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Dubroff: Orioles should sign Machado to long-term contract

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Dubroff: Orioles should sign Machado to long-term contract

Prior to the final game of this season, Manny Machado was asked if he was interested in a contract extension with the Orioles. He said he was.

During the next day’s news conference, Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said he was interested, but there were other, more pressing priorities.

Machado won’t be a free agent for three more years, and the Orioles have six free agents of their own. Once their destinations are known, and perhaps one or two others are signed to take their place, the Orioles can think about a long-term agreement with Machado.

According to one industry source, for Machado to forego free agency in 2018, the Orioles would have to offer the young star something close to the deal Mike Trout got from the Los Angeles Angels.

Last March, Trout, who at 24, is a year older than Machado, signed a six-year, $144.5 million deal with the Angels.

Trout, who has won one Most Valuable Player award, finished second twice and is leading contender for this year, is generally acknowledged as a true superstar.

He’ll earn $16 million next season, $20 million in 2017 and $34 million a year from 2018-20.

Best of all for Trout, he can still be a free agent at 29.

Machado hasn’t quite put up the numbers Trout has, but if this year is any indication, a long-term deal should be worth it.

Coming off his second knee surgery in two years, Machado was the only major leaguer who played in each of his team’s games. His 35 home runs has only been exceeded 14 times in Orioles history, and his .286 average and .359 on-base percentage were career highs.

While Machado still struck out 111 times, Trout fanned 158 times, and he’s showing impressive plate discipline. In 2013, when he was hurt with six games to play in the season, Machado walked just 29 times. This year, he walked 70.

While he made 21 errors, Machado is still a favorite for the Gold Glove, and his wins above replacement value was 7.1, near the top 10.

When Machado came up in 2012, it was fun to hear the debates about him, Trout and Bryce Harper.

No, his numbers aren’t quite up to their standards, but he figures to be a star for years to come.

Duquette says he’s spoken with Machado’s representatives about an extension in the past, but no agreement was forthcoming.

The Orioles would have to offer Machado an unprecedented contract for him to forego a few years of free agency, but the Miami Marlins last year went against the grain and signed another young star, Giancarlo Stanton to a $13 year, $325 million contract.

As the time draws near for free agency, Machado isn’t likely to get any cheaper, but he is likely to get better.

Later this offseason, the Orioles ought to aggressively explore what for them would be a most unusual contract, signing their most important player to a long-term deal and avoiding the drama that’s currently surrounding Chris Davis.  

MORE ORIOLES: What kind of deal will Chen get in open market?

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

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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."

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

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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