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Davis: 'Trying to take everything in and enjoy it'


Davis: 'Trying to take everything in and enjoy it'

BALTIMORE – Chris Davis’ voice started to crack. His Orioles career is probably in its last few days, and he knows what’s coming.

Davis is a free agent, and so are five others, but his is the name that Baltimore talks about.

The Orioles have four games left on their schedule, but who knows how many more home runs Davis will hit?

On Wednesday night, he hit two, bringing his total to 45, the fifth most in team history as the Orioles won the second game of a doubleheader from the Toronto Blue Jays 8-1 before 26,330 at Orioles Park.

Earlier, the Blue Jays had clinched their first American League East title with a 15-2 win in the first game.

In the second game, Kevin Gausman allowed one run on five hits in eight innings, and then Manny Machado and Davis homered off Ryan Tepera (0-2) in the seventh.

Davis and another potential free agent, Matt Wieters homered in the eighth.

His first home run was his 200th, and Wieters was his 100th, and maybe their final ones here.

“I’m trying not to reminisce too much just yet. I definitely want to enjoy these last few games, just kind of take everything in, being around these guys, playing in front of our fans, and wearing this uniform. I try not to let myself look too far ahead. I think, if I did that, it would be a lot harder the last few days and take some joy away. I’m trying to take everything in and enjoy it,” Davis said.

In July 2011, Davis came to the Orioles from the Texas Rangers, and almost immediately, things turned around for the team.

Davis set a team record with 53 home runs in 2013, and after a horrible year that ended with a 25-game suspension for use of amphetamines without a prescription, rebounded strongly this season.

Besides the 45 homers, he has 112 RBIs, and will be a much sought after free agent.

“This is a special group of guys, it has been for the four years I’ve been here. I feel like every clubhouse group we have had has been extremely close, like a family. It’s going to be tough when the last day comes, but I think everybody is trying to enjoy these few days,” Davis said.

Wieters has a more uncertain path. There aren’t many first basemen available with the numbers that Davis has, but Wieters is barely a year removed from Tommy John surgery, and he hasn’t played a full schedule this year.

Like Davis, he’s been trying to enjoy himself and think about his 6 ½ years here.

“I do that at the end of every year, you think about the year a little bit, but this will be a different offseason for me, not really knowing, so I am taking in as much as I can and it’s been a great time in Baltimore. So I’m want to try and relive some memories here if I have to,” Wieters said.

Gausman (4-7) allowed one run on five hits in eight innings, striking out a career-high 10 without a walk.

“I feel like this was the type of game I needed to end the season on, and obviously a good thing going forward,” Gausman said.

Darwin Barney hit a home run with two outs in the eighth for Toronto (92-66).

The doubleheader was a result of Wednesday’s rainout, and because of an ominous forecast, the Orioles and Blue Jays moved Thursday’s game up from a 7:05 p.m. start to a 12:05 start.

In the first game, Miguel Gonzalez made his first start in exactly a month, and it didn’t go as well as he planned. Gonzalez had tendinitis in his right shoulder, and without the benefit of a rehab start, allowed four runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Gonzalez (9-12) ends his season with a sixth straight loss.

Marcus Stroman (4-0) allowed one run in eight innings.

The bullpen allowed 11 runs as the Orioles tied their season high for most runs allowed.

A year ago, the Orioles clinched the AL East against Toronto, and now the Orioles had to watch the Blue Jays.

“It’s a little difficult. They watched us last year, and we want to be there, but it happens,” Jonathan Schoop said.

Davis isn’t sure how he’ll feel when he leaves the Orioles clubhouse on Sunday, perhaps for the final time.

“I’ve tried to not let myself go there yet. It’s tough to think about. This has been a place where I really felt like I solidified myself in the Major Leagues, the place where I turned my career around. Had a lot of good memories, a lot of success. So it’s going to be tough but I’m just trying to enjoy these last few days,” Davis said.

MORE ORIOLES: Machado tells Showalter he wants to play every game

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Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

USA Today Sports

Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Alex Cobb's comfort and familiarity with the AL East was the deciding factor in his decision to sign with the Baltimore Orioles.

"They used the AL East and the success I've had in it to their advantage," the 30-year-old right-hander said Wednesday after finalizing a $57 million, four-year contract. "They kept challenging me with it and I love the challenge of pitching in this division and they know that over the times we talked. They did a really good job of making me feel like this is where I need to be."

Cobb gets $14 million in each of the first three seasons and $15 million in 2021, and he would earn a $500,000 bonus in each year he pitches 180 innings. Baltimore will defer $6.5 million from this year's salary and $4.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He gets $2 million of the deferred money on Nov. 30, 2022, and $1.8 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2023-32. If he doesn't pitch at least 130 innings in 2020, an additional $5.25 million of the final's year salary would get deferred, payable $1.75 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2033-35.


Cobb has a full no-trade this year, then can list 10 teams from 2019-21 that he cannot be dealt to without his consent.

He had spent his entire six-season big league career with Tampa Bay and was the last big-name starting pitcher available in a slow-moving free agent market. He joined Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman, who were signed last month, in a revamped rotation that includes holdovers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman.

Cobb was 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts last season. He pitched 179 1/3 innings in his first full year back after missing nearly two seasons because of Tommy John surgery.

He had turned down the Rays' $17.4 million qualifying offer in November, and Baltimore pursued him from the start of free agency.

"They didn't stop bothering me the whole offseason," Cobb said. "They were very persistent, and I think that you notice that confidence they have in you just by the way they speak to you and the questions you ask and not questioning anything that's gone on. Everyone's got flaws that they come with and potential things you could really harp on that might not be your strong suit, but they never went down that avenue. They always told me how much they like certain aspects of what I do on and off the field, and just kept repeating how well I fit in here."


Cobb is 48-35 with a 3.50 in six big league seasons. Baltimore will lose its third-highest draft pick, currently No. 51, and the Rays get an extra selection after the first round as compensation.

Jose Mesa Jr. was designated for assignment Wednesday to clear a roster spot.

Baltimore opens on March 29 at home against Minnesota, but Cobb won't be ready to pitch then. He has agreed to be optioned to a minor league affiliate to help build up innings.

"I'm going to be pushing it as quick as I can," Cobb said. "That's going to be up to them. They've invested in me for a four-year period and as much as we know how much every game matters even early in April, we're going to have to look out for the overall future of this whole thing and whole contract and whatever they determine to be the way to protect me and my feedback from the bullpens I'm going to be throwing here in the next few days will probably determine the timeline."

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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."