Orioles

Quick Links

Hardy's two-run home run makes Chen a winner

usatsi_8676337.jpg

Hardy's two-run home run makes Chen a winner

BALTIMORE – Buck Showalter slipped in an important message to Wei-Yin Chen in his postgame news conference. Fifteen days ago, Chen was optioned to Frederick to avoid pitching in Toronto and to give him more rest.

It was a move that Chen objected to on Twitter, and in his second start back, the Taiwanese left-hander breezed through eight innings in 87 pitches.

Chen could have gone for his first major league complete game, but Showalter has a terrific closer in Zach Britton, and he wants to keep his starter fresh.

“Hopefully, he doesn’t have any more missed starts the rest of the year,” Showalter said.

Chen got his third straight win as the Orioles beat the Texas Rangers 4-2 before 23,019 at Oriole Park on Wednesday night.

He was relieved to hear that his manager has confidence in him.

“Of course I’m happy to hear that. Because we talked about it and I’m happy that Buck trusts me. Also I just wanted to do my job well and keep pitching well until the end of the season,” Chen said through a translator.

Chen allowed two runs on four hits, walking one and striking out two. Both of the Texas runs came on home runs. Shin-Soo Choo hit his third in as many games here, his 11th in the third, and Ryan Rua had his second in the fourth for a 2-0 lead.

That gave the Rangers (40-39) 10 home runs in three games.

“These guys can hit. That’s what I’m thinking,” J.J. Hardy said. “These guys, they’re driving the ball pretty good. Chen shut them down after that. It was big for him to do that. These guys, that’s a good lineup over there.”

Hardy’s two-run home run in the seventh off Nick Martinez (5-5) gave the Orioles the 4-2 lead.

Chen (4-4) has beaten Texas five straight times with a 1.80 ERA.

“I just pitched there and pitch, that’s all,” Chen said through the interpreter.

Then he added in English: “Just pitch. Just pitch. Just pitch.”

Britton struck out the side in the ninth for his 23rd save. It was his 19th consecutive successful conversion.

Jimmy Paredes slammed his 10th to lead off the fourth.

The Orioles (42-36) tied the game in the bottom of the sixth when Ryan Flaherty led off with a double. Manny Machado grounded through the legs of third baseman Adrian Beltre for an error. Flaherty scored on Paredes’ fielder’s choice.

Machado made two outstanding plays in the seventh inning, including one where on a shift, he was essentially playing shortstop. He dove and fired to first in time to get Choo.

“He's really playing a lot of shortstop these last two years with the shifts. He's playing about as much shortstop as J.J.,” Showalter joked.

About an hour before gametime, the Orioles announced they had designated Delmon Young for assignment.

The Orioles had seven outfielders, and one had to go.

“It's very tough. There's not a right decision there. Nobody is trying to present it as such. We've got good quality people and you reach a point where you can't keep them all. Unfortunately, we're probably not done,” Showalter said.

“But we exhausted every possibility and as we go forward there's not a good decision to make. Anybody we do is going to end up in the big leagues with somebody else. It's where we've graduated to, I hope. Baseball has a way to make paths cross again. He's done some good things for us and been a good teammate and a contributor.”

Young’s biggest hit was a three-run double in Game 2 of the American League Division Series.

“It’s a reminder of how clutch he was all last year. The guy just got hit after hit after hit for us last year,” Caleb Joseph said. “It’s a rude awakening that this is a business at the end of the day. He’ll be missed. He’s a great guy. A great, great player, great teammate off the field.”

Showalter wanted a seven-man bullpen and he had Tyler Wilson available for the game, but he wasn’t needed. Wilson is likely to head back to Norfolk since the Orioles need to activate Kevin Gausman to start on Thursday night.

Bud Norris may be available in an emergency in back of Gausman.

NOTES: Chris Davis extended his hitting streak to 11 games, equaling a career high. … Paredes has 21 multi-hit games. … Machado’s 12-game hitting streak ended. …Yovani Gallardo (7-6, 2.72) faces Kevin Gausman (1-0, 4.24 on Thursday night.

Quick Links

Baltimore Orioles add to their rotation, sign RHP Andrew Cashner

cashner-usat.png
USA Today Sports

Baltimore Orioles add to their rotation, sign RHP Andrew Cashner

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Baltimore Orioles signed right-hander Andrew Cashner to a two-year, $16 million contract on Thursday after searching for starting pitching all offseason.

The 31-year-old Cashner is 42-64 with a 3.80 ERA in eight major league seasons with the Chicago Cubs, San Diego, Miami and Texas, including 11-11 with a 3.40 ERA for the Rangers last year. The deal with the Orioles has an option for 2020.

He'll join right-handers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman in the rotation.

"I do know that they need some starting pitching, and here it is, show up every day and whoever I can help out, help out and my job is to come here and pitch and win," Cashner said.

Cashner's deal could be worth $41 million over three seasons if he pitches 200 innings annually. He gets a $3 million signing bonus, payable in equal installments each Jan. 15 from 2020 through 2021.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Cashner has salaries of $5 million this season and $8 million in 2019, and there is a $10 million option for 2020 that would become guaranteed if he pitches 340 innings combined in the next two seasons. If he reaches 360 innings, it would become a player option.

He can make $5 million in performance bonuses each year.

There are $1,525,000 per season in bonuses based on starts: $250,000 each for 10 and 15, $625,000 for 20 and $400,000 for 30.

Cashner also can make $3,475,000 each year based on innings: $250,000 each for 110 and 120, $275,000 for 130, $350,000 for 140, $750,000 for 150 and $400,000 apiece for 170, 180, 190 and 200.

Cashner was at the Orioles' spring training facility, and was due to head to his Texas home for a few days before returning on Sunday when Baltimore's full squad is required to report. He'll likely work out with the team for the first time Monday.

He has little experience against the Orioles, but said he was excited to join the team.

"It's a lineup you can't really make a lot of mistakes against," Cashner said. "It's a lot of power in there, and I got to pitch (for) San Diego one year in Baltimore. Really cool stadium, really neat, a lot of history. It's one of my favorite places to pitch, so I'm looking forward to making that my home (stadium) every night."

RELATED: ORIOLES TO SHUFFLE UP INFIELD AHEAD OF MACHADO'S FINAL SEASON

Manager Buck Showalter said Cashner would be an ideal addition to the club.

"He's a veteran starter. That's a good deal for both us and him," Showalter said. "He's a guy who's pitched well in the American League. That's something that I think played in his favor."

Cashner said that he began negotiations with Orioles Vice President of Baseball Operations Brady Anderson last fall and in a challenging offseason for free agents, he said patience was vital.

"I don't think it's been difficult. It's been interesting. It's been different," Cashner said.

To make room for Cashner on the 40-man roster, Baltimore placed left-hander Zach Britton (Achilles) on the 60-day disabled list.

Quick Links

Manny Machado to switch from third base to shortstop in final season with Orioles

machado-usat.png
USA Today Sports

Manny Machado to switch from third base to shortstop in final season with Orioles

BALTIMORE -- Even if Manny Machado doesn't switch teams this season, he almost certainly will be changing his position in the infield.

Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Saturday that Machado will move from third base to shortstop this spring, and shortstop Tim Beckham will be shifted to third.

The shuffle will become permanent unless something goes wrong -- or Machado gets traded to another club.

"There could be some adjustments if we don't like the feel of it, but that's where we're going to head into it," Showalter said at FanFest, an annual offseason event designed to promote interest in the club.

Machado and second baseman Jonathan Schoop did not attend.

RELATED: TWO FORMER ORIOLES ELECTED TO HALL OF FAME

Machado becomes a free agent after this year and is sure to demand a huge contract. The Orioles have entertained trade offers for the 25-year-old, who's been an All-Star in three of his six seasons with Baltimore.

Dan Duquette, vice president of baseball operations for the Orioles, has to decide whether to deal Machado sometime between now and September or seek to sign him to a long-term deal.

"That's a big decision for the organization, obviously," Duquette said. "But we're planning on Manny being with the club. We explored all those options. We think the strongest option is for Manny to be on the ballclub."

Machado played in 156 games last season, offsetting a career-low .259 batting average with 33 home runs and 95 RBIs. He has averaged 35 home runs and 92 RBIs over the past three years.

Machado avoided arbitration this month by agreeing to a $16 million contract for 2018. He received $11.5 million last season.

Drafted as a shortstop as the third overall pick in 2010, Machado played third base with Baltimore next to slick-fielding J.J. Hardy, whose contract expired after last season.

So when they return to the field next month in Florida, the Orioles will have Machado at shortstop with Beckham on his left. Beckham came to Baltimore from Tampa Bay in July and played shortstop for the injured Hardy over the final two months.

"I think Tim would rather play shortstop, as Manny would," Showalter said. "Tim's big thing is getting an opportunity to play every day at one position. We need to settle both those guys into a spot and let them get into it."

Showalter said Machado was enthusiastic about the switch.

"All indications are, he's really excited about this," Showalter said. "I can't imagine him being in a better frame of mind or setup to do this. I think out of his respect for J.J. the past few years he's been very professional about it. But it's not like he's changing positions. He's going back to the position he's equipped to play."

RELATED: ZACH BRITTON TEARS ACHILLES

Deciding what to do with Machado is only one problem Duquette has faced this offseason. He's also been trying to fill out a starting rotation that currently consists of Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and perhaps Miguel Castro, who made his first major league start on Sept. 30 after pitching in relief for 75 games over three seasons.

"Obviously we have work to do to address some of the deficiencies on our ballclub," Duquette said. "We're going to continue to build our pitching staff, most notably the starting pitching."

If Castro joins the rotation, the Orioles will be further pressed to fill out the back end of the bullpen. Closer Zach Britton tore his Achilles tendon during an offseason workout and will likely miss the entire 2018 season, leaving setup man Brad Brach the odds-on favorite to take over as the stopper.

"I'm hoping I get a shot to close. I'd be lying if I say I didn't," said Brach, who served significant time as a closer in 2017 while Britton was sidelined with elbow and knee issues.

Brach had 18 saves but blew six chances.

"I think I did all right," Brach said. "Hopefully, I get another chance to do it."