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Thirteen spring training games to air on 105.7 The Fan

Orioles pitchers and catchers report to spring training in fewer than two weeks and the radio broadcast schedule is available to whet the appetite of fans who already are starving for baseball. Thirteen exhibition games will air on Entercom’s 105.7 The Fan, beginning with the home opener on Feb. 23 against the Rays at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. Eleven of the 13 games will

More on Machado, Beckham and Mountcastle

Manny Machado pulled off the neat trick of being a central figure in three FanFest storylines despite remaining home in Miami. Why wasn’t he there? What position is he playing? Why hasn’t he been traded or signed to a lucrative extension? We only know that he had an unexcused absence that manager Buck Showalter supported as a private matter. We know that he’s entering camp

O’Day with differing opinions on netting and pitch clock

The expansion of the protective netting at Camden Yards and most ballparks meets the approval of Orioles reliever Darren O’Day, who’s been an advocate of it for many years. However, the possibility of Major League Baseball instituting a 20-second pitch clock brings the opposite reaction. One out of two might have to suffice. The Orioles are extending the netting from section 16 to section 58,

Zach Britton on being “maybe a little ahead of schedule”

Zach Britton couldn’t attend Saturday’s FanFest at the Baltimore Convention Center, an excused absence based on his Achilles surgery and rehab in California. But the Orioles closer was a presence at the annual event, spreading positive updates about his recovery in an online Q&A and conference call with the media. He also maintained a humorous dialogue through his Twitter account while referenced in the season

Trumbo talks about the value of less as more

Mark Trumbo led the majors with 47 home runs in 2016, drove in 108 runs and parlayed his career highs into a three-year, $37.5 million contract to remain with the Orioles. A virtual bargain given today’s salaries. Trumbo followed it up with 23 home runs, 65 RBIs, an OPS that dipped from .850 to .686 and a vow to clear his head and get a

Adam Jones on lack of contract talks and free agency

With free agency on the horizon and the bulk of fan and media attention on others who could leave Baltimore, center fielder Adam Jones confirmed this afternoon at FanFest that he hasn’t been involved in any contract negotiations with the Orioles. Jones is set to earn $17 million in the final season of the six-year, $85.5 million extension he signed in May 2012. Rumors surfaced

Beckham on third base: “I’m looking forward to it”

Tim Beckham said he found out last night, through a conversation with Orioles manager Buck Showalter, that he would move from shortstop to third base and he’s ready for it. No nerves, no reservations. He’ll do what’s needed without complaint. “It’s exciting, man. It’s a new position for me, so I’m ready to go over and have some fun for sure,” he said during his

Showalter on Machado at shortstop and FanFest absences

Ending months of speculation over which position Manny Machado will play, Orioles manager Buck Showalter told the media at FanFest this morning that the three-time All-Star - absent from the event - will move to shortstop. There isn’t a bigger story here, rivaled only by Machado and Jonathan Schoop staying home. Tim Beckham will play third base, where he’s made five major league starts, while

Duquette on starting pitching, his contract and more

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette, appearing at today’s FanFest at the Baltimore Convention Center, said he’s confident that he can add a couple of starting pitchers and is setting March 1 as sort of a deadline to do it. “They’re going to need three or four weeks to get ready, so it would be important to get somebody signed up three or four weeks

Machado playing shortstop in 2018 (and other notes)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter confirmed today that Manny Machado will go into spring training as the starting shortstop and Tim Beckham will play third base. Showalter told the media assembled on the third floor of the Baltimore Convention Center for the annual FanFest. Showalter said the plan could change later, but this is how the players will be positioned. He indicated that Beckham preferred to

Dickerson on Beckham, Russell on catchers, Coolbaugh on Davis

The doors to the Baltimore Convention Center open this morning at 10 a.m. for season ticket holders attending the annual FanFest event and 11 a.m. for everyone else. Gauging the crowd’s mood will be interesting, given the slow offseason and unexpected absences of star players Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop. Along with the anticipated questions about Machado’s status on the team - traded or not

Orioles acquire Éngelb Vielma from Giants

The Orioles have tossed another candidate into the mix for utility infielder, acquiring Éngelb Vielma from the Giants this afternoon for a player to be named or cash considerations. The trade won’t rock the foundation of the Baltimore Convention Center for Saturday’s FanFest event, but they were in the market for a player with Vielma’s skill set. Vielma, 23, can play second base, shortstop and

Machado and Schoop no longer scheduled for FanFest

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado won’t attend Saturday’s FanFest at the Baltimore Convention Center, marking the second time in three years that he’s skipped the annual event. The club sent out an email this morning to alert fans who purchased autograph vouchers and offer refunds. Three-fourths of last year’s starting infield won’t be in Baltimore this weekend. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop also informed the team

Notes on starting pitching market, contract talks and more

As the offseason moves closer toward the date when pitchers and catchers report to spring training, the Orioles haven’t been able to find starters on the free agent market who are within their price range or don’t pose a risk of flunking the physical. I’ve written that the club expressed concerns over the medicals on multiple starters, further thinning out a crop that doesn’t impress

MASN announces seven-game Orioles spring training TV schedule

You can’t wait for Saturday’s Orioles FanFest because it helps ward off the winter chill and make baseball season seem just a little closer. (OK, for a few minutes we’ll ignore the fact that it’s supposed to be in the mid-50s on Saturday, so work with me ...) Well, if you’re wondering when you’ll actually get to see Orioles baseball on MASN, wonder no more.

Leftovers for breakfast

The utility job in Baltimore remains open to a cluster of in-house competitors and the anticipated outsider, the latter’s identity remaining a mystery. The Orioles seem to have targeted a specific player. The challenge is getting him under contract. Is it more important than finding three starting pitchers? Not even close. But it’s still important. Every team has that guy on its roster. More of

Orioles announce plans to expand protective netting

The Orioles have become the latest team in Major League Baseball to take additional steps toward providing for the safety of its fans. The club announced today that it will expand the protective netting behind home plate at Camden Yards and Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota to reduce the risk of foul balls and spiraling bats reaching the crowd and causing serious injury. Though the

Bobbleheads, snow globe, puffy vest highlight O’s promos

The Orioles announced their list of promotions and special events earlier today and it includes Dylan Bundy and Trey Mancini bobbleheads, a Buck ‘Snow’alter snow globe and a retro talking alarm clock. Who can resist? The Birdland Hawaiian Shirt, featuring a new design, also is back for the 2018 season. There will be five T-shirt giveaways, an Orioles lightweight hoodie, puffy vest, floppy hat and

Notes on Hardy, Stewart and Hays

While taking the high road again after my latest Oscar snub ... As the Orioles keep us waiting on their decision regarding the starting shortstop on opening day - Manny Machado, Tim Beckham or a mystery applicant - J.J. Hardy is working out in Arizona and drawing interest from multiple teams. A typical offseason except for the free agency part. Hardy has played only shortstop

Orioles add Triple-A Norfolk to exhibition schedule

The Orioles’ exhibition schedule doesn’t end on March 25. Only the Grapefruit League portion of it. For the second year in a row, the Orioles will travel to Norfolk for a game against their Triple-A affiliate. The teams will play on March 26 at Harbor Park with first pitch slated for 3:05 p.m. There’s always rain in the forecast. It’s become a tradition. But don’t

Duquette on negotiations, prospect list (plus other notes)

Only four days remain before the Orioles’ annual FanFest event commences without the chance to announce a significant acquisition via free agency or trade. The ticking of the clock grows louder. It can’t drown out the angst emanating from a fan base that lost patience shortly after the final out of the 2017 season. Could the team make a move later this week? “I hope

Can Santander’s defense keep him in majors?

While the Orioles try to settle on a left-handed hitter to play the outfield, along with other moves required to fill out the roster, they promise not to skimp on the defense. Upgrading it must be part of any plan. The club’s reputation for outstanding glovework took another hit last season, and it could influence the decision whether to carry Anthony Santander for the first

Could Dyson bring the left-handed bat needed in the outfield?

There’s a guessing game attached to the bits of information that filter out of the Orioles organization in the winter. We know the areas of need. We just don’t always know the players under consideration. Manager Buck Showalter and executive vice president Dan Duquette met for more than an hour Thursday and a specific right fielder was a topic of conversation. The name remains a

Showalter nearing confirmation on Machado’s 2018 position

The Orioles may not have a new player to introduce next Saturday at FanFest, though it won’t be from a lack of effort. Executive vice president Dan Duquette continues to work the phones. But manager Buck Showalter indicated that a decision on Manny Machado’s position could be revealed over the weekend. Take the news where you can find it. Showalter has talked about knowing in

Orioles sign Perez and Gamboa to minor league deals (updated)

With depth moves included on the offseason docket, the Orioles are returning catcher Audry Perez and pitcher Eddie Gamboa to the organization. Perez and Gamboa have signed minor league deals, the news coming via the club’s Twitter account. The Orioles also announced the signings of infielder Anderson Féliz and outfielder D’Arby Myers that were reported earlier this month. Perez, 29, has spent the past three

Showalter on meetings, negotiations, Machado and more

Orioles manager Buck Showalter spent about an hour yesterday meeting with executive vice president Dan Duquette and also talked to managing partner Peter Angelos before heading back to Dallas this weekend for his grandson’s christening. The push continues to locate starting pitching, the primary need by a mile, along with a left-handed hitter, left-handed reliever, utility player and veteran catcher. Lots of teams are laying

DJ Stewart invited to major league camp (and other notes)

Manager Buck Showalter, appearing tonight on the “Orioles Hot Stove Show” on 105.7 The Fan, said Double-A Bowie outfielder DJ Stewart will be in major league camp next month. Stewart will be included on the list of invites. It’s a nice reward for Stewart, a first-round pick in 2015 out of Florida State University, after he batted .278/.378/481 with 26 doubles, two triples, 21 home

Can Faulkner provide left-handed relief for Orioles?

The annual Orioles minicamp gives manager Buck Showalter an opportunity to become more familiar with some of the minor league pitchers and the media a chance to figure out which ones grabbed his attention, intrigued him and can be viewed as potential contributors over the summer. Certain names come up without prompting, sometimes on multiple occasions during a single interview. Rule 5 pick Nestor Cortes

Orioles continuing negotiations with Schoop and Gausman

With the Orioles down to two unsigned arbitration-eligible players, they intend to continue negotiations until the hearing dates next month rather than go “file and trial,” according to a source. Consider their approach “file and try.” The club reached agreements on Friday with closer Zach Britton, third baseman Manny Machado, reliever Brad Brach, infielder Tim Beckham and catcher Caleb Joseph. They exchanged salary figures with

Orioles announce lineup for FanFest autograph stations

In case anyone doubted whether Manny Machado would attend FanFest later this month, his name is included on the list of players released tonight by the Orioles. Trade rumors won’t keep him away. Put away the speculation and focus on getting your autograph vouchers, which go on sale Wednesday at 10 a.m. The annual event will be held on Jan. 27 at the Baltimore Convention

More roster talk, Scott on Wynns and Givens on wins

Exactly how many holes exist in the Orioles’ 25-man roster as they get closer to their report date for spring training? The calculation involves math, but I’m willing to move outside my comfort zone. The Orioles have two confirmed starters in Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy. The bullpen should include Brad Brach, Darren O’Day, Mychal Givens and Richard Bleier. Miguel Castro will be in the

Thoughts on Drury, Moustakas, rotation issues and more

Confirming the various reports on trade talks with the Diamondbacks, the Orioles have discussed Brandon Drury as part of the return for third baseman Manny Machado. Just one of the many names tossed around since they arrived at the Winter Meetings. If you’re alphabetizing them, Drury is high up on the list. The Diamondbacks seem to be the most aggressive team among the Machado suitors

This, that and the other

The three-day minicamp in Sarasota provided a few more chances to talk about closer Zach Britton’s Achilles surgery and how it impacts the bullpen and its occupants. Get used to it. It’s going to continue through spring training and for as long as Britton is rehabbing “I think that we did a good job,” said left-hander Richard Bleier. “Brad (Brach) filled in really nicely for

More on the arbitration deadline and how it impacted Orioles

The “deadline” for arbitration-eligible players to reach agreement on contracts for the upcoming season deserves the quotation marks that surround it. Big, bold, permanent marks like tattoos. Talk about a forced storyline. Talk about wasted energy. Executive vice president Dan Duquette was 0-for-7 past the 1 p.m. “deadline” and signed five players later in the day. It just meant that the sides ventured into territory

Orioles sign five of seven arbitration-eligible players

The Orioles are left with two unsigned arbitration-eligible players after a flurry of activity past the 1 p.m. deadline. Pitcher Kevin Gausman and second baseman Jonathan Schoop didn’t agree to terms and it appears that the situation will remain unresolved heading into the weekend, according to a source. The sides have exchanged salary proposals and negotiations may continue until the hearing dates, which will be

Orioles sign Britton, Brach, Machado, Joseph and Beckham

The 1 p.m. deadline has passed for teams to sign their arbitration-eligible players before the sides exchange salary figures. The seven Orioles haven’t reached agreements, but executive vice president Dan Duquette texted that the club is “still working on it.” The sides can continue to negotiate while hearing dates are set for next month in Phoenix. It’s a pretty flimsy deadline. Third baseman Manny Machado,

The bench, arbitration deadline, Triple-A hitting coach and more

Hints were dropped at the Winter Meetings that the Orioles could go with a three-man bench and carry 13 pitchers. Manager Buck Showalter never stated it as a certainty, but he implied that they could follow the trend in baseball. He also pointed out why it would be an extreme challenge. Why it seemed unlikely to transpire, circumstances stomping out the idea. “The problem is,

Hearing from Hess and Akin at minicamp

Only eight of the 17 pitchers at the Orioles minicamp in Sarasota threw off a bullpen mound over the course of three days. Richard Bleier had sessions on Monday and yesterday. I’m including Ryan O’Rourke in the group of invitees because the Orioles wanted to check on him following ligament-reconstructive surgery on his left elbow that forced him to miss the 2017 season. O’Rourke and

More on Orioles minicamp (2018 game times set)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles’ latest minicamp provided an opportunity for manager Buck Showalter and some of his coaches to check on the Ed Smith Stadium complex after it incurred damage from Hurricane Irma and with new sod being laid on the Camden Yards replica field. A scoreboard is going up later this winter and the batter’s eye must be replaced. Netting beyond the outfield

McDowell wraps up the three-day minicamp

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles concluded their three-day minicamp at the Ed Smith Stadium complex this morning with Richard Bleier throwing his second bullpen session. Bleier was the only pitcher on a mound today and the only one cleared for multiple sessions this week. This is the fifth year in a row that the Orioles have held their minicamp in Sarasota. Dariel Álvarez did some

Dariel Álvarez nearing return to mound

SARASOTA, Fla. - Dariel Álvarez no longer is resistant to making the switch from outfielder to pitcher. He’s embracing the idea with a surgically repaired elbow and a new attitude. Álvarez is playing catch at minicamp, which wraps up later today, and said via translator Ramon Martinez that he’s scheduled to throw off a flat mound by the end of the month. “I’ve been doing

Could Yacabonis become a starter?

SARASOTA, Fla. - We’ve come upon the third and final day of the Orioles minicamp at the Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota. It feels like we just arrived and got reacquainted with the facility. Like we just checked the nameplates above the lockers to make certain that no one signed during the flight. Pitching coach Roger McDowell will meet briefly with the three beat

Pondering the closer situation as Day Two of minicamp concludes

SARASOTA, Fla. - As Zach Britton sits at home with a boot covering his foot following Achilles surgery, the backend of the Orioles bullpen now fractured, manager Buck Showalter won’t anoint one reliever as his closer moving forward. Britton could miss the first half of the season depending on his recovery, with no firm timeline in place. He’s hoping to be back in May or

Orioles aren’t ready to place restrictions on Hunter Harvey

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter won’t put an innings limit on Hunter Harvey, the former first-round pick who’s recovered from ligament-reconstructive surgery on his right elbow. No decision has been made on where he’ll be assigned. Keeping Harvey healthy is job No. 1. The rest should take care of itself. Watching Harvey throw his bullpen session today “brings a smile to my face,”

Miguel Castro preparing for chance to start

SARASOTA, Fla. - The second day of Orioles minicamp concluded this morning with Hunter Harvey, Joely Rodríguez, Luis Gonzalez, Lucas Long and Yefri Ramírez throwing bullpen sessions. Harvey’s sessions always will attract interest, but manager Buck Showalter also has varying levels of praise for the other four pitchers in the group. He’s relieved that Gonzalez, a left-hander who went 6-2 with a 2.47 ERA and

Chris Lee on a difficult season and a fresh start

SARASOTA, Fla. - We’re only one day into the Orioles minicamp and manager Buck Showalter is accomplishing everything on the list. Pitchers coming off surgeries are checked, the newbies are evaluated, meetings are held with everyone who received an invitation. Chris Tillman’s workouts while the club retains interest in re-signing him are an added bonus. I’ll just assume that he remains out of view of

More on Cortes, Bleier and Givens on Britton, amateur signing

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles set up their yearly minicamps, initially at Camden Yards and for the past five years at the Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota, in part to gather early impressions on pitchers they’ve mostly known through scouting reports, video and word of mouth. Manager Buck Showalter already held a favorable opinion of left-hander Nestor Cortes Jr. and it heightened after the

Showalter on Machado, Beckham, the roster and more

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter continues to proceed as if Manny Machado will be part of his opening day lineup, though trade discussions haven’t closed. There’s no other way to handle the matter. Showalter has talked to Machado and Tim Beckham about the left side of the infield and how it might unfold. Machado could move over to shortstop, the spot where Beckham

Quick hits from Showalter following Day One of minicamp

SARASOTA, Fla. - Pitcher Chris Tillman, who has a home here, is working out at the Ed Smith Stadium complex after receiving permission from the Orioles. Tillman is a free agent and manager Buck Showalter expressed interest today in bringing back the veteran right-hander. Showalter also said he’d like to hold onto free agent outfielder Craig Gentry, whose defense and speed are valuable assets. Showalter

Hunter Harvey: “I feel like I’m ready to go”

SARASOTA, Fla. - The first day of Orioles minicamp wrapped up this morning with Rule 5 pick Nestor Cortes Jr. completing a bullpen session, pitchers running sprints and Dariel Álvarez playing catch on flat ground as he recovers from ligament-reconstructive surgery on his right elbow. Álvarez is converting from outfielder to reliever. Manager Buck Showalter is joined by pitching coach Roger McDowell, bullpen coach Alan

Brian Ebel promoted to head athletic trainer

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles announced this morning that assistant athletic trainer Brian Ebel has been promoted to the head position as Richie Bancells’ replacement. Bancells retired in October after 41 seasons in the organization. Ebel, 51, has spent the last 21 seasons as the assistant and is entering his 34th year with the Orioles. He’s only the fourth head athletic trainer in club history.

Day One of Orioles minicamp

SARASOTA, Fla. - The first day of Orioles minicamp begins this morning at the Ed Smith Stadium complex, with pitchers scheduled to head outdoors at 10 a.m. A small group of beat writers will have clubhouse access for an hour. Temperatures climb into the 70s this week, but rain is in the forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday, which could move some of the bullpen sessions

Brach seeking to be better in second half

As Brad Brach prepares for a likely role as the primary closer for the Orioles while Zach Britton recovers from Achilles surgery, he’s making an adjustment to his offseason routine in order to put together two robust halves. More cardio to correct the discrepancy. Brach has been the reverse of Kevin Gausman. Better before the break. He made the American League All-Star team in 2016

Chris Davis on hitting approach, contract pressure and more

It won’t be long before Chris Davis’ family, which already includes wife Jill and daughter Ella, will expand with the arrival of twin girls. “We’re going to go from man-to-man coverage to a zone real quick in our house, but we’re fired up about it,” Davis said this week while interviewed on the “Orioles Hot Stove Show” on 105.7 The Fan. “I couldn’t be happier.

Chris Davis on his “great offseason” and fighting the shift

Orioles first baseman Chris Davis arranged an interview session with some of the beat writers before the final game at Tropicana Field and vowed to dedicate his offseason to working with hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh in Texas while attempting to improve his average and get back to being a threat in the middle of the order. It wasn’t just lip service. Davis had just finished

This, that and the other

Spring training wouldn’t feel right unless the media had camp competitions to chronicle on a daily basis. Fifth starter, last bullpen and bench spots, backup catcher. It allows us to obsess over guys like Chad Moeller, Luis Exposito, Zack Phillips, Ryan Drese, Alex Gonzalez, Jimmy Paredes, Travis Ishikawa, Jason Pridie, Russ Canzler, Jai Miller and Trayvon Robinson. It makes us feel foolish later when so

Previewing next week’s minicamp in Sarasota (updated twice)

While the extended forecast calls for snow possible later this week and temperatures so low that they can turn your thoughts to ice, the highs in Sarasota are stuck in the 50s until Sunday. Until the Orioles begin trickling into the Ed Smith Stadium complex for their annual three-day minicamp. Temperatures are supposed to climb back into the 70s by Monday’s first workout with only

Rehashing questions and revisiting Bundy

We’re in the midst of a new week in a new year with the same old questions hovering around the Orioles. Dogging them like a pack of Dobermans. How will executive vice president Dan Duquette fill out the rotation with three spots open and the club showing no inclination to spend the necessary amount to land an ace-like arm? Which left-handed hitters will be obtained,

Coming up with a few New Year’s resolutions for the Orioles

While wondering how many fans woke up this morning with their faces pressed against the cold bathroom floor tiles ... I’ve never been one to compose a list of New Year’s resolutions, mainly because there’s little chance that I’d see them through. And they’re terribly clichéd as sports-related stories on Jan. 1. But who am I to judge? Or Aaron Judge? If the Orioles are

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