching agreement Wednesday with outfielder Delmon Young on a one-year deal. The warehouse is closed, though executive vice president Dan Duquette remains open for business if anyone wants to talk. The wrapping paper is still scattered under the tree, but the Orioles received an early present on Oct. 9 when shortstop J.J. Hardy signed a three-year, $40 million extension

Lavarnway acquisition further clouds Clevenger’s future

The Orioles have proceeded through winters past with one or two catchers on their 40-man roster. After claiming Ryan Lavarnway off waivers this week, the club seems to be collecting them like ornaments. Lavarnway is the fifth catcher added to the 40-man, leaving more doubts about whether Steve Clevenger has a future in the organization. Matt Wieters might not be ready on opening day, but

Bundy: “This is a big year for me”

I want to start out by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday or whatever works for you on this day. Enjoy it with family and friends. Any list of Orioles pitching prospects always includes Dylan Bundy in the top spot. Ligament-reconstructive surgery on his right elbow didn’t change the order. The strained right latissimus dorsi that ended his 2014 season is a distant

Orioles reach agreement with Delmon Young on one-year deal

The Orioles can cross another item off their winter shopping list, having reached agreement with free agent outfielder Delmon Young on a one-year contract. The deal is pending a physical, which will be completed after the New Year, according to a source. He’s guaranteed $2.25 million and can reach $3 million in incentives. Young, 29, was seeking a multi-year deal after batting .302/.337/.442 with 11

“Because You Asked - Lost in New York”

I’m a day late for the big Festivus celebration - now I’m stuck with that pole I ordered from Amazon.com - but it’s always an appropriate time for the airing of the grievances. I’ll start with how I keep answering the same questions over and over as if I’m typing in invisible print. (It’s not really a major gripe for me, but I’m tying together

Orioles claim Lavarnway, release Berry

With the list of available catchers dwindling, the Orioles have claimed former Red Sox prospect Ryan Lavarnway off waivers from the Cubs and released outfielder Quintin Berry. The 40-man roster, which remains full, includes catchers Matt Wieters, Caleb Joseph, Steve Clevenger and Michael Ohlman. Lavarnway, 27, also can play first base and serve as a designated hitter. “Lavarnway has good athletic ability and has been

Trying to decide on the roster in December

As we approach the Christmas holiday, the Orioles still have lots of work to do on their roster unless they’re committed to starting Alejandro De Aza or David Lough in left field and Steve Pearce in right. Executive vice president Dan Duquette wanted two more outfielders - one who batted from the left side and one who batted from the right. He wanted another catcher

This, that and the other

The Orioles have hired former major league third baseman Sean Berry as the hitting coach at Triple-A Norfolk. Berry replaces Denny Walling, who retired to spend more time with his family. Berry, 48, had been the Padres minor league hitting coordinator. He previously served as the Astros hitting coach. Berry played for the Expos while Dan Duquette was their general manager. The Orioles still need

Wieters on Markakis leaving

Since the day that Nick Markakis made his decision to accept a four-year offer from the Braves, I’ve been asked about the leadership void in the Orioles clubhouse and how it will be filled. Does it even exist? Let’s take a look. Adam Jones is the vocal leader, and younger players also can turn to J.J. Hardy, Matt Wieters and Darren O’Day, among others. But

Kirby on Coolbaugh: “I think he’s going to be great”

If anyone in the Orioles organization truly knows Scott Coolbaugh, it’s got to be first base coach Wayne Kirby. Room with a guy for four years in spring training and you’re going to learn plenty about him. Kirby and Coolbaugh were paired up while they worked in the Rangers organization. The Orioles hired Coolbaugh on Friday to replace Jim Presley as hitting coach, a move

Wieters on his rehab and opening day

Orioles pitchers and catchers aren’t due to report to the Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota for another two months. The first game won’t be played until April 6 at Tropicana Field. Matt Wieters has no idea whether he’s going to be in the lineup, only that it remains his primary goal. Wieters started a light throwing program immediately after Thanksgiving and has stayed with

Showalter sees Coolbaugh as “a very good fit”

Orioles manager Buck Showalter targeted Scott Coolbaugh early in the process of interviewing for a new hitting coach. Once the Rangers granted permission yesterday, the decision practically was made. Coolbaugh sealed the deal after sitting down today with Showalter and vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson. He walked away already having the job, and the Orioles made the announcement around 6 p.m. “He’s very

Orioles hire Coolbaugh as hitting coach

The Orioles interviewed Scott Coolbaugh this afternoon for the hitting coach position, rushing to set up a meeting in Dallas while the Rangers were willing to grant permission, and he is expected to get the job. An announcement should come later today. Coolbaugh, 48, met for almost two hours with manager Buck Showalter and vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson. The decision came down

Wright signing official (with Duquette quote)

Left-hander Wesley Wright has passed his physical and signed his one-year contract with the Orioles after agreeing to terms earlier this week. Wright will receive $1.7 million, according to a source. The Orioles have a full 40-man roster and will need to remove someone if they’re going to sign or trade for an outfielder, most bullpen help, a backup catcher. You name it. In case

Catching up with Henry Urrutia

Not long ago, I wrote how the 2015 season is extremely important for the professional future of Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia. He turns 28 in February, was limited to 51 games at Triple-A Norfolk last year due to a sports hernia that required surgery, and the Orioles may hold open tryouts in the outfield if they can’t sign or trade for anyone. Urrutia’s work ethic

Orioles receive permission to interview Coolbaugh (updated)

Earlier this week, the Orioles failed to convince Charlie Manuel to accept the job of hitting coach despite numerous attempts to lure him to Baltimore. They pretty much knew by Tuesday morning that it wasn’t going to happen. However, they have received permission to interview Rangers minor league hitting coordinator Scott Coolbaugh, according to an industry source. The Orioles were under the impression at the

Agent says Orioles remain in play for Young

The agent for Delmon Young indicated today that the veteran outfielder isn’t close to making a decision on where to sign, but he said the Orioles “absolutely” remain in play. “Everything has been very positive,” said Joel Wolfe of Wasserman Media Group, who met with the Orioles during the Winter Meetings in San Diego. “They value Delmon and realize what he brings to the table,

How will Wright signing impact Matusz?

It’s become the most popular question of the week following news that the Orioles reached agreement with left-hander Wesley Wright on a one-year deal worth $1.7 million. Well, it may slot second behind “Who?” As I’ve written, Wright is a southpaw reliever who’s 10-18 with a 4.17 ERA in seven major league seasons, the first 5 1/2 with the Astros. He was 0-3 with a

Quick Wright update and MLB statement on U.S.-Cuban relations

In case you missed it in the comments section, left-hander Wesley Wright is scheduled to take his physical Thursday morning in Baltimore. His signing could be announced later that day or Friday, depending how quickly the results come back. Major League Baseball issued the following statement this afternoon regarding President Obama’s announcement that the United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba and open

Leftovers for breakfast

The Orioles’ deal with left-hander Wesley Wright becomes official once he passes his physical. An announcement could come at any time. The 40-man roster will be full once Wright signs, but the Orioles can make room later for another player. I’ve heard rumblings that Wright’s deal is worth $1.7 million. He earned $1.425 million this season. Wright is on Twitter at @realweswright. Two of the

Orioles reach agreement with Wesley Wright

In need of a left-handed reliever as part of their winter shopping list, the Orioles have reached agreement with Wesley Wright on a one-year deal, according to multiple sources. Wright, who turns 30 next month, is 10-18 with a 4.17 ERA in seven major league seasons, the first 5 1/2 with the Astros. He was 0-3 with a 3.17 ERA in 58 games this season

Pearce: “We still have a lot of talent”

The offseason for Steve Pearce and Brad Brach included a visit today to Dave & Buster’s at the Arundel Mills Mall, where they signed autographs and served lunch to students from Callaway Elementary School in Baltimore. Pearce isn’t accustomed to showing up at spring training with a guaranteed spot on the 25-man roster, but he’s a candidate to start in right field and also could

Showalter on Davis, the offseason and hitting coach search

Orioles manager Buck Showalter recently played golf with Chris Davis in Texas, and the first baseman revealed that he’s received a therapeutic use exemption for Adderall for the 2015 season. Major League Baseball suspended Davis for 25 games on Sept. 12 following a second failed test for the drug. Davis apparently had the exception with the Rangers, but was denied with the Orioles. “That’s just

Notes on Manuel, Rios, Lavarnway, Palmer and Hudak

The Orioles are still targeting Charlie Manuel in their search for a new hitting coach, according to sources, and they should know later this week whether he’s willing to fill the position. The Phillies would need to give their permission for the Orioles to conduct a formal interview with Manuel and he’d need to demonstrate that he wants the job. The first step shouldn’t be

Orioles hire Hudak as PR director, plus other notes (updated)

The Orioles have hired Kristen Hudak, a former MASN and ESPN employee, as their new public relations director. Hudak, who spent the past 3 1/2 years at ESPN, will oversee the public relations department, including corporate communications, media relations, online communications, photography and team publications. She will begin her duties on Dec. 29, reporting directly to Greg Bader, the Orioles vice president of communications and

What’s left for the Orioles on the outfield market?

The weekend is over and the Orioles lost another outfield candidate with Melky Cabrera agreeing to a three-year, $42 million deal with the White Sox. Where do they turn? Executive vice president Dan Duquette has made it clear that the Orioles are more likely to sign free agents than make trades. They still need outfielders who bat from the left and right side, but the

This, that and the other (Melky Cabrera off the board)

An Orioles official told me yesterday that they’re still working on a minor league deal with pitcher Chaz Roe. It’s going to get done. I’d expect the deal to include an invitation to spring training. Roe appeared in 21 games with the Diamondbacks in 2013, posting a 4.03 ERA. He got into three games with the Yankees this season, allowing three runs (two earned) and

Orioles’ outfield search continues, Phillies offered Byrd and Howard

As Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette rushed to the airport in San Diego following the Rule 5 draft - we were on the same flight and he willingly chose a middle seat next to other team officials, while I grabbed an aisle seat and let everyone bump into my shoulder at least once - he didn’t sound like a man who expected to strike

Orioles remain in running to sign Reimold

The Orioles are continuing their attempts to sign outfielder Nolan Reimold to a minor league deal, which would return him to the organization that drafted him in 2005. The contract would include an invitation to spring training. While the Orioles would appear to be a favorable choice for Reimold, he’s still searching for a major league deal and isn’t in a rush to make a

Would the Orioles bring back McLouth?

The Winter Meetings are over, team officials have returned home and now we’ll wait to learn how strong a foundation for trades was laid in San Diego. The Orioles still need at least one outfielder, a left-handed reliever and backup catcher. They’d also like to obtain a right-hander for the bullpen, though they seem pretty deep in that area. Never can have too many, I

Wrapping up the Winter Meetings

SAN DIEGO - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette is hopeful that his meetings at the Manchester Grand Hyatt will lead to player acquisitions as early as next week. “We made some good progress with some free agent outfielders and also some pitchers and hopefully that will lead to some players signing with the O’s,” said Duquette, who obtained right-handers Jason Garcia and Logan Verrett

Orioles acquire two players in major league phase of Rule 5 draft (updated)

SAN DIEGO - The Orioles made their first transactions of the Winter Meetings today at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, selecting right-hander Logan Verrett with their pick in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft and acquiring right-hander Jason Garcia from the Astros following his selection with the fourth overall pick. Garcia, who came from the Red Sox’s organization, was obtained for cash considerations.

Day Four of the Winter Meetings

SAN DIEGO - We’ve reached the finish line of the 2014 Winter Meetings at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. The Rule 5 draft will be held at 9 a.m. PST, followed by a frantic race to the airport. It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad baseball world. The Orioles apparently will head home with a selection in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft and

Duquette: “We’re not about signing high-profile free agents”

SAN DIEGO - The cash continues to flow at the Winter Meetings at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Free agents are signing for big bucks, just as they did before executives flew to the West Coast, leaving some officials and scouts shaking their heads and wondering just how much higher the salaries can climb. “Can you believe some of the money these guys are getting for

Quick hits from Duquette’s media session

SAN DIEGO - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said he came close to trading for a pitcher today at the Winter Meetings. He had the foundation to get a deal done and “it didn’t work out.” No name given, of course. Duquette had a few new discussions today and said it’s still more likely that the Orioles sign a free agent than pull off

Boras on Davis, Wieters and Chen

SAN DIEGO - Agent Scott Boras drew the usual crowd of reporters and cameramen for his annual Winter Meetings Q&A with reporters in the lobby area of the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Asked about possible extensions for Orioles clients and pending free agents Chris Davis and Matt Wieters, Boras said the following: “I think there’s a chance with all players. Dan (Duquette) and I talk a

Quick note on Cespedes rumor

SAN DIEGO - The media will gather with executive vice president Dan Duquette in about 30 minutes for updates on today’s meetings with agents and executives. Duquette may volunteer to shoot down a few rumors and confirm others, depending on whether he’s in a generous mood. A report surfaced earlier today that the Orioles are interested in Red Sox outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. While it makes

Orioles discussed Matusz trade with Pirates

SAN DIEGO - As further proof that the Orioles are willing to move Brian Matusz if satisfied with the return, executive vice president Dan Duquette met with Pirates officials this week to discuss a deal that would have sent the left-handed reliever to Pittsburgh for outfielder Travis Snider. An industry source confirmed the meeting. The teams aren’t on the verge of consummating a trade, but

Leon on Orioles’ radar again as they seek backup catcher

SAN DIEGO - On the Orioles’ list of priorities at the Winter Meetings, finding another catcher ranks somewhere below outfielders and bullpen arms. Not a huge priority or a splashy move, but a perceived necessity with Matt Wieters’ uncertain status for opening day. One name to keep in mind is Sandy Leon, a switch-hitter who’s appeared in 34 games with the Nationals over parts of

Day Three of the Winter Meetings

SAN DIEGO - In order to mentally shorten my stay at the Winter Meetings, I traditionally view today as the finish line. The Rule 5 draft takes place Thursday morning and everyone bolts for the airport as if there’s a bag of money waiting for them at their gate. Today is the last full 24-hour period of rumor chasing, lobby roaming and suite visiting. Skeptics

Showalter meets the press

SAN DIEGO - As a reporter began to ask Orioles manager Buck Showalter this afternoon about the moves made by the Yankees and Red Sox during the offseason, he interrupted with a question of his own. “They run out of money yet?” Probably not, which doesn’t have him overly concerned. This isn’t Showalter’s first season with the Orioles and it isn’t his first time at

Hearing from Duquette at the Winter Meetings

SAN DIEGO - Now that you’ve had time to digest the nuggets of information coming from executive vice president Dan Duquette’s session with the media earlier today at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, here are some expanded quotes that went along with them. “We’ve met with a bunch of agents on outfield options and a couple of pitching options, so we were sharpening our focus on

Duquette confident Orioles will leave meetings with a couple of players

SAN DIEGO - Orioles general manager Dan Duquette made it through today’s media session at the Winter Meetings without fielding any questions about the Blue Jays. Must be those reports that Paul Beeston will return as Toronto’s president/CEO in 2015. Duquette said he spoke to “a bunch” of agents and had trade discussions with four or five executives concerning outfielders and relievers. He’s looking for

Duquette meeting with Young’s agent

SAN DIEGO - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette is meeting today with the representative for free agent Delmon Young, and the club is viewed as a favorite to re-sign the veteran outfielder. One scout from another organization considers the Orioles an overwhelming favorite despite Young’s preference for a two-year deal. The club seemed reluctant earlier in the offseason to guarantee more than one year.

The lobby buzz on Matusz

SAN DIEGO - The lobby of the Manchester Grand Hyatt is filling up again for the second official day of baseball’s Winter Meetings. The biggest buzz surrounds free agent pitcher Jon Lester, who reportedly has multiple offers for six years and may have a team willing to give him seven. The Orioles never were in the running for Lester. They’re not touching the high-priced starters

Day Two of the Winter Meetings

SAN DIEGO - If Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette really had a sense of humor, he would have greeted reporters in his suite yesterday while wearing a Blue Jays cap. Too soon? It’s pointless to keep asking Duquette about his reported desire to join the Blue Jays as president/CEO. He isn’t going to confirm it and he isn’t going to provide a stern denial.

Duquette: “I’m here with the Orioles and my focus is with the Orioles”

SAN DIEGO - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette relaxed on a sofa in his suite at the Manchester Grand Hyatt this afternoon, members of the local media lined up on chairs in front of him trying to ascertain whether he was close to signing a free agent or making a trade. He dispensed the information, careful not to reveal too much, and waited for

Quick hits from Duquette

SAN DIEGO - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette, sitting with reporters today in his suite at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, indicated that he’s more likely to sign a free agent than make a trade at this stage of the Winter Meetings. “It looks like there are more free agents closer to signing,” Duquette said. Duquette said he’s “reluctant” to trade any of his starting

Lombardozzi and McCoy outrighted, MLB takes a stand against lung cancer

SAN DIEGO - The Orioles just announced that they’ve outrighted infielder Steve Lombardozzi and left-hander Pat McCoy to Triple-A Norfolk after both players cleared waivers. The 40-man roster is down to 37. McCoy and Scott Barnes were left-handed relievers added to the 40-man roster after the season. The Rangers claimed Barnes off waivers this morning. I’ll have more on the roster moves after meeting with

Orioles lose Barnes on waiver claim

SAN DIEGO - The Orioles have an opening on their 40-man roster after the Rangers claimed left-hander Scott Barnes off waivers this morning. Barnes didn’t have time to get attached to the Orioles, who acquired him from the Indians on Nov. 26 in exchange for cash considerations. Barnes, 27, appeared in 25 games (one start) with Triple-A Columbus in 2014, going 3-2 with a 3.69

Steve Johnson drawing interest from Phillies and Mariners

SAN DIEGO - A sportswriter’s hearing is tested each December by his ability to decipher the “buzz” from the hotel lobby at the annual Winter Meetings. The sound usually comes from executives, scouts and agents who pass along rumors and shared discussions. Reporters swap information, as well. Most of the Orioles talk, separate from the Dan Duquette drama, centers on their search for outfield, bullpen

Day One of the Winter Meetings

SAN DIEGO - The calendar says the Winter Meetings officially start today. I’m not sure how to categorize yesterday’s activity. The Orioles made news and it didn’t involve any players. Executive vice president Dan Duquette was the center of attention following reports that the Blue Jays wanted to interview him for the president/CEO job. No matter how Duquette feels about such an opportunity - and

Orioles approached about Stubbs, Duquette on MLB Network Radio

SAN DIEGO - The Orioles are in the market for at least one outfielder and have been approached by the Rockies to gauge their interest in Drew Stubbs, according to a source. The Rockies would want pitching in return. Stubbs, 30, batted .289/.339/.482 with 22 doubles, four triples, 15 home runs and 43 RBIs in 132 games. He made $4.1 million this season and is

Angelos on Duquette: “We’re not relinquishing him, period”

SAN DIEGO - Orioles managing partner Peter G. Angelos said he fully expects executive vice president Dan Duquette to remain in the organization in his present capacity and has no intention of losing him to the Blue Jays. ESPN first reported today that Duquette was among the Blue Jays’ top candidates to replace longtime CEO Paul Beeston, which caused a stir before the Winter Meetings

Report: Blue Jays interested in Duquette for team president (updated)

The Blue Jays are in the market for a new CEO/team president, and ESPN’s Buster Olney is reporting that Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette is a candidate. Duquette has been with the Orioles since November 2011, helping to guide the club to three straight winning seasons, its first seasons above .500 since 1996-97. Duquette is under contract through 2018, but the Blue Jays’ opening

Heading to San Diego for the Winter Meetings

Welcome to the last blog entry filed in Maryland until Friday morning. The Winter Meetings are set to begin in San Diego, which brings as much joy to this reporter as being bled with leeches or watching Season 1 of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” The Orioles need at least one outfielder - the possibilities still include Delmon Young, Michael Morse, Matt Kemp, Justin Upton

Orioles have “limited” interest in Aoki

As the Winter Meetings approach on Monday, I’ll continue to field questions regarding the Orioles’ interest in specific players. I can confirm some, make an educated guess on others and plead ignorant on most. I’ve been asked about free agent outfielder Nori Aoki, who batted .285/.349/.360 this year in 132 games with the Royals. I’m told that the Orioles have “limited” interest in Aoki. I’d

The week in review and comparing De Aza to Markakis

The Orioles lost three of their free agents this week after teams reached agreements with Nelson Cruz on Monday, Nick Markakis on Wednesday and Andrew Miller on Friday. Anyone nervous about Sunday or is it safe to go outside? The Orioles never were going to re-sign Miller and they weren’t expected to retain Cruz unless he settled for three years. If fans are reeling, it’s

Andrew Miller agrees to terms with Yankees

The Orioles never were involved in serious talks to keep left-hander Andrew Miller, refusing to get in a bidding war with 22 other teams. Miller will have plenty of opportunities to make them regret the decision. Miller is staying in the American League East after agreeing to a four-year, $36 million deal with the Yankees, who just confirmed it on Twitter. Early speculation had Miller

Markakis expected to undergo surgery on neck (with quotes)

Nick Markakis has moved on from the Orioles, but there’s another chapter to add before the book closes on his tenure in Baltimore. Markakis is expected to formally sign his four-year, $44 million contract with the Braves this weekend after agreeing to terms on Wednesday. However, he’s likely to undergo surgery to repair a herniated disc in his cervical spine, according to multiple sources. FOXSports.com

More on Duquette’s Q&A session and Orioles’ reported interest in Upton

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette joked about bringing extra security to last night’s Babe Ruth Museum benefit at Dempsey’s Brew Pub, where he served as the guest speaker and took questions from the audience. Duquette turned and pointed to a long table against one of the walls, where his wife Amy, their children and the kids’ friends were eating dinner. I saw what he

Duquette on Markakis and a lot more

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette just finished his Q&A session with fans at the Babe Ruth Museum benefit at Dempsey’s Brew Pub at Camden Yards. Duquette won over the crowd despite a week that saw the Orioles lose Nelson Cruz to the Mariners and Nick Markakis to the Braves. I’ll pass along a few of the highlights, starting with Duquette’s summary of negotiations with

Jones on Markakis: “You lose a brother” (updated)

Adam Jones has shared the Orioles outfield with Nick Markakis for the last seven seasons. He looks to his left and sees more than just a teammate. He sees a friend. It’s going to be different next year. Jones spoke to Markakis before news broke yesterday that the longest-tenured Oriole had agreed to a four-year, $44 million contract with the Braves. “It’s business,” Jones said.

More on Showalter’s Baseball America award

The Orioles sent out a release today confirming that Buck Showalter has been named Baseball America’s Manager of the Year. I wrote a few days ago that the publication doesn’t usually promote the award with an online article, but one has been posted this year. You can read it here. Showalter becomes the third manager to be recognized with the award twice, having also won

More on Markakis and a week gone bad

Did you really think the Nelson Cruz news was going to be the low point of your week? Nick Markakis will sign his four-year, $44 million contract with the Braves once he passes a physical. You’ve got more time to process how the longest-tenured Oriole will be wearing a different uniform and playing in a different league. Hopefully, left-hander Andrew Miller’s pending agreement with a

Hardy on Markakis: “Everyone thought he’d be back”

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy spoke to Nick Markakis earlier this afternoon, two friends getting caught up on today’s news. Two friends coming to grips with being former teammates. Markakis has agreed to a four-year, $44 million contract with the Braves, removing the longest-tenured Oriole from the clubhouse. “He gave me a call and kind of let me know how it all went down,” Hardy said.

Source: Nick Markakis agrees to terms with Braves

Within the span of a few days, the Orioles have lost the leading home run hitter in the majors last season and their longest-tenured player. Nelson Cruz agreed to a four-year, $57 million contract with the Mariners on Monday, and Nick Markakis has agreed to a four-year deal with the Braves today worth $44 million, according to an industry source. The Orioles have been notified

Orioles sign Gamboa to major league deal

One year after declining to offer Eddie Gamboa a contract and removing him from the 40-man roster at the non-tender deadline, the Orioles have signed the knuckleballer to a major league deal. The Orioles re-signed Gamboa to a minor league contract last winter and he went a combined 5-7 with a 3.81 ERA and a career-high 8.6 strikeouts per 9.0 innings in 19 games (17

Former Oriole Jim Johnson signs with Braves

Forget the notion that the Orioles will reunite with former closer Jim Johnson. He’s off the board. The Braves announced today that they signed Johnson to a major league deal, the transaction coming a year and one day after the Orioles traded him to the Athletics at the deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. Johnson is joining his third organization since that deal. He

This, that and the other

With the Orioles deciding to tender contracts to all 11 of their arbitration-eligible players, we can now look forward to the Winter Meetings that start Monday in San Diego. Another key date has been crossed off the baseball calendar. I’m still searching for my vacation on it. I’ll make the usual prediction that the Orioles avoid going to arbitration hearings in February. The sides will

Torii Hunter off the board, Morse rumor, more on Markakis

Torii Hunter is no longer a free agent consideration for the Orioles. Hunter has agreed to a one-year, $10.5 million contract with the Twins, according to multiple reports. He’s returning to his original team. Hunter spent 11 seasons in Minnesota and included the Twins over the weekend among the clubs that could sign him this winter. However, he appeared to place them below the Orioles,

Orioles tender contracts to 11 arbitration-eligible players

The Orioles have tendered contracts to all 11 of their arbitration-eligible players, with confirmation coming this evening via the team. The group includes first-timers Chris Tillman ($546,000 in 2014), Zach Britton ($521,500), Miguel Gonzalez ($529,000) and Ryan Flaherty ($513,000). The Orioles already were bracing for significant raises due to the three pitchers. Matt Wieters, Chris Davis, Steve Pearce, Alejandro De Aza, Tommy Hunter and Bud

Duquette on arbitration-eligibles, Cruz, Markakis and more

The Orioles aren’t expected to take their decisions on their arbitration-eligible players down to the midnight deadline tonight as they did in 2013. Executive vice president Dan Duquette said he’s hoping to “bring this to closure by the end of the business day.” Meanwhile, it’s OK to keep speculating that all 11 players will be tendered contracts for next season. Trade discussions always heat up

Baseball America names Duquette MLB Executive of the Year

While executive vice president Dan Duquette works toward putting together a roster for the 2015 season, he continues to be rewarded for his work this year. Baseball America has named Duquette as its Major League Executive of the Year. The Sporting News honored him last month during the general managers’ meetings. One day after Nelson Cruz agreed to terms on a four-year, $57 million contract

What’s on today’s agenda?

Has everyone moved on from the Nelson Cruz news? Has the depression subsided? No more Cruz blues? This blog was on Cruz control yesterday, judging by the number of comments. I hadn’t surrendered hope that Cruz would stay with the Orioles, but I kept warning that he’d need to come down to three years. I’m just surprised that he made the decision a week before

Cruz reportedly agrees to terms with Mariners (updated)

Outfielder Nelson Cruz, who led the majors with 40 home runs this season, has agreed to terms on a four-year deal with the Mariners, according to multiple reports. The Dominican newspaper El Caribe was the first to report that Cruz will receive $57 million from the Mariners, who pursued him last winter before ownership intervened. Cruz settled for a one-year, $8 million deal with the

Orioles searching for outfield alternatives

There’s a perception among some fans that Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette is sitting back with his feet on his desk while outfielders Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz decide whether to re-sign with the club or pursue a better offer. I’ve read the criticisms on Twitter and in the comments section of the blog. Other teams in the division are making bold moves while

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