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Week in review: More Machado talk, a slow market and power on the farm

Time to take a look back at the last week of stories here. Yes, of course, there was much more talk and discussion about Manny Machado. This amid some reports that indicate the Orioles, while still open to dealing their star third baseman, won’t wait on offers forever. Probably time to make a deal if they are going to. On Tuesday, we looked at how

Is the new year bringing new thinking about rebuilding?

Right now, the Orioles have that feel of a team between a rock and hard place. Trying to catch the Yankees and Red Sox looks like a daunting task. They have four key players entering the last years of their contracts. They are coming off their first last-place finish since 2011. There are other facts that are daunting. The 2017 Orioles finished the year going

Another look at an impressive power display on the farm in ‘17

Four players hit 32 or more home runs this year in Minor League Baseball. Three of the four played in the homer-happy Pacific Coast League. The only player that didn’t was the Orioles’ Austin Hays, who hit 32 between Single-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie. Houston’s A.J. Reed hit 34 to lead all of the minors playing in the PCL. Former Oriole Christian Walker hit 32

Will slow-moving free agent market impact the Orioles?

According to MLBTradeRumors.com, this time last year, 15 of its top 20 free agents had signed. This year that number is five of 20. Why have the signings been slow to develop? When the situations with Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton got resolved, some felt there would be a flurry of signings to follow. It didn’t happen. Some thought the Winter Meetings would be active

Could this O’s reliever be converted to a starter?

It was interesting to read a report from MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko a few days ago about the Orioles approaching Zach Britton earlier this year to gauge his interest in returning to a starter’s role. It seems Britton was just fine with staying as a closer and all of this happened before his recent Achilles surgery, which will delay his start to the 2018 season. While

In search for pitching, Manny Machado could be big price to pay

Well, I return from a few days off to find that the Orioles have not yet added any key starting pitchers and/or subtracted Manny Machado. One of the best talents in team history is still an Oriole, but will it stay that way? There are two main reasons that I feel Machado should be traded. First, paying him $300 million or more is probably not

Jim Callis on what makes a player a good prospect

When it comes to ranking prospects, few have done it longer or done it better than Jim Callis. For many years he was the key guy for prospects at Baseball America. Now he works for MLB.com and MLBPipeline.com. During the Winter Meetings, I asked Callis a simple question, but one that doesn’t lend itself to a simple answer: What makes a good prospect and what

A scout’s tale: Meet Kirk Fredriksson

Today, we begin a new series in this space. We’ll introduce you to some Orioles scouts over the rest of the offseason. Some fans may not even know their names. Hopefully, after reading some upcoming posts, you’ll know a lot more than that. So let’s begin ... For many years, Kirk Fredriksson was a general manager for a couple of summer college league teams in

Second offseason edition: “10 questions for O’s fans”

I could be wrong, but I believe we have only had one offseason edition of “10 questions for O’s fans.” So it is time for another. Free free to answer all 10 questions or just one or two. Provide brief answers or go in depth with your response. You make the call and you provide the comments and answers. 1) If the Orioles trade Manny

If Machado is dealt, should O’s then continue dealing?

If the Orioles do pull off a trade involving Manny Machado, should they then continue the trades? Should a partial or a complete rebuilding of the team commence? O’s management seems against that, and with both Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter in the last years of their contract, it could get awkward to ask them to start building a team for a future they don’t

What is the next move in the Machado trade talks?

To this point, the offseason has featured constant debate and discussion about what the Orioles will do to rebuild their starting rotation. That topic drifted to the backburner at the Winter Meetings. All it took were rumors and speculation about trade possibilities for Manny Machado. We later found out some of the rumors are indeed based in fact. The prediction here is that the Orioles

Orioles’ Dan Duquette on the club’s three Rule 5 picks

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Orioles have taken two players before in the Rule 5 draft. They topped that today, adding three selections in the major league phase. They chose three pitchers. They selected lefty Nester Cortes from the Yankees organization. In 30 games (13 starts) this season, he went 7-4 with a 2.06 ERA. He pitched at three levels in 2017, but mostly

Machado talks heat up overnight and Rule 5 draft is today

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - While you were sleeping, the White Sox emerged as the most aggressive team pursuing the Orioles’ Manny Machado, according to reports from The Athletic and USA Today. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal wrote that the White Sox are offering the Orioles a package that includes right-hander Lucas Giolito or right-hander Michael Kopech, but not both pitchers. Bob Nightengale of USA Today

O’s would trade Machado in division and will not put timetable on talks

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Orioles don’t seem inclined to put a timetable or deadline right now on any trade discussions involving third baseman Manny Machado. They continue to talk with several teams about the three-time All-Star. If these trade talks drag on for an extended period of time, you have to wonder how much that will impact the club’s planning for the 2018

A quick look at the Rule 5 draft with Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Rule 5 draft is the final event of the Winter Meetings and it happens at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning. The Orioles have made at least one Rule 5 selection every year since 2006. Even though they are likely to carry outfielder Anthony Santander on their roster to start the 2018 season, no one would be surprised by the Orioles

Some thoughts from Jim Callis of MLBPipeline.com

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Jim Callis of MLBPipeline.com has reported on many trades over the years as part of his excellent analysis of prospects. He is someone fans turn to in order to find out the level of prospects their team just got when a club deals a star player for young talent. A deal much like the Orioles potentially could be discussing for

Showalter on the AL East big boys: “They can be beaten”

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - To no one’s surprise, Orioles manager Buck Showalter is conceding nothing in the American League East - even after the rival New York Yankees added Giancarlo Stanton. When Showalter was our guest on “MASN All Access” yesterday, we discussed the fact that some fans are saying they are discouraged right now. They know the Orioles are coming off a last-place

Orioles’ young outfielders drawing interest in trade talks (with Duquette video)

LAKE BUENVA VISTA, Fla. - Well, not every topic concerning the Orioles involves Manny Machado, it turns out. The club, by the way, is still looking for several starting pitchers. And the quest for pitching might end with one or more hurlers coming to Baltimore via the trade route. In a one-on-one interview this afternoon with MASNsports.com, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said some

MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds on the Orioles

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Harold Reynolds is a former Oriole and current analyst for MLB Network. He was part of the network’s original on-air talent roster at its launch in 2009 and has been on the network since. Reynolds played 12 seasons in the majors and was an Oriole in 1993, the year the club hosted the All-Star Game. He was a guest this

Showalter talks Machado, Davis and more

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The topic of a potential Orioles trade of Manny Machado has not slowed a bit at the Winter Meetings. Clearly, the club is open to moving a star player one year before his contract is due to end. At the same time, if Machado is still an Oriole on opening day, will he be playing third base or shortstop? He

More Manny Machado talk and some O’s minors chatter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Are the Orioles rebuilding or reloading? Are they doing something in the middle? Are they still deciding which direction they are heading? After Day One of the Winter Meetings, it does seem that the Orioles are open to listening to trade offers for pending free agent third baseman Manny Machado. That certainly doesn’t signal the team is ready for any

O’s Duquette: Machado is “coveted by a lot of teams”

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette does not say the club is looking to trade pending free agent third baseman Manny Machado. But in an interview this afternoon with MASNsports.com, he did confirm that teams are asking about Machado. He said Machado is “coveted by a lot of teams.” Machado has one year left on his Orioles contract before he

ESPN’s Keith Law on Manny Machado and the search for pitchers (with video)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - ESPN analyst Keith Law is not a fan of the Marlins’ trade of outfielder Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees. “I was kind of disgusted actually, that Major League Baseball would let an ownership group buy the Marlins when it’s pretty clear they can’t afford to field a competitive team,” Law said. “Or simply are choosing not to do

Checking in with O’s Brian Graham at Winter Meetings

LAKE BUENVA VISTA, Fla. - Pitching prospect Hunter Harvey’s path toward the big league rotation took another big step last month when he was added to the Orioles’ 40-man roster. Now the club anxiously awaits his 2018 season. It could be a season that ends for him in the majors. Even if it doesn’t, the Orioles are excited that Harvey is healthy again after his

If O’s look to make trades, will the return be higher in July?

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - As the Winter Meetings begin today, the Orioles continue to absorb the news that Giancarlo Stanton is going to be a Yankee. Meanwhile, Boston has won back-to-back division championships and figures to add a big bat of its own. The Orioles have to fill out their rotation, but they may not do it with signings of the top-tier free agent

In the AL East, the rich (in talent) often get richer

Just when Orioles fans may have been breathing a sigh of relief that two-way player Shohei Ohtani was not going to become a Yankee, yesterday’s news came. National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton is going to be a Yankee. He joins a lineup that already featured Aaron Judge and a lineup that helped the Yankees produce a major league-leading 241 homers last year. I guess it

As O’s look to build a solid rotation, some of their own fans doubt they can

To say the least, there is some skepticism out there that the Orioles’ decision to reload and not rebuild is the right one. Fans have seen the Chicago Cubs go from 101 losses in 2012 and 96 the next year to World Series champions in 2016. The Houston Astros lost 106 games in the 2011 season, then followed that by losing 107 and 111 the

Smoltz on the Orioles, Machado talk and more

It was an interesting comment on the Orioles made by a Hall of Famer and commentator for MLB Network. It came from former big league pitcher John Smoltz. It was a compliment for the organization, but sounded like he ended it with a warning that trouble could be looming. In sizing up the Orioles over the last few seasons while also looking ahead to next

Does inexperienced manager in the Bronx help the Orioles?

Not long after the Yankees named Aaron Boone their new manager, we heard from some Orioles fans here that Buck Showalter would “school” the rookie skipper next year. No doubt hiring Boone was a risk. He has never managed in the pro ranks - in the minors or majors. He has never coached in the majors. His most recent experience in the game came in

Another Oriole facing an uncertain future

While fans and reporters debate what the Orioles need to do to improve for the 2018 season, the debate often seems to turn to the future for Manny Machado and Zach Britton. Will the team be able to sign either player beyond 2018, when they can become free agents? Will the team consider trading either player before they can hit the open market? But there

Ohtani not heading east (is pitching market about to move?)

Is Japan’s Shohei Ohtani too good to be true? He sounds like it. His move to the major leagues is unique in two huge ways. First, some team will get a player that might be worth $200 million or more on the open market for perhaps $25 million or less, counting the posting fee. Second, Ohtani is a two-way player who might impact games as

Prospect profile: Steve Wilkerson elevates his game with a solid year

When the Orioles drafted senior second baseman Steve Wilkerson in the eighth round out of Clemson in 2014, the odds seemed long that he would ever make the major leagues. But coming off his best year yet - which ended with a strong performance in the Arizona Fall League - Wilkerson’s big league dream is within reach at this point. He showed defensive versatility this

Week in review: Britton trade talk, Machado possibly to short and more

In reviewing a week’s worth of stories and comments here over the past several days, we had some interesting discussions. Today, we will take a look back at three of them. On Tuesday, we looked at the cases for and against trading Orioles closer Zach Britton. The lefty is projected to earn a salary of $12.2 million through arbitration this coming season. He has just

Will Manny Machado wind up at shortstop in 2018?

Now that J.J. Hardy is no longer on the team, which player on the Orioles would be the best defensive shortstop? The answer to that is almost certainly Manny Machado. But would the Orioles move a player who has proven to be an elite defender at third base over to short? There has been some discussion among national reporters recently on the topic and it

Ranking several free agent pitchers

Over the last few weeks, we have taken a look at nine different free agent starting pitchers in three different entries here. Today, let’s take another look and rank them one through nine. I’m ranking mostly on my opinion of their talent level, while also taking into consideration the contract terms that might be needed to get it done. Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta are

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