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Talking velocity with Mike Wright and a quick take on the Josh Donaldson deal

When the Orioles drafted right-handed pitcher Mike Wright in the third round out of East Carolina in 2011, they envisioned a big strong innings eater that has good velocity. He is 6-foot-6 and throws a fastball that can touch the mid 90s, sometimes more. You can’t just teach that, and his size and velocity doesn’t grow on trees. A recent addition to the Orioles’ 40-man

After his 2014 struggles, can Ubaldo Jimenez turn it around next season?

When the Orioles signed pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez to a four-year deal worth $50 million in February, the fan response was overwhelmingly positive. Now, less than a year later, most fans are down on the 30-year-old right-hander who went 6-9 with a 4.81 ERA in 25 games. Jimenez had a few good moments as an Oriole, but not enough to keep him from losing his rotation

Is Kyle Seager’s new contract a glimpse at a possible future deal for Manny Machado?

The news came out this week, but didn’t get the same publicity and coverage as the Red Sox’s signings of free agents Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. The Seattle Mariners agreed to a long-term deal with young third baseman Kyle Seager, a deal that could potentially provide a framework for a future contract for Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. Seager, who turned 27 on Nov.

Turkey Day wishes and a few notes

Happy Thanksgiving to all the loyal readers here today and to everyone throughout Birdland! I am thankful for so many things, including a great family, wonderful friends and getting to cover and write about my hometown team. But also that so many come here every day to read what I have to say, take the time to leave comments and engage in daily baseball conversations.

For Tyler Wilson, a memorable few weeks ends with his addition to 40-man roster

This has been a November to remember for Orioles pitching prospect Tyler Wilson. The right-hander turned 25 in September and got married on Nov. 15. Two days later, he and his wife Chelsea left for their honeymoon in Jamaica and three days later, he got an important phone call. It was the one where he found out he was added to the Orioles’ 40-man roster.

Will new hitting coach lead to any changes in O’s approach on offense?

So the Orioles will have a new hitting coach for the 2015 season with the news yesterday that Jim Presley is being reassigned. While this comes at Presley’s request, I can see some fans jumping to the conclusion that manager Buck Showalter wants a new hitting coach. That does not appear to be the case, and several times late during the 2014 season, Showalter remarked

The AL East: Never a shortage of money or moves

Heading into the 2013 season, the Toronto Blue Jays were a trendy pick to win the American League East. They made some bold moves and spent some money the previous winter. They acquired players like R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Melky Cabrera and Jose Reyes. But it didn’t work out and Toronto finished in last place at 77-84. It got a little better last

Prospect Profile: Brian Gonzalez had strong debut season in O’s system

When the Orioles finally made a draft pick last June, they selected a high school player with their top pick for the fifth time in six years. But unlike in some recent years, they didn’t have one of the top picks in the draft. In fact, this time the Orioles’ first selection came on Day Two and in the third round of the First-Year Player

Second offseason edition: 10 questions for O’s fans

This is like a game show, just without any prizes, pretty models or a TV network. It is the latest edition of 10 question for O’s fans, and it comes exactly one month after the first one. It is again time to survey Birdland. Answer one question, two, three or all 10. Provide a one or two-word answer or one that is longer. It is

One step closer to the bigs: Mike Wright gets added to the O’s 40-man roster

Mike Wright’s chances to help the Orioles in 2015 increased yesterday as the 24-year-old right-hander was added to the 40-man roster. Wright joined right-hander Tyler Wilson as 40-man additions Thursday and now neither pitcher can be taken by another team in the Rule 5 draft in December. “It is really awesome that the Orioles like me enough to protect me and I get to go

A look at the O’s strong braintrust, plus Adam Jones finds a pie he actually wants to eat

The Orioles are the only team in baseball that can claim this distinction: The current executive and manager of the year reside in Baltimore. Dan will do it. In Buck we trust. What Buck Showalter started when he changed the culture with the Orioles franchise, Dan Duquette enhanced it and took a step further as he picked up the ball left behind by Andy MacPhail.

Comparing Miller and Robertson, and passing along props to Oliver Drake

During the 2014 season, Andrew Miller pitched better than David Robertson. Miller has the stats to prove it. He had a better ERA, more strikeouts per nine innings, fewer walks per nine innings, a better WHIP and beat Robertson in other statistical categories as well. So will Robertson get a better contract via free agency than Miller? Should he? Ken Rosenthal discussed that question on

A look at the Rule 5 draft and which players O’s might add to 40-man roster

The Rule 5 draft is the last event of the Winter Meetings and will take place on Dec. 11. Any player selected in this draft must remain on the selecting team’s 25-man roster for the entire 2015 season or be offered back to his original club. This is the draft where the Orioles got Ryan Flaherty three years ago and pitcher T.J. McFarland two years

Is a dominant bullpen back end essential or the new “flavor of the month”?

In sports, we see copycats all the time. A strategy that leads one team to a big season or championship is then copied by others in an attempt to repeat the success. The Kansas City Royals are a team that others may look to copy in 2015. If a team can build a bullpen as good, they can shorten the game to six innings. The

Hey, big spender: So the Marlins are about to spend $325 million?

Will Giancarlo Stanton become baseball’s first $300 million player? That was certainly stunning news this week when reports of this megacontract surfaced. By the way, the team making the reported offer of a 13-year, $325 million deal, the Miami Marlins, once cast off players in a fire sale. This is coming from a Marlins team that had an opening day payroll of $50.5 million in

Mike Griffin on Mychal Givens and Parker Bridwell, plus final AFL stats

Last year, eight players from the Orioles organization played for the Surprise Saguaros, who won the Arizona Fall League championship. Pitchers Eduardo Rodriguez, Tim Berry, Branden Kline and Jason Gurka, and position players Henry Urrutia, Dariel Alvarez, Jonathan Schoop and Michael Ohlman were on that team. Today, Peoria plays Salt River for the AFL championship, but the season is over for the seven O’s that

A look at the price of pitching

The price of pitching in Major League Baseball is high. Three pitchers in the current free agent class could head into next season with new contracts of at least $100 million. Former big league general manager Jim Bowden published his projections on ESPN.com for some free agent deals this winter. He projected that Max Scherzer could get a seven-year deal worth $189 million, Jon Lester

MLB Network talks Nelson Cruz and MLB looks to help youth pitchers

So one big domino in the free agent market fell yesterday when the Detroit Tigers re-signed designated hitter Victor Martinez to a four-year deal worth $68 million. They made him a top priority and got a deal done quickly. Martinez, who turns 36 next month, is coming off a huge year where he batted .335. He led the American League in OBP at .409 and

A look at the free agent talk about Nelson Cruz and Andrew Miller

In the Twitter world, where many of us get our daily baseball news in 140-character bursts, ESPN’s Buster Olney sent this out yesterday about Nelson Cruz: The Orioles offered Nelson Cruz a three-year deal before he went into free agency. They're positioned to wait out as he talks w/ other teams— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 11, 2014 Later, a Boston reporter tweeted that Cruz wants

Buck Showalter talks about his Manager of the Year honor

Many Orioles fans are happy tonight as the manager they appreciate got honored as American League Manager of the Year. After winning the Baseball Writers’ Association of America award for the third time, the Orioles’ Buck Showalter was asked about the great fit he has become in Baltimore. The fans love him and he feels the same toward them. All that winning and two playoff

Notes on Markakis, Cruz, Hamels and more

It doesn’t yet appear that Orioles fans have much reason to worry about watching the longest-tenured Oriole, Nick Markakis, play for another team next season. But if Markakis’ agent is going to meet with other teams this week to see what is out there, the Orioles management can certainly do the same. One player that may be worth the Orioles looking at is free agent

A look at Zach Davies’ strong performance in the Arizona Fall League

He had a very solid 2014 season pitching for Double-A Bowie at just 21, and right-hander Zach Davies has carried that over to the Arizona Fall League. After going 10-7 with a 3.35 ERA for the Baysox, Davies is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in six starts for the Glendale Desert Dogs of the AFL. In his last four starts, he has given up just

An Orioles Mount Rushmore

If we could magically produce an Orioles Mount Rushmore, which four Orioles do you put on the mountain? There have been six Orioles that have had their numbers retired. They are the six elected to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, and the six that have statues at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. How do you pick just four? No. 4 - Earl Weaver is

Taking a shot at projecting the Orioles’ 2015 payroll

Trying to project or predict a major league team’s future payroll is a difficult proposition. But we can at least make some projections that could get us in the ballpark, no pun intended. Here is a look at a projected 25-man Orioles roster for 2015 and what it might cost the club. Right up front, I will say I included Nick Markakis, but did not

Notes on Nelson Cruz, free agent rankings and more

Nelson Cruz has said several times that he would like to remain an Oriole. But he has not said he would sign with the Orioles if their contract offer is not the best he can get as a free agent. Would he take less money or a contract for fewer years than he could get from another team? That is a whole different story. As

A look at the Orioles’ pursuit of a new deal with Nick Markakis

It sure seems there is a pretty good chance that the Orioles will come to an agreement on a new contract with outfielder Nick Markakis, whose six-year deal worth $66.1 million ended this season. But pretty good chance does not mean definite. Markakis can now negotiate with any other team. It would sure seem strange to see him playing for another team in 2015 and

Notes on arbitration cases, Gold Gloves and more

If you were told there would be no math, you were misinformed about today’s blog. Let’s take a look at how much more money a list of 11 arbitration-eligible players will cost the Orioles in 2015. To do this, we look at the salaries those players earned in 2014 and what they are projected to make in 2015 through arbitration, according to projections from MLBTradeRumors.com.

Miguel Gonzalez had another solid year and people may finally be noticing

He doesn’t throw that hard. He doesn’t get a lot of wins or strikeouts. Sometimes it seems he doesn’t get a lot of respect. But maybe some of that is finally changing for right-hander Miguel Gonzalez. He had yet another solid season for the Orioles in 2014 and by now, it appears some people are noticing. In 27 games, including 26 starts, this year, Gonzalez

After trying season and suspension, Chris Davis’ popularity with the fans has taken a hit

Some Orioles fans are not happy with Chris Davis. Not only did his batting average drop to .196 this season, but he ended the year serving a 25-game suspension for taking Adderall. Davis let down his organization, teammates and Orioles fans. One year after leading the majors with 53 homers, he ended this season on the restricted list and was not available to the Orioles

A look at where the O’s top prospects may play in 2015

Last Monday, Baseball America released its latest list of the Orioles’ top 10 prospects. If you didn’t see the list the first time, Dylan Bundy tops it for the fourth straight year. Here is a look at the list and where those players might start the 2015 season. 1) Dylan Bundy, RHP: Believe it or not, Bundy has pitched 16 2/3 innings in his life

One reliever off the free agent board, a prospect flashback and the stat of the day

Heading into free agency, the Orioles, Red Sox and Yankees all had one key reliever that could have hit the open market. Now that number has been reduced from three players to two. While Andrew Miller and David Robertson are likely to test the market and accept offers, Koji Uehara will not. The former Orioles right-hander signed a two-year deal worth $18 million to stay

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