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Dickerson on Machado as shortstop

With New Year’s Eve upon us and recycled news all the rage during the hot stove season, I’m tempted to dust off my annual quip about assuring that the ball drops at midnight. You know, by putting (insert name of poor defender) underneath it. We all have our own holiday traditions. Manny Machado never will make it as the punchline. Platinum Glove winners are ineligible.

Dickerson on making Beckham better and getting his degree

Orioles third base coach Bobby Dickerson, regarded as one of baseball’s finest infield instructors, has no idea whether Tim Beckham will open the 2018 season at shortstop, move to another position or take a seat on the bench and handle a utility role. He isn’t privy to any inside information regarding the club’s plans, which remain in the developmental stages as executive vice president Dan

What’s left for Orioles as they try to balance lineup?

The rotation was the Orioles’ primary concern before and during the 2017 season and it remains long after Rays reliever Chaz Roe struck out rookie Trey Mancini for the final out at Tropicana Field. It dominates, but it doesn’t distract. There’s other serious business that needs to get done before opening day. Try creating a mock lineup and count the number of left-handed hitters in

Thoughts on Liranzo, Ramírez and Ynoa

Another day has passed for the Orioles with Manny Machado at third base, three openings in the rotation and the same need for a left-handed bat or two. A veteran catcher and utility player also haven’t been crossed off the list. This is going to be a process. Here are three more pitchers worthy of a blog discussion while waiting for the hot stove to

Thoughts on Asher, Hart, Crichton and Yacabonis

There are no holiday updates on the Orioles’ search for starting pitching and a left-handed reliever with plus velocity and the splits to present the option as a specialist. The 40-man roster includes 24 pitchers, and the Orioles have announced 14 more on minor league deals since Nov. 28. Maybe there’s strength in numbers. I’ve spent part of the offseason choosing Orioles who need to

Leftovers for breakfast

The Orioles will hold their annual three-day minicamp in Sarasota beginning on Jan. 8 and manager Buck Showalter has been compiling his list of invitees and awaiting the responses. Former outfielder Dariel Álvarez could be summoned to the Ed Smith Stadium complex while rehabbing from ligament-reconstructive surgery on his right elbow back in April. The minicamp serves multiple purposes, including the opportunity for the Orioles

Christmas Because You Asked

If visions of sugarplums are dancing in your heads on this Christmas morning, you may want to dilute the eggnog. You also might want to skip the malls in the future and do your one-stop shopping on this blog with all of your Orioles questions. But they tend to repeat like garlic shrimp. Chestnuts are roasting on the hot stove as we stay in a

Could Zach Britton get an extension and become a starter again?

Whatever happens to Zach Britton moving forward from his Achilles surgery, gentle steps on the road to recovery, he’s expected to remain in the organization that drafted him and eventually found the ideal role. Talk of releasing him should be muted, from what I’ve been told. It’s complicated, but Britton would receive his full salary despite no resolution for 2018 after the Orioles tendered him

Bundy on Britton: “I didn’t want to believe it at first” (and notes)

Dylan Bundy has reached the point of the offseason where he pays closer attention to the maneuverings, rumors and doses of news - both good and bad - coming from the Orioles. It’s just done between hunting trips and workouts. Bundy found out about closer Zach Britton’s ruptured Achilles and hoped that the reports were a mistake. “I think the first time I saw it

Orioles sign four to minor league contracts

The Orioles announced four minor league signings, including three players who stay in the organization after becoming free agents. Left-handers Jayson Aquino and Andrew Faulkner and corner infielder Aderlin Rodriguez agreed to terms, as did right-hander Tim Melville, the lone outsider in the group. Melville, who’s 28 and a former fourth-round pick, has appeared in six major league games with the Reds, Twins and Padres

Brach on Britton: “I just feel heartbroken for him”

Life can throw you the sharpest of curveballs, the kind that dive in the dirt and freeze hitters, and relievers who make a living at it aren’t immune. Brad Brach’s heart is full with the arrival of his first child, a daughter, earlier this week. It also aches for teammate and friend Zach Britton, who underwent surgery yesterday to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon. Britton

Britton’s surgery on Achilles “went really well”

Orioles closer Zach Britton underwent surgery today to repair his right Achilles tendon in Los Angeles and there were no complications or anything unexpected that drew concerns from the medical side or within the organization. I was told this afternoon that the procedure, “went well,” and Britton later offered his own confirmation via Twitter. Surgery went really well. Want to thank everyone for their support.

Revisiting the latest on Machado and Britton

Pitchers and catchers don’t report to the Ed Smith Stadium complex until Feb. 13. There’s plenty of time for the Orioles to straighten out their offseason and no longer feel like victims. Plenty of time for the lucky rabbit’s foot to stop kicking them below the belt. They kept insisting that they weren’t shopping third baseman Manny Machado, that they were just open to listening

Britton: “This is not the way I envisioned ending my time there”

Orioles closer Zach Britton sat in a car yesterday with his wife Courtney and the tears flowed. This isn’t how he wants to end his career with the Orioles, the longest-tenured player on their roster set to undergo surgery Thursday to repair his right Achilles tendon. Confident that he’s going to pitch later in the summer, but unsure if it’s with the team that drafted

Britton ruptures Achilles tendon during workouts

An offseason for the Orioles that’s been defined by their willingness to trade third baseman Manny Machado and a desperate search for starting pitching has a new storyline involving a serious injury to closer Zach Britton. Britton ruptured his right Achilles tendon yesterday while working out at agent Scott Boras’ training center in California. The Orioles found out about it last night, according to executive

More Manny Machado musings

Though it’s painfully early in the morning, I’m happy to report that no one has asked me for an update on third baseman Manny Machado since my last trip to the bathroom. His status on the club reminds me of those halcyon days in the winter of 2015 when everyone wanted to know whether the Orioles would re-sign Chris Davis. Gym owners, bartenders, radio and

Orioles send Bray to Athletics to complete Brugman trade

The Orioles announced a trade this afternoon that actually completed a transaction from a month ago and it didn’t involve third baseman Manny Machado. Not much to see here, but other business must be attended to as the Orioles move through their offseason. The Orioles sent right-hander Jake Bray to the Athletics as the player to be named later for outfielder Jaycob Brugman, who will

Beckham fields more questions about Machado

Orioles shortstop Tim Beckham is making the rounds. The Orioles’ annual holiday party for kids at Dave & Buster’s at Arundel Mills Mall. A visit to the Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital. A phone interview on the “Orioles Hot Stove Show” on 105.7 The Fan. A Skype interview yesterday morning on “Hot Stove” on MLB Network. Beckham adjusted his cap yesterday, which he turned backward, lowered

Wondering about Beckham and the left side of the infield

Remember when it seemed like the Orioles lineup mostly was set and the offseason was all about finding starting pitchers, a left-handed bat and veteran catcher to provide insurance for Chance Sisco? The past week has brought such dramatic change that it now appears to be one of the most unsettled winters in recent memory. The Orioles could trade at least one of their star

Random rumblings, rumors and thoughts

Finally back home from Lake Buena Vista, Fla., where I left my Mickey ears on the nightstand with a tip for housekeeping. Manny Machado hasn’t been traded. Zach Britton and Brad Brach haven’t been traded. Mychal Givens won’t be traded. I’ve heard Givens, second baseman Jonathan Schoop and outfielder Trey Mancini referred to as “untouchable” by an executive from outside the organization who attended the

How many reserves will the Orioles carry into the season?

Did Orioles manager Buck Showalter tip his hand at the Winter Meetings about the construction of his bench? Not the names. The number of players. Showalter pointed out during his media session how it’s becoming more popular for teams to carry 13 pitches, which leaves three players in reserve roles. That’s a tricky proposition for the Orioles, who must keep Rule 5 pick Anthony Santander

Quick update on Machado and the trade discussions

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - I’ve been told that it’s “highly unlikely” that the Orioles do anything with Manny Machado tonight or later this weekend besides continuing to check on trade offers, though the situation is fluid and everything can change with a single phone call. The Diamondbacks have doubled back to the Orioles after prior surface talks, according to a source, and seem to

A few leftovers from the Winter Meetings

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - While the Orioles fielded trade offers for their star third baseman and top relievers at this week’s Winter Meetings, they also checked on the level of interest in designated hitter Mark Trumbo. The Orioles are open to moving Trumbo and freeing up the designated hitter spot while he has two years and $26 million remaining on his contract. One source

Duquette not expecting immediate resolution to Machado talks

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The trade talks involving Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will carry into the weekend, according to executive vice president Dan Duquette, eliminating the opportunity for immediate closure and the outpouring of sentimentality, outrage or whatever emotion sweeps over the fan base. It figures to be intense in nature. The latest edition of the Winter Meetings have come to a conclusion

Orioles select three players in Rule 5 and sign Michael Kelly

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - While the Manny Machado rumors gain steam and the likelihood that he’s traded, perhaps later this week, continues to grow, the Orioles extended their streak of selections in the Rule 5 draft. They obliterated the field today by making three picks before finally passing in the fourth round. They also signed right-hander Michael Kelly to a major league deal and

Waiting on the Rule 5 draft to wrap up the Winter Meetings

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The stampede for the front desk and the airport begins momentarily. Keep your head on a swivel if you’re in the lobby area or you could be wearing foot prints as a shirt logo. Cutting through the speculation that the Orioles could abstain from the Rule 5 draft this morning due to carrying outfielder Anthony Santander for 44 more days,

Duquette with latest Machado update and more

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The interest in Orioles third baseman Manny Machado continues to build as more teams meet with executive vice president Dan Duquette. Determining the market is an ongoing process, Duquette said this afternoon during his daily media briefing, but there’s no real sense whether a trade gets done before Thursday’s departures at the Winter Meetings, later in the offseason or never.

Quick hits from Duquette’s daily media session

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said “more than a handful” of clubs are interested in third baseman Manny Machado and he met with a couple more today as the Winter Meetings near their conclusion. Duquette said he was able to get a clearer read on the market for Machado and the process is “moving along” while the Orioles determine

Brach’s status on trade market tied to Britton

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Orioles are receiving the anticipated level of interest in reliever Brad Brach, which is significant as he approaches his free agent season. Teams view Brach as a cheaper alternative to left-hander Zach Britton in terms of the asking price in any trade. He has closing experience in the majors and especially the minors, where he notched 119 saves, and

Boras on Britton, Álvarez and Machado

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.- The Scott Boras media scrum has lasted more than an hour outside the media room at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort with little Orioles subject matter, given that the priciest free agents in his stable aren’t coming to Baltimore. Boras confirmed his meeting with executive vice president Dan Duquette, which took place Monday afternoon. Closer Zach Britton is a trade

More thoughts on Machado as Winter Meetings continue

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Part of the debate over the wisdom of trading third baseman Manny Machado, and it’s been a dominant topic as the Winter Meetings move into their third day, is whether he’d net a more bountiful return at the non-waiver deadline. While surface logic says that a greater number of prospects are made available with Machado under team control for a

Notes on Machado, Tillman, Wilkerson and Showalter’s status

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The sun came up this morning and the Orioles hadn’t traded third baseman Manny Machado or moved him to shortstop. Let’s see what the rest of the day brings. If Machado remains in the organization, and I can’t place odds on it, I’d expect him to be the starting shortstop on opening day. Call it a hunch, call it my

Duquette on Machado trade talks (Wilkerson suspended)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette met with multiple teams today regarding possible trades involving third baseman Manny Machado. Whether a deal is consummated remains an uncertainty, with Duquette clearly open to the idea but also trumpeting Machado’s value to the organization. Buckle up. “There’s a lot of interest in Manny and a couple of clubs requested a meeting, so

Showalter on Machado, trade talks, Jones and more

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter isn’t ready to anoint Manny Machado as his shortstop in 2018 or concede that the former first-round pick will be traded. Machado’s status on the field and within the organization were the hottest topics today during Showalter’s 23-minute session with the media inside the workroom at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort. The Orioles are checking

Orioles talking to teams about Machado

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Orioles have become much more open to trading third baseman Manny Machado since arriving this week at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, with a source confirming that talks have “heated up” regarding the three-time All-Star. I wrote yesterday of the Phillies’ interest and how the Orioles were compiling a list of prospects that could be included in a

Teams keep inquiring about Mychal Givens

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - One of the more interesting decisions facing the Orioles in the offseason is whether to remove a bullpen piece in order to acquire a starting pitcher or left-handed bat. Whether it’s worth the risk of weakening an area that must remain sturdy as the team leans so heavily on it. There’s no reason to drag Mychal Givens into the discussion

Catching and left-handed relief also on Orioles’ shopping list

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Orioles have been defined at the Winter Meetings as the team that needs multiple starting pitchers but won’t spend big on them, as well as a left-handed bat, and must decide whether to trade third baseman Manny Machado and closer Zach Britton in a rebuild-versus-reload tug of war. One of the lesser subplots in this Disney drama revolves around

Duquette on being “more proactive” with pitching, and lots more

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The deliberate pace usually set by the Orioles while constructing their opening day roster may have to be accelerated. The market can’t play out and leave them out in the cold. “There’s so many teams looking for pitching, we might have to be a little bit more proactive than that,” said executive vice president Dan Duquette. “The market’s dynamic and

Orioles expected to go trade route for hitter (plus other notes)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette met with several agents and rival executives today in his suite at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort and came away more convinced that the club likely will have to find a left-handed bat via trade rather than free agency. This was one of the points made by Duquette as he met this afternoon

Latest buzz on Machado

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Orioles aren’t creating much of a lobby buzz on the first full day of the Winter Meetings. Their needs are clearly defined and a few matches have been speculated by the media. Maybe this guy, perhaps that guy, but nothing real solid. Teams continue to check on the availability of third baseman Manny Machado and closer Zach Britton. I

Chess match and painting lessons among O’s auction items

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Orioles are again offering tantalizing prizes and opportunities for the annual Winter Meetings Charity Auction, which this year benefits the Katharine Feeney Memorial Scholarship Fund in memory of the late baseball executive whose career spanned 40 years. Feeney, 68, passed away in April following her retirement four months earlier. She was visiting relatives in Maine. Fans can bid on

Orioles remain challenged to find pitching

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Winter Meetings kick into high gear today with the Orioles still in pursuit of multiple starting pitchers and another left-handed bat. The trip south didn’t change their priorities. They didn’t lose their luggage or their shopping list. The mega-trade orchestrated by the Yankees isn’t expected to alter their approach. Giancarlo Stanton’s arrival in the Bronx isn’t going to throw

Mancini won’t take spot on roster for granted

The left fielder with a .293/.338/.488 slash line, 24 home runs and a third-place finish in American League Rookie of the Year voting isn’t convinced that he’s got a full-time job in 2018. Trey Mancini is sincere when he says that he needs to compete in spring training to preserve his spot in the Orioles lineup, that nothing will be handed to him and there’s

What to expect at next week’s Winter Meetings

The Winter Meetings officially begin on Sunday, though it’s also a travel day, and they will take up more than 90 hours of my life that I’ll never get back. But chasing rumors is a good way to add steps to the Fitbit. I’ve never been much of a cardio guy. Lobby buzz creates rumors that become reports. Some of them prove to be accurate,

This, that and the other

Whenever Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette talks about the rotation, and he’s given no choice because it’s always brought up during interviews leading into the Winter Meetings, he mentions the need to improve the club’s depth as well as find veteran contributors. It isn’t just about securing two or three starters from outside the organization to join Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy, with an

Gausman honors Halladay by switching to No. 34

Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman is changing his uniform number for a fourth time since breaking into the majors. However, he’s doing it in 2018 for reasons that are much more personal. Gausman announced on Twitter that he’s switching from No. 39 to No. 34 to honor two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, who died on Nov. 7 after the small plane he was piloting

Questions about Lee, Trumbo, utility player and Santander

Over the past few months, I’ve come up with eight questions confronting the Orioles in no particular order of importance. They existed as the club trudged through the offseason. One decision has been made with catcher Austin Wynns added to the 40-man roster to protect him in the Rule 5 draft. They like his defense and think he could be a major league backup in

Never rule out Orioles’ selections in Rule 5 draft

The Orioles may not be able to resist making a selection or two in next week’s Rule 5 draft. The temptation can be overwhelming. Beads of sweat form on the forehead as the pulse quickens. You can vow to lose weight, but another Baskin Robbins opens down the street, and there’s 31 flavors and sprinkles and waffle cones and ... Diet starts next year. Having

More talk about Tillman

Among the many factors that contributed to a last-place finish, the first losing season for the Orioles since 2011, one of the most prominent ties together right-hander Chris Tillman and lefty Zach Britton. The No. 1 starter and closer as broken bookends. The Orioles weren’t prepared for Tillman to win one game, in his first start delayed until May 7 due to a shoulder injury,

FanFest tickets are on sale

While the Orioles work to construct the roster that will represent the team on opening day, plans must be made for their annual FanFest event at the Baltimore Convention Center. No winter detail is too small. Tickets were put on sale today for the Jan. 27 event, which runs from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Early entry for season plan members begins at 10 a.m. as part

The debate between patient rebuild and aggressive reload

With such a large gathering in our blog community, it’s impossible to get everyone in agreement on most topics. And it’s a good thing because the varying opinions lead to some terrific debates. Especially the civil ones. Certain players on the free agent market have their supporters and detractors. The same goes for manager Buck Showalter and executive vice president Dan Duquette. Some fans endorse

Is there a short answer to left side of infield?

As long as we’re touching on various camp competitions that await the Orioles after they begin full-squad workouts and Grapefruit League games, we should consider what’s happening at shortstop. It could be about the players or the people within the organization who have their preferences. The job seemed to belong to Tim Beckham without dispute following the July 31 trade that brought him over from

Hays will be engaged in one of the camp competitions

The Orioles’ spring training camp will be littered with competitions in a few months. Not the filthy, gulls circling variety. A much smaller scale, but still littered Jobs won’t be handed to catcher Chance Sisco and outfielder Austin Hays, two of the top position prospects in the organization. They will be given the opportunity to head north for the March 29 opener against the Twins

Orioles offer contracts to seven arbitration-eligible players

The Orioles have tendered contracts to every player currently on their 40-man roster, taking the course of action deemed the most obvious. They were parked in a drama-free zone when it came to their seven arbitration-eligibles. Third baseman Manny Machado, second baseman Jonathan Schoop, starter Kevin Gausman, relievers Zach Britton and Brad Brach, shortstop Tim Beckham and catcher Caleb Joseph were offered contracts prior to

Orioles announce five more minor league signings

The Orioles aren’t done handing out minor league deals. And they’re certainly not done addressing the pitching depth in their system. Another wave of signings were announced today with right-handers Christian Binford, Perci Garner and Asher Wojciechowski, and left-handers Jason Gurka and Luis Lugo. The Garner news broke late last night, with confirmation coming via the pitcher and his agency. Gurka, 29, is back with

Castillo signs with White Sox

The Orioles veered away from an organizational philosophy last winter when they including a $7 million player option for 2018 in catcher Welington Castillo’s free agent contract. They didn’t refer to it as an opt-out clause, but it basically played as one. Castillo declined the option, as expected, and he agreed to terms today on a two-year, $15 million deal with the White Sox. His

This, that and the other

As the Orioles continue their search for starting pitchers, casting a wide net that covers the free agent, trade and international markets and potential non-tenders, they also are banking on two strong halves from Kevin Gausman. Tabbed as this year’s opening day starter due to Chris Tillman’s shoulder injury, Gausman registered a 5.85 ERA and 1.763 WHIP before the All-Star break and a 3.41 ERA

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