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Alvarez likes being part of headache inducing lineup


Alvarez likes being part of headache inducing lineup

SARASOTA, Fla. – Over the last four months, the Orioles spent nearly a quarter of a billion dollars. The last of the signings, Pedro Alvarez, who shaved off his beard, was on display before the Orioles’ game on Thursday.

The Orioles officially signed Alvarez to a one-year, $5.75 million contract with incentives that could add another $1.25 million.

“This is a very potent lineup already. Any time you can have a lineup like that, it’s a big headache for the other team. Everyone’s a threat, and again, I think it’d be such a privilege to be part of a lineup like that and be able to contribute any way possible,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez, who was not tendered a contract by the Pittsburgh Pirates last December, is the latest addition to a power packed lineup. Over the winter the Orioles re-signed Chris Davis and Matt Wieters and added outfielders Hyun Soo Kim and Mark Trumbo. Kim was signed as a free agent and Trumbo picked up in a trade with Seattle.

Holdovers J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop also have power.

“Who wouldn’t want to come and potentially be in a lineup with the guys that are here already?” Alvarez said.

The addition of Alvarez excites the Orioles players.

“I think every guy in our lineup has the potential to hit 30 home runs, and so that’s pretty ridiculous if you think about it,” Kevin Gausman said.

“It’s going to be a big thing. He’s going to play well in the east with all those small ballparks. I think our team is going to hit a lot of home runs. I’m looking forward to that.”

Manager Buck Showalter didn’t play Alvarez on Thursday and won’t play him on Friday and Saturday. It’s possible he could play on Sunday against Minnesota in Fort Myers.

Alvarez watched the Orioles’ 4-4 tie with the New York Yankees from the bench.

He missed the first three weeks of spring training as the free agent processed neared its end.

“Patience is the key. Obviously it was something different, but you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable. I just took it day by day and tried to prepare as best as possible for when the time came. I’ve got some good people in my corner who have been through the ringer before,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez, who was a potent offensive force for Pittsburgh, was moved off third in 2014 because of poor fielding. He made 24 errors in 99 games. In 2015, he played first and made 23 errors in 124 games at first base.

With the Orioles he’s likely to be the designated hitter.

“My job is to help this team in whatever capacity they need me at, so whether that’s DH or that’s in the field, I’m confident I can bring a lot of help to this team and that’s the reason why I’m here. Whatever is needed of me, that’s what I’ll do,” Alvarez said.

Manager Buck Showalter said that he’ll consider playing Alvarez in the field.

“I don’t believe in setting limitations about him being a DH against right-handed pitching. It’s much more than that. I think you’re going to be—some people don’t realize this is an athletic guy who’s got potential to give us a lot of options around the field, and continue to keep him in that. He’s just not going to be a pure DH. He’s shown the ability to damage against left-handed pitching too,” Showalter said.

Last October when the 2015 season ended, Orioles Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette said that the Orioles would be a good team in 2016. He wasn’t sure who would be on it.

We had a lot of players that were leaving the club last year so we knew we had a lot of work to do in the offseason. We were able to bring back some of the players that did good work for us and we were able to bring in some other players like Pedro,” Duquette said.

With Alvarez’s addition, the Orioles payroll could be nearly $155 million, a figure that’s the ninth highest in baseball. A few months ago, the idea of spending that much would have been impossible.

Showalter credits Orioles managing partner Peter Angelos for the willingness to spend.

“Every time we talked about something, he said ‘go do it.’ You look at all the things we did, and not that it surprises me, it’s a great confidence that he’s showing in our players and our staff and our organization that he [listens] when we tell him what we might need,” Showalter said.

MORE ORIOLES: Tillman throws his first game, but it doesn't count

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

USA Today Sports

Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A person familiar with the negotiations says pitcher Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract.

The deal includes performance bonuses, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal had not yet been announced.

Tillman was 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 19 starts and five relief appearances last year. He would be the second starter added by the Orioles in the past week after right-hander Andrew Cashner.

Tillman likely would join right-handers Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Cashner in the rotation.

The 29-year-old right-hander lives in Sarasota and had been working out at the Orioles' facility before spring training. Manager Buck Showalter watched Tillman throw and was impressed.

Tillman began last season on the disabled list with right shoulder stiffness.

"Better than he did last year at this time. I think he's got the chance to pitch well for somebody this year," Showalter said. "A lot of the challenges he had last year -- this time last year -- aren't there. Somebody's going to reap the benefits."

Tillman's is 73-55 with a 4.43 ERA in nine major league seasons, all with the Orioles. He won 16 games in both 2013 and 2016.

"He's a guy when he's healthy you can bank on him giving you 200 innings and keeping his ERA between a 3 and a 4," Gausman said. "That in the AL East is always going to be very valuable."


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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

Live baseball is close to gracing our television screens again. The Orioles haven't had the most active offseason, to put it mildly. Fans are still wondering who will make up more than half the spots in this year's rotation, and Manny Machado's upcoming free agency is looming over every decision the organization makes.

Still, it's exciting to be able to follow the team again. Not every game is televised, so get ready to constantly refresh your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll be comforting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Jonathan Schoop is building on his breakout season, or if top-prospect Austin Hays is all he's cracked up to be (spoiler: he is).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing in the next few weeks. The O's haven't yet made a big splash this offseason, but with the sheer volume of capable players still on the market, you have to wonder if they'll try to sign some impact players at bargain values.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the lineup or rotation has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be taking place while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hectic few weeks as teams prepare for thier seasons, so bookmark this page to check on on the Orioles spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Orioles 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Feb. 26 - Tigers at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Cardinals at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 1 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Tuesday, Mar. 6 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 9 - Orioles at Blue Jays, 1:07 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 (SS) - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Phillies at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Orioles at Pirates, 1:05 pm 
Tuesday, Mar. 13 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 14 - Yankees at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Orioles at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 - Orioles at Mets, 1:10 pm 
Saturday, Mar. 17 (SS) - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Mets at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Orioles at Tigers, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Rays at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Orioles at Yankees, 6:35 pm 
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Mar. 27 (in Norfolk, VA) - Orioles at Tides (AAA), 3:05 pm