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Five Orioles who may not be back in 2013


Five Orioles who may not be back in 2013

The Orioles will undoubtedly look different next year.  There will be some popular and valuable players missing.

Here are five key possible departures:

1) Joe Saunders

Saunders wasn’t an Oriole for long this season. He was acquired in late August from Arizona, and was thrilled about it.

He was 3-3 with a 3.63 ERA in seven starts. Saunders won the Wild
Card game and pitched well in Game 4 against New York.

At 31, Saunders was a devoted Orioles fan the last time the team was in the post-season. A Northern Virginian, Saunders would love to stay with the team, but it might not be in either side’s best interest.

Saunders earned $6 million this season and the Orioles may be reluctant to pay him that much or more in 2013 and beyond. With lots of young starting pitching, it would be nice to have another veteran on hand, but perhaps not at his price.

Unless Saunders agrees to give the Orioles a hometown discount or there isn’t a huge market for him, the left-hander probably ends up elsewhere.

One possible destination is Seattle. Saunders, who pitched six seasons for the Angels, is 6-0 with a 2.13 ERA in nine starts at Safeco Field.

2)  Nate  McLouth

Two years ago, McLouth made $7 million from Pittsburgh. This season, the one-time All-Star earned a quarter of that.

McLouth had a superb 2008 season with the Pirates, leading the league in doubles, but two years later he was in the minors. After Pittsburgh let him go in May, he was signed to a minor league contract by the Orioles, and was generally unimpressive at Norfolk.

Tides manager Ron Johnson implored manager Buck Showalter to take a look at McLouth, who had an opt-out clause.

McLouth was surprisingly effective, showing some power and speed for the Orioles. He was the club’s leading hitter againsnt the Yankees and his defense shored up left field.

If McLouth re-signs, he may have to platoon with Nolan Reimold in left. He may want to test the market,  though he may need more than a strong two months to get a long-term deal.

3) Mark Reynolds

In early August, Reynolds looked to be in his final weeks with the Orioles, but his offense perked up and his defense at first picked up.

He’s become a solid first baseman, and while the Orioles may not exercise the $11 million option in his contract, they have no real inn-house candidates to replace him, and the free agent candidates aren’t impressive.

The Orioles don’t want Chris Davis or Wilson Betemit as their everyday first baseman. In a time when nearly every available body was recalled during September, Joe Mahoney wasn’t.

It’s likely the Orioles will make a deal to keep Reynolds around for at least another year, maybe two.

4) Robert Andino

The Orioles’ second baseman for 2013 is probably not currently with the team. Andino filled in acceptably the last two years, but he’s best suited to the “superutility” role that Showalter envisioned for him last spring.

The problem with that role is it doesn’t exist. J.J. Hardy and Manny Machado are the shortstop and third baseman for next season, and Andino really isn’t an outfielder.

If the Orioles want to keep Andino around as a backup infielder while they acquire another second baseman, that would be fine, but in arbitration, Andino would probably get a hefty raise from his $1.3 million. That might make him overpriced for his value.

Look for the Orioles to explore a deal for him.

5) Pedro Strop

Strop feel out of favor with Showalter after his shaky final six weeks of the regular season. He was impressive against the Yankees, but if a team wants to make Strop its closer, the Orioles may be willing to deal him.

He has a big-time arm, and while Darren O’Day supplanted him  as the bridge to Jim Johnson, Strop could get that role back next year.

Strop may want to be a closer, and as long as Johnson’s around and effective, that isn’t going to happen.

He may be the most valuable trade chip around and if the Orioles can use him to get a quality second baseman, Strop may be moved.

The team may also try and move Luis Ayala, whose $1 million contract makes him very attractive.

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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