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Five good reasons why Davis could return to the Orioles

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Five good reasons why Davis could return to the Orioles

For eleven weeks, ever since the Orioles season ended, Baltimore has obsessed over Chris Davis. As soon as the Orioles season ended, fans grew overly emotional when it came to Davis.

If the Orioles didn’t re-sign him, they’d never go to another Orioles game again.

With the Orioles’ offseason more than half over, and just over eight weeks before spring training begins, Davis is still unsigned, and there’s now a divide.

Many fans still want the Orioles to re-sign him, but others think the reported seven-year, $150 million offer is plenty good enough, and he should have snapped it up.

There are some very good reasons to think that Davis will accept an offer very similar to the one that supposedly is no longer sitting there for him.

MORE ORIOLES: INTEREST IN STARTING PITCHERS? 

1) The Orioles have made a historically good offer

Never have the Orioles signed a player to a nine-figure contract. Never have they signed a player for more than six years, but managing partner Peter Angelos, like many of his customers, is a Davis fan, and was determined to make a competitive offer to keep the slugger.

The Orioles have been criticized in the past for ignoring baseball’s new big money age. In Feb. 2014, they signed a free agent pitcher, Ubaldo Jimenez, for four years, the first time they’d ever done that.
And, it’s a deal that in retrospect doesn’t look as bad as some thought.

The Orioles knew they’d have to recognize the financial realities of this age. Superstars cost megamoney, and the Orioles now act on it.

2) There won’t be a better offer for Davis

Davis’ very skilled agent, Scott Boras, has been trying to find a better offer, or offers, so he can get a sense of the market, but it’s seemed for a while that the Orioles don’t have any competition for him.

Should a star injure himself over the holidays as Detroit’s Victor Martinez did in 2012 that could present an opportunity for a competitor to bid against the Orioles.

After Martinez’s injury, suddenly Prince Fielder became a Tiger, and maybe that happens again.

But for now, the big money teams: Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Cubs, Giants, Dodgers, Angels and Nationals, don’t seem eager to spend more money on a first baseman.

3) Davis really does like it in Baltimore

When Davis slumped badly in 2014 and his average sunk under .200, fans didn’t boo him. When he was suspended at the end of that season for using Adderall without a prescription, they ignored it.

In many of those big money ballparks, Davis would have been pilloried. There’s something charming about a fan base that’s not all that critical and forgiving, and Davis seems to realize that.

While his teammates were angry with him for the suspension, they greeted him with warm hugs upon his arrival in the clubhouse last February in Sarasota.

The biggest names on the team, J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Darren O’Day and Matt Wieters all like him, and have publicly called for the Orioles to bring him back.

That might not happen in Boston.

4) The Orioles really need him

Perhaps the Orioles’ offer to Davis may not be the final one, but it not only recognizes baseball’s new age, it shows they need a powerful left-handed bat.
Pedro Alvarez may hit lots of home runs, and his left-handed bat would be a nice contrast, but he’d be the designated hitter.

Davis has turned himself into a good first baseman, and he’s not a bad outfielder. Boras has tried to sell him as not only the best first basemen in the free agent class, but the best hitting outfielder, too.

That may be a stretch, but Davis can fill in at third base, too.

5) Davis would be an important figure in Orioles history

Over the last four years, Davis has averaged 40 home runs a year. If he somehow manages to do that over the next seven years, he’ll have just under 500 home runs, and will make himself into a Hall of Fame candidate.

While Davis continues to strike out far too often, he’s become a better batter. His strikeouts are high, but his walks have increased, too. Last year he walked 84 times and had a .361 on-base percentage.

In 2013 when he hit 53 home runs, he had a .370 OBP.

Sluggers sometimes don’t age well, but Davis does work out hard, and a new contract wouldn’t change that.

A seven-year deal would take Davis through the 2022 season when he’ll be 36.

The guess here is that the Davis drama extends through the holidays and into January, but in the end No. 19 returns to Baltimore, and Oriole fans—as well as Davis—live happily ever after.

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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."

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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USA Today Sports Images

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