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Davis really wanted to stay with Orioles


Davis really wanted to stay with Orioles

Chris Davis knew he was returning to the Orioles. He’d quietly begun working out a few times a week with hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh. Davis wouldn’t do that if he was signing elsewhere.

Davis let his agent, Scott Boras, do his talking, and on Thursday night, the first time we’ve heard from the slugger since Oct. 4, he said he didn’t ever want to leave.

“We knew that we have really enjoyed being in Baltimore. For the last four years, that’s really all I had known and we’ve had a lot of success here, and it was just a comfortable place to be. My family enjoys it here. I think the fact that we knew they were interested obviously made it a little bit easier,” Davis said.

Of course, the Orioles were interested.

If ever a team listened to its fans, the Orioles did. While there are many decrying the deal, saying the Orioles paid too much for Davis, there are many, many more who would have been pained had he left.

Never had there been so much angst over a free agent. And, in the end the Orioles came through.

The skeptics said the Orioles were bidding against themselves. Boras didn’t discourage that talk.

“You know, when you go to a wedding, you never talk about your girlfriends,” Boras joked.

There was speculation that Detroit would make a last-minute push, but owner Mike Ilitch, who is never afraid to spend was talked out of the pursuit by General Manager Al Avila. The Tigers ended up with Justin Upton instead.

Boras’ tactic has been to deal directly with ownership, and he spoke to Peter Angelos, who in a phone call, told Davis, how much he wanted him back.

"Each negotiation has its own agenda and spirit, but the one thing that I did in this negotiation is I flew out here and met with Peter and Dan [Duquette] and let them know that Chris and I had talked, and this ballpark and this community, I wanted him to know. I said, 'I don't do this very often. It's not exactly a great free agent tactic to fly here and meet with an owner and let him know that we're very interested in re-signing here.' We did at the forefront of free agency. Sometimes it's good for a lawyer to know from another lawyer, what the real intent of free agency is. Being able to have that meeting, I think, set in motion the clear intentions of Peter and Dan. I was able to communicate that to Chris,” Boras said.

Boras knew that a solid offer in December probably wasn’t going away, and that as his client got antsy for the process to end, the team would be getting nervous, too. When word got out, that the Orioles were serious about moving on, and that Yoenis Cespedes might get many of those Davis dollars, the end game was at hand.

It helped that the players Davis knew the best were coming back, too. Matt Wieters accepted a $15.8 qualifying offer, and Darren O’Day signed a four-year, $31 million extension.

At O’Day’s press conference, the reliever, who was wearing a mustache, publicly campaigned for Davis’ return, and that didn’t hurt.

“Number 19, he’s actually a mustache enthusiast so I’m hoping that maybe he’ll see a picture of this and think that he couldn’t stand not seeing it for a while. So maybe he sees it and thinks that’s where I want to play,” O’Day said last month.

The mustache enthusiast was wearing a neatly trimmed full beard, one that will have to disappear a month from now when he reports to Sarasota for spring training. He’ll be looking forward to seeing O’Day.

““He pretty much says what everybody's thinking but doesn't want to say, and then he shows up at a press conference with a Wyatt Earp mustache and he doesn't ever pull any punches. The biggest recruitment tool is like I talk about, the clubhouse atmosphere. When you do what we do, day in and day out for as long as we do it, there are going to be go days, there are going to be bad days, but really having that atmosphere where you feel like you can come in and relax and be yourself. I think that to me is the biggest recruiting tool that anyone of us can have because you want to be comfortable in a place where you work and place where you spend so much time,” Davis said.

Say what you will about the money, but the players do enjoy spending time around each other. Now, the trick will be to find a few more that can fit in and can help the team win.

RELATED: It's a big deal! Davis returning to Orioles


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

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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