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How long can Chris Davis drama continue?


How long can Chris Davis drama continue?

Three months ago, the Orioles played their final game of the 2015 season. Exactly three months from now, they’ll play their first of the 2016 season.

We can assume that there will be some clarity in the Chris Davis situation between now and then.

In the early evening of Oct. 4, Davis had presumably hit the final two home runs of his Orioles career, and he spoke about how appreciative he was about the fans in Baltimore.

We haven’t heard from Davis since.

Throughout the free agent process, Davis has allowed his agent, Scott Boras to speak for him. Boras has tried to sell Davis as not only a quality first baseman, but a versatile player who can play the outfield, too.

The Orioles, who apparently have been his only serious suitor, understand that, and they’ve patiently played along—offering Davis money that few fans could quarrel with, that should, but won’t, forever silence those who claim the team refuses to spend.

Certainly, fans are far past the point of impatience with Davis, and with the Ravens’ season coming to an inglorious end on Sunday, there’ll be more attention on the Orioles now.

But, if Davis ends up re-signing with the Orioles, which still seems to be a real possibility, that will be forgiven—and quickly.

In 2014, despite an average below .200, Davis was still cheered in Baltimore. Last year, the fans still loved him after he completed his 25-game suspension for use of Adderall without a prescription.

Surely it will make Buck Showalter’s life easier if he can start contemplating lineups with Davis in it—or not. But, Showalter is adaptable and he can easily start thinking about where Mark Trumbo fits in, and if perhaps Pedro Alvarez would work.

In this unprecedented time of free agency, more quality players are available after New Year’s than any time before, and Davis’ decision isn’t likely to influence the other top hitters: Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Gordon and Justin Upton.

Davis is the top first baseman and power hitter available. Teams would have to surrender a draft choice to sign him, but that doesn’t seem to be a deterrent.

MORE ORIOLES: Who will join Griffey in Hall of Fame?

Even if the Orioles reported offer of seven years and $150 million includes substantial deferred money and excludes an opt-out, there are few teams capable of matching—or exceeding it.

Boras is looking for one.

How about the Yankees? Over the holidays, they acquired the controversial reliever Aroldis Chapman for some lesser prospects from Cincinnati. Chapman could be subject to a suspension in a domestic abuse case.

With Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira nearing the end of their contracts, perhaps Davis could fit in there?

What about the Red Sox? David Ortiz is retiring after this season. Another big hitter would fit in well in Boston.

According to Baseballreference.com, the Yankees have an estimated payroll of just under $230 million for 2016, and the Red Sox’s is a shade below $199 million.

Davis doesn’t look like a fit there.

Other big spenders have massive estimated payrolls, too. Detroit ($177 million), San Francisco ($168), Los Angeles Angels ($167), and Texas ($144) don’t see to have the room for another massive contract.

And a team that does, Houston, seems not to have the inclination to spend.

The St. Louis Cardinals, whose payroll is probably a decent match for the Orioles, were a rumored destination for Davis earlier in the offseason, but they have an estimated payroll of $143.2 million—even without Jason Heyward.

Of course, Boras can always hope that the Astros change their mind or that an outlier—San Diego, for instance—ponies up.

The Padres’ projected payroll is under $100 million, and they could certainly use Davis.

Boras can probably hang on another two or three weeks if the Orioles don’t decisively move in another direction.

If the price for another of the top hitters, Cespedes, Gordon or Upton drops, then they well move on, but it’s apparent that the Orioles are still stuck on Davis, and that’s O.K.

He’s younger than Cespedes and Gordon, has more power than Upton, and is left-handed.

Boras is in an unusual position. Not only is Davis unsigned, but so is Wei-Yin Chen, another of his clients, and there hasn’t only been a little more chatter about him.

Chen, Yovani Gallardo and Ian Kennedy are the only quality starters left on the market. While it seemed absurd at the start of free agency to contemplate both Davis and Chen returning to the Orioles, now it seems merely unlikely.

Boras is asking for a five-year deal for Chen, and teams have recoiled at that, but he’s apparently got more suitors for the left-handed pitcher than for his left-handed slugger.

It’s just not as many as he’d like.

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

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

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