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Did the Dodgers create a poor precedent with Scott Kazmir signing?

So free agent left-hander Scott Kazmir got an opt-out clause. I really don’t understand the Los Angeles Dodgers’ thinking here. Kazmir signed a three-year deal with the Dodgers that will reportedly guarantee him $48 million. But he has an opt-out clause after the first season. If he pitches poorly, the Dodgers are on the hook for all three years and $48 million. If he pitches

Will the Orioles be a player for a key free agent outfielder?

The Orioles need an outfielder and three key free agents that play outfield are still on the board: Justin Upton, Alex Gordon and Yoenis Cespedes. The Orioles must, at a minimum, be monitoring their markets if not doing more. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reported Tuesday that the Orioles and White Sox are emerging as favorites “for now” to sign Cespedes. The 30-year-old Cespedes has one edge

A take on Wei-Yin Chen, a trade and more

A few random thoughts today on a pitcher, a trade and payroll: * If some team is going to give up a five-year, $100 million deal for left-hander Wei-Yin Chen and give up a draft pick, to me that is a big overpay. While Chen had his best year for the Orioles last year, he also has gone 16-19 with a 4.06 ERA in 52

Has the Chris Davis situation hurt the O’s offseason efforts?

A reader asked this here yesterday and it is a fair question: Is Chris Davis controlling this offseason for the Orioles? While Davis and what is happening or not with his free agent negotiations may be controlling the conversation and discussion about the O’s offseason, he is not controlling the team or its front office. The Orioles have continued to talk with other free agents

Notes on Joey Rickard, Tim Berry and big free agent contracts

Outfielder Joey Rickard, taken by the Orioles in the Rule 5 draft, is having a solid season in the Dominican Winter League. Over 50 games and 191 at-bats, he has hit .277/.344/.450 with 13 doubles, one triple, six homers and 32 RBIs. A 24-year-old who is a right-handed batter and lefty thrower, Rickard has hit .362 with runners in scoring position for Leones del Escogido.

Prospect profile: Calvert Hall’s Alex Murphy showed potential with bat in 2015

At FanFest, he was more recognized as the local kid who played high school ball at Calvert Hall than as an Orioles minor league player. But that was fine with 21-year-old Alex Murphy. He was excited to be there and happy to be healthy again after sports hernia surgery derailed what had the makings of a big 2015 season. In the 2013 First-Year Player Draft,

Will there soon be a new pitcher under the O’s tree?

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, Birdland! Here’s a hope that this is your best ever and that you get to spend it with family and friends. Enjoy the season even if you are in the warm Baltimore area, where this weather would be fully conducive for a doubleheader this afternoon. As for a quick baseball thought today, how about comparing two pitchers the Orioles have

With Hyun Soo Kim now signed, how will he fare against major league pitching?

With the Orioles still pursuing outfielders, Hyun Soo Kim now seems like their best option to start in left field. On Wednesday, the club officially announced that Kim signed a two-year contract. The Orioles must be hoping that Kim could be to their outfield what left-hander Wei-Yin Chen was to their pitching staff when they nabbed Chen in the international market in January 2012. Chen

In O’s minors, another way to look at catching statistics (plus another Davis take)

Caught-stealing percentage is a statistic that provides information, but sometimes doesn’t provide anywhere near a complete story on a catcher. We can look on a stat page and see that a catcher threw out 35 percent of attempted base stealers. Does that make him better than the catcher who threw out 30 percent? Not necessarily, and there are good reasons for that. When it comes

Chris Tillman looks for a bounceback season in 2016

As the Orioles look to improve on their starting rotation’s performance from last year, one area that could help would be improvement from current pitchers over their seasons from 2015. From 2012-14, Chris Tillman went a combined 38-16 with an ERA of 3.42. In those years, he ranked tied for 11th in the American League in wins and was 15th in ERA. Then he went

Holiday edition: “10 questions for O’s Fans”

If you were a reader here last winter or previously this offseason, you probably are familiar with what this is all about. In this edition of “10 questions for O’s fans,” I ask and seek your answers. Provide a short or long answer. Answer just one, two or a few questions or all 10. Please number your answers as that makes it a little easier

Zach Britton on his 2015 season, trade talks and more

When the Boston Red Sox traded a haul of prospects for San Diego closer Craig Kimbrel, some fans wondered if the Orioles could get a similar return for their closer, Zach Britton. Britton said he has heard that his name has come up in trade rumors. But he also seems convinced those are mostly just rumors and he knows the Orioles are certainly not looking

Brady Anderson on winter workouts; young O’s meet the media at FanFest

When it comes to leading a group of Orioles in winter workouts, club vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson is ready to help. He’s already joined pitcher Miguel Gonzalez for some of his workouts on the West Coast, and that group will later include Mike Wright, Jason Garcia and minor league lefty Tim Berry. “Garcia and Wright will spend some extensive time right before

Prospect profile: Now on 40-man, Andrew Triggs could help O’s ‘pen next year

The Orioles added three pitchers to their 40-man roster on Nov. 20 when they selected the contracts of right-handers Parker Bridwell and Andrew Triggs and left-hander Chris Lee. The additions kept the trio from being taken in the Rule 5 draft and moved them one step closer to the big leagues. Of the three, Triggs might have the best chance to impact the Orioles roster

Will 2016 be a big season for Kevin Gausman?

Kevin Gausman knows the Baltimore-to-Norfolk shuttle so well he could drive the route forward and backward. And probably with his eyes closed. But as he looks toward 2016, he hopes this is the season he gets the ball every fifth day and is in a major league rotation for the entire season. Gausman made five starts for the Orioles in 2013, 20 the next season

Dylan Bundy, Hunter Harvey top Baseball America O’s top 10 prospects list

Despite the fact that they pitched just 22 innings last year between them, Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey remain ranked No. 1 and No. 2 on the top 10 Orioles prospects list released this morning by Baseball America. They are ranked one and two for the second straight year. At a time when the O’s farm system has gotten some criticism, it still has two

Terry Doyle agrees to minor league contract and a few FanFest quotes

He was easily among the best starting pitchers on the Orioles farm last year and maybe the best of them all. And as of yesterday, 30-year-old right-hander Terry Doyle is back with the organization, agreeing to a minor league contract with the Orioles. In 2015, in 26 games (21 starts) between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk, Doyle went 16-2 with a 2.16 ERA. Over 158

Jonathan Schoop on his health, offseason and more at FanFest

Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop missed nearly three months last year with a sprained right knee, which sent him to the disabled list on April 18. Then he missed the last few games with a bruised right hand after getting hit by a pitch. In between, he played pretty well, and Schoop today pronounced himself healthy for the 2016 season. “Everything is perfect. Trying to

O’s minor league Player of the Year Trey Mancini enjoying his first FanFest

Trey Mancini probably knew the questions were coming. He is a first baseman who was the Orioles’ 2015 minor league Player of the Year, taking the Brooks Robinson Award. Now the club may be losing a first baseman in Chris Davis. Has Mancini followed the media reports? Is he ready to compete for a big league job at first? “I follow it just like a

Anderson on Davis and O’Day: “I hope in the future we are quicker to react”

Orioles vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson is delighted the club has agreed to terms with reliever Darren O’Day and made a big offer to first baseman Chris Davis. But Anderson said today at FanFest that by letting both players get to free agency, the club is paying more to re-sign them now than it would have cost earlier. “Small to mid-market teams like

Jason Heyward’s signing could get outfield market moving, plus FanFest note

Apparently, it is possible for a top free agent to accept less than the biggest offer. Amid reports that St. Louis and Washington offered him contracts worth $200 million or more, outfielder Jason Heyward took a deal for less. The free agent outfielder agreed to terms with the Chicago Cubs yesterday, getting an eight-year deal with opt-out clauses worth $184 million. Heyward hit just 13

Even more on Chris Davis and Joey Rickard

It seems like the Chris Davis situation has been hanging over the Orioles’ heads for weeks now. But we only found out about his $150 million offer from the Orioles when it was first reported by MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko on Tuesday night. Yep, it has only been a few days. Now maybe the O’s offer was made before then, but we’ve only publicly known about

One final Chris Davis take and one final video from Nashville

NASHVILLE - Before we head to the airport, a few final words on Chris Davis. I think the Orioles’ offer is big and legit, and they clearly made it known they want Davis back. As we all know by now, they can’t - and seemingly won’t - wait on him much longer. It’s go time for the 2016 roster. Dan Duquette is more aware of

O’s Kent Qualls on the players added in minor league phase of Rule 5 draft

NASHVILLE - The Orioles added three players to their organization in today’s Rule 5 draft, the final event of the Winter Meetings. They selected outfielder Joey Rickard from Tampa Bay in the major league phase. He must stay on the roster all year or be offered back to the Rays. The O’s added two pitchers in the Triple-A phase of the draft. These players are

Dan Duquette talks about Rule 5 addition of outfielder Joey Rickard

NASHVILLE - The Orioles today added an outfielder from the Tampa Bay organization, right-handed hitting Joey Rickard, in the Rule 5 draft. Between three teams last year, Rickard hit .321/.427/.447 with 28 doubles, eight triples, two homers and 55 RBIs. He stole 23 bases and scored 62 runs. The Rays selected Rickard, a Las Vegas native, in the ninth round of the 2012 First-Year Player

More from Dan Duquette, plus John Manuel on O’s farm, J.J. Cooper on Rule 5 draft

NASHVILLE - So here is an interesting question: What if Chris Davis accepts what Dan Duquette termed “a really aggressive offer?” Will the Orioles have enough cash remaining to fill other needs? Here is what Duquette said when I asked that yesterday: “Well, keep in mind we have a really strong core of this ballclub. When Matt Wieters made the choice to come back he

Dan Duquette on Chris Davis, the potential to lose a draft pick and more

NASHVILLE - We had another chance today to record a video interview with Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette. We spent some time on the Chris Davis talks and also asked if the Orioles would consider it difficult to relinquish the 14th draft pick to sign a free agent. Did any free agent or trade talks get advanced today? Are the Orioles close to anything

Buck Showalter on possibly parting with a draft pick and the need for a lefty bat

NASHVILLE - Would the Orioles part with the 14th pick in the draft? If they signed a free agent who had turned down a qualifying offer, they would have to. While the first 10 picks in next June’s First-Year Player Draft are protected, the O’s No. 14 pick is not. Players that turned down the qualifying offer who could be sought by the Orioles include

Looking ahead to the Rule 5 draft with Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper

NASHVILLE - The Orioles have the No. 15 pick in tomorrow’s Rule 5 draft here. We’ve come to expect the O’s to make a pick in this draft - last year they selected two players - and this year should be no different. Expect the O’s to make a pick. Since some teams will pass, there should not be 14 players taken before the Orioles

ESPN’s Keith Law on Chris Davis and the Orioles

NASHVILLE - Last night at the Winter Meetings, I recorded a video interview with ESPN’s Keith Law where we primarily discussed Chris Davis’ free agency. After we recorded this interview, my colleague Roch Kubatko broke the news via Twitter that the Orioles have made a huge offer to Davis. He tweeted the following: Sounds like no progress was made in #orioles talks with Boras regarding

O’s Dan Duquette on Chris Davis

NASHVILLE - Is decision day for Chris Davis and the Orioles coming soon? The answer may well be yes, at least from the club’s side. Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette met with Scott Boras, Davis’ agent, this afternoon here at the Winter Meetings. There doesn’t seem to be any indication that the sides are close to an agreement. At the same time, if the

O’s Brian Graham with updates on Dylan Bundy, Hunter Harvey (with video)

NASHVILLE - Orioles director of player development Brian Graham is part of the club’s front office contingent at the Winter Meetings. He provided some injury updates during a one-on-one video interview this morning. Right-hander Dylan Bundy has been limited to 63 innings since the 2013 season. He underwent Tommy John surgery during the 2013 season and then dealt with a shoulder issue last season. He

A look at the possible Chris Davis market; Vandy coach remembers Flaherty and Yastrzemski

NASHVILLE - The Orioles continue to be in the hunt for free agent first baseman Chris Davis. He led the majors with 47 homers last year and leads the majors with 159 since 2012. But what is unclear is how many teams are in that hunt with them. There has been very little information getting out on Davis and any negotiations that may have taken

Duquette talks up the farm; Harold Reynolds talks up Dan and Buck

While some publications have ranked the Orioles’ minor league system among the worst in baseball, try running that line by someone in the team’s scouting or player development departments. Or try running that by the man at the top of that food chain, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette. Some people - including some young players who also should not be overlooked - have put

O’s Dan Duquette on trades versus free agency, a Bundy update and more

NASHVILLE - For Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette, the first official day of the Winter Meetings produced an active day of talking to player agents and other teams in trade discussions - all of which he thinks could soon lead to additions for the Orioles. Duquette discussed this during a one-on-one video interview with MASNsports.com. “We did have a lot of talks,” he said.

O’s scouting director Gary Rajsich on DJ Stewart, Tanner Scott and next year’s draft picks

Considering they have a first-round pick, two second-round picks, a third-round pick and a competitive balance pick, the Orioles already have a pretty good haul of draft picks for next June’s First-Year Player Draft. If they lose Wei-Yin Chen or Chris Davis through free agency, they would get a compensatory pick for each player lost. Baseball America released today the current order for the 2016

Checking in with MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds at the Winter Meetings (with video)

NASHVILLE - He is a former Oriole and one of MLB Network’s top analysts. When he got off the air this morning from co-hosting his “Hot Stove” show, Harold Reynolds joined me for a video interview. We discussed several Orioles topics. On Chris Davis and what contract he could get: “He’s going to be one of those players that the demand is going to be

If O’s get Darren O’Day, the offseason will be off to a solid start

NASHVILLE - As an anxious fan base waits to see how this offseason will develop for the Orioles, dare we say it is off to a good start? The Orioles have a Plan B at first base with the addition of Mark Trumbo. It looks like two of their six free agents will be back with the team at a time when we saw predictions

Dan Duquette on O’s payroll, the pitching market (with video)

NASHVILLE - It would seem very likely that the Orioles’ payroll in 2016 will exceed the 2015 mark, which was in the $118-120 million range. While executive vice president Dan Duquette certainly isn’t ready to provide any numbers or guarantee the payroll will go up, he indicated it would during a one-on-one video interview tonight with MASNsports.com at the Winter Meetings. “Well, I think we

A look at the Orioles’ newest catcher and more free agent pitching talk

Taking a look at the Orioles’ newest catcher while waiting for the Winter Meetings to start tomorrow and wondering if the Orioles will have new players by this time next week: On the day the Orioles traded the catcher that was considered No. 3 on their depth chart, they acquired another one who moves into that role. Steve Clevenger was dealt to Seattle on Wednesday.

Revisiting the 2016 payroll projection

Now that the deadline to tender contracts has come and gone, it’s time to take another look at the projected Orioles payroll for 2016. The Orioles have six players with salaries set for the 2016 season: * $16.3 million - Adam Jones * $15.8 million - Matt Wieters * $13.0 million - Ubaldo Jimenez * $12.5 million - J.J. Hardy * $2.6 million - Vance

Several minor league notes and one writer’s bold free agent prediction

A few notes to pass along while wondering if the Orioles will be busy next week at the Winter Meetings: * Three members of the Orioles minor league staff will not be returning for next season. Rookie-level Gulf Coast League manager Matt Merullo and short-season Single-A Aberdeen hitting coach Calvin Pickering did not have their contracts renewed. Also, Single-A Frederick hitting coach Paco Figueroa is

Jim Duquette feels Mark Trumbo addition does not end O’s pursuit of Chris Davis

The Orioles’ trade for first baseman/outfielder Mark Trumbo is a good backup plan in case the club does not re-sign Chris Davis. But it is not necessarily a big indication that the Orioles are concerned that they can’t or won’t sign Davis. That is the take of former Orioles and Mets executive Jim Duquette. Duquette is now an analyst for MLB Network Radio on Sirius

All in the family: O’s have Showalter, Duquette’s sons on scouting staff

The Orioles now have the sons of both manager Buck Showalter and executive vice president Dan Duquette on their amateur scouting staffs. Nathan Showalter just completed his first season with the team and Dana Duquette was just hired. The 24-year-old Duquette will scout New York, New Jersey and the New England area. He is replacing Kirk Fredriksson, who was promoted by the Orioles to the

A look at a prospects list where O’s fare well and Dan Duquette’s take on it

Well, here is a twist: a prospect ranking that likes the Orioles. At a time when their farm system has gotten ample criticism, a ranking was published this week where the Orioles look strong. It was published on FanGraphs.com by Chris Mitchell, who calls it his KATOH system. The system uses only 2015 minor league stats and data to project future major league performance. Scouting

A quick take on Mark Trumbo

Is Mark Trumbo the new first baseman for the Orioles? That is an assumption some are making tonight. It is probably too soon to know that. But the reported acquisition of Trumbo from Seattle for catcher Steve Clevenger brings a first baseman to the Orioles in the deal. Trumbo has averaged 26.2 homers per year over the last five years. From 2011-13, he averaged 32

A look at some free agent outfielders that could be on O’s radar

The Orioles currently have seven outfielders on their 40-man roster, but only one - Adam Jones - that we know will be an everyday player next year. The others on the 40-man are Dariel Alvarez, L.J. Hoes, Junior Lake, David Lough, Nolan Reimold and Henry Urrutia. We know the Orioles are in the market for corner outfield help to play on either side of Jones.

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