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How does Kim change Orioles' lineup?


How does Kim change Orioles' lineup?

Two months from tomorrow, spring training begins in Sarasota, Fla., and as this fascinating offseason continues for the Orioles, their team continues to change.

The Orioles made their fourth major move of the offseason on Wednesday night when they came to an agreement on a two-year, $7 million contract pending medical review with South Korean outfielder Hyun-soo Kim.

Kim is the first free agent from outside of the organization to join the team, and assuming he plays well enough in spring training, he becomes the seventh secure spot in the starting lineup.

When the season ended on Oct. 4, only four spots were obvious: J.J. Hardy at short, Adam Jones in center, Manny Machado at third and Jonathan Schoop at second.

After Matt Wieters accepted the $15.8 million qualifying offer, that was five, and two weeks ago, the Orioles added Mark Trumbo in a trade with Seattle.

If Chris Davis leaves, Trumbo will be the first baseman. Otherwise, he’ll play right or be the primary designated hitter.

Now that Kim is on board, that will be seven of the nine spots spoken for, and Dan Duquette hopes to add another piece between now and next Wednesday.

Kim brings two things the Orioles badly need: a left-handed hitter and on-base capability. Of the first six spots, only Wieters, who’s a switch-hitter was a left-hander.

For several years, the Orioles have sought to improve their on-base percentage, and they haven’t.
In his 10 seasons for the Doosan Bears of the Korea Baseball Organization, Kim was a walking machine, with a stunning .406 OBP.

Last year, at 27, Kim established career highs in home runs (28) RBIs (12) and walks (101). He hit .326. Kim also stole 11 bases in 16 attempts.

From Feb. 18, when camp opens to April Fool’s Day when exhibition games end, Buck Showalter will be pestered with questions about Kim’s transition.

How will he do in the U.S?

There have been 16 Koreans in the major leagues, including the New York Yankees’ Rob Refsnyder, who was adopted as a baby and raised in the U.S.

Other than Refsnyder, just three have been position players: Texas’ Shin-soo Choo, Pittsburgh’s Jung-ho Kang and Hee-Seop Choi, who played four seasons with three teams last decade.

Last month, Minnesota signed first baseman Byung-Ho Park, a player who interested the Orioles, but he was subject to the posting process, and the Twins won out.

With his terrific on-base skills, perhaps Kim will be the Orioles’ leadoff hitter.

By necessity, Showalter put Machado in the leadoff spot for much of the season, but he’d prefer someone else there.

If the Orioles are able to sign a right fielder with good on-base skills, that would satisfy the team’s needs for a leadoff hitter.

For the moment, the Orioles have seven outfielders on the 40-man roster:  Jones, Trumbo, Dariel Alvarez, L.J. Hoes, Nolan Reimold, Joey Rickard and Henry Urrutia.

They also have Alfredo Marte, whose signing to a minor league contract has not yet been made official, but he’ll receive a spring training invitation.

At Saturday’s FanFest, Jimmy Paredes, who had a wonderful first half, but awful second half at bat, said he felt comfortable playing right field during winter ball in the Dominican Republic.

Paredes, who had huge issues in the infield last season, played one game in right field in 2015. In 2012 and 2013 with Houston, Paredes played 54 games in right.

He said he failed to adjust to pitcher’s adjustments of him last season, and he knows he’ll have to do it to be successful next season.

Paredes isn’t going to be the answer in right, but he’s a switch-hitter, who is a much more accomplished hitter left-handed than right. He struck out 111 times and walked just 19, so he’s not going to be the Orioles’ first batter of 2016, either.

Once Kim’s signing is officially announced, which could be a few days away, the Orioles will have to remove a player from the 40-man roster.

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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