The list of free agents has increased by one after former Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown refused an outright assignment.
Seconds after news broke that the Phillies designated Brown for assignment, Orioles fans anticipated that executive vice president Dan Duquette would make a run at him. A former No. 1 prospect who was an All-Star in 2013. Who desperately needs a bounceback season. Who is under team control until 2018. Who won’t break the bank.
Don’t bank on it.
I checked around and determined that the Orioles most likely will pass on Brown, 28, who batted .228/.284/.349 with six doubles, five home runs and 25 RBIs in 63 games this season. It’s been quite a fall for Brown, who hit .272/.324/.494 with 21 doubles, four triples, 27 home runs and 83 RBIs in 139 games in 2013.
One official referred to the Orioles as having “limited interest.” Another classified Brown as “probably a long shot” to join the organization.
* The Orioles remain in contact with Darren O’Day’s agent as they attempt to work out a deal before the veteran reliever enters the free agent market and other teams jump into the bidding.
That’s the good news. On the other hand, I’m told that nothing is “happening of note.”
Losing O’Day would be a huge blow to the Orioles on many levels. They’d lose his production and his leadership. He’s an extremely important part of this team.
And before anyone suggests that Mychal Givens can fill those eighth-inning shoes, we have no way of really knowing it. Saying it minimizes what O’Day has done here. Givens shouldn’t be handed that much responsibility straight out of Double-A and only a few years removed from playing shortstop.
This team is much better with Givens primarily working the sixth or seventh innings and filling in for O’Day when the veteran is unavailable. And you don’t just point to someone else and say, “OK, now you’re the leader of the bullpen.”
* Orioles manager Buck Showalter was a call-in guest yesterday on “The Mid-Atlantic Sports Report” on MASN. Even back home in Dallas, he can’t avoid questions about the club’s six pending free agents.
“They’re going to have to make a decision at some point whether they want to stay or not,” said Showalter, who will return to Baltimore this weekend for the sixth annual KidsPeace Trick-or-Trot 5K/1 Mile Walk at Camden Yards.
“Dan (Duquette) is grinding it up in the front office like everybody else. I come and go. I’m there more than I’m here. After the World Series is over, a lot of things are going to really start moving real fast. Baseball intentionally kind of shuts things down so the focus is on the World Series, but once that last pitch in the World Series is thrown, you’re going to see a lot of people doing what they do. It’s a key time for everybody. And the Winter Meetings are around the corner in Nashville, Tenn.
“I talked to Dan today and we talked about a potential move. We do it every day. It’s not going to be from a lack of grinding and trying. We’ve got a lot of good people in the front office that are doing what they do right now.”
“I know Chris wants to come back and he’s going to have to make the decision,” Showalter said. “I think we’ll be competitive and it’s just dependent on ... What happens when guys wait until the end of the year, then there’s constant conversations with agents and their peer group and with the players union. They don’t want certain things to get away from them because it messes up arbitration numbers. I know how this all works. That’s why when they walk out of the locker room, some different things show up. But I try to leave the guys alone as much as I can in the offseason because they need to get away from it.
“Chris, he knows where we stand and how much we want him and all of these guys back, whether it be Darren O’Day or Wei-Yin Chen, whoever. At some point, they’re the ones who are going to have to make a decision about do they really want to stay in Baltimore and how much is enough. And that’s their right. They’ve earned that right. It’s not like, do you like me, yes or no? And if you don’t like me, I’m not going to like you. We’re going to respect and like them regardless. But we’re trying to keep them. And if we don’t, the baseball world won’t quit turning.
“Every year they say, ‘Oh, my God, this team will never survive without them.’ We scored more runs this year than we did last year with (Nick) Markakis and (Nelson) Cruz. It’s not my job to sit here and lament things that may not be here. But we’re hoping they are here and we’re going to prepare for that and without them.”
* Former Orioles first baseman Calvin Pickering is recovering from complications that arose during gastric bypass surgery. He’s out of the intensive care unit and hopes to be released from the hospital this weekend.
Fans grew concerned about Pickering after reading a post on his Facebook page. A team official passed along an update on Pickering’s condition.
Pickering, 39, appeared in 32 games with the Orioles in 1998-1999 after being taken in the 35th round of the 1995 First-Year Player Draft. He played his last major league game in April 2005.
Pickering spent this summer as the hitting coach at short-season Single-A Aberdeen.
* The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) announced yesterday that Orioles center fielder Adam Jones will be honored with the 2015 Brooks Robinson Community Service Award at the 16th annual Legends for Youth Dinner on Nov. 10 in New York.
The award is presented annually to a current or former major league player.
The recipient’s community service “exemplifies the unselfish and humble attitude of Brooks Robinson, bettering the lives of the youth in his community.” The award is given in honor of the dedication Robinson has shown to young people across the country through his support of the Legends for Youth Clinic series and the MLBPAA since its inception in 1982.
Jones has donated his time and resources to enhancing the experience of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore over his career in the city. He also has substantial involvement in the Orioles Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) youth outreach program, the Cool Kids Campaign Foundation, Y of Central Maryland, Jackie Robinson Foundation and OriolesREACH. Jones also serves as a member of the Baseball Assistance Team Board of Directors.
* Congratulations to Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy and wife Adrienne on the birth of their son, Jay Jax, who arrived in this world on Oct. 20.
Hardy’s name is James Jerry, so his son also is J.J., but not J.J. Hardy Jr.
Try to keep up.