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Janish is back, hoping Orioles recognize versatility


Janish is back, hoping Orioles recognize versatility

SARASOTA, Fla. – One of the most popular players in the 2015 Orioles clubhouse is back for 2016. Paul Janish, who played 14 late season games for the team last year, signed a minor league contract.

Janish had opportunities to sign with the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros. The Astros opportunity was tempting for the Houston-born Janish.

“There was some more stuff going on, but at the end of the day I still felt like this was the best opportunity for me baseball-wise. Some of the other stuff, especially with Houston was a little bit emotional,” Janish said.

“Obviously, that’s home, that’s where I’m from, but there really wasn’t a competition in terms of what I felt like was the best baseball opportunity after being here last year and knowing how everybody feels about me and stuff and how I enjoyed being here in the clubhouse. At the end of the day it wasn’t really that tough of a decision. That being said, I’m glad to be back and hopefully have a good spring training and see where things fall.”

Janish will have a difficult time making this team.

“Yeah, that’s kind of just the nature of the game. For somebody like me, I can’t worry about the numbers game. It’s going to be what it’s going to be. I guess I just have to kind of hope things fall in my favor, if that makes sense. All you can really do is play well. I feel like if I play good in camp … One of the reasons I came back here is I felt like I had an opportunity to play in the big leagues, and I still feel that way. We’ll see how things go and just kind of hope for the best.”

A year ago, Janish reported on time, but due to surgery for bone chips on his right elbow, couldn’t play until later in March.

“Last year, I couldn’t do anything so this is better. Healthy, body feels good for being as old as I am. It’s a completely different dynamic this year, so I’m excited to play a little bit and get through camp healthy a little bit,” Janish said.

He’s played second and third base, and likes the Orioles to know that he’s versatile. They haven’t spoken with him about it.

“Not specifically. I do more of that, trying to remind them that I can do other stuff and ask them if I can. Over the course of my career, I’ve just always been, not in a bad way, pigeonholed for short because I’ve always considered to do a good job. That’s really more me, trying to embrace that I can do more stuff. Hopefully, they’ll buy into that,” Janish said.

“I’ve been trying to put the outfield on the resume for a few years, and I just can’t get anyone to let me get out there. Maybe somebody will get banged up in a spring training game, and they’ll put me out there, and they’ll let me do something, but I’m open to suggestions.”

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Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

USA Today Sports

Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Alex Cobb's comfort and familiarity with the AL East was the deciding factor in his decision to sign with the Baltimore Orioles.

"They used the AL East and the success I've had in it to their advantage," the 30-year-old right-hander said Wednesday after finalizing a $57 million, four-year contract. "They kept challenging me with it and I love the challenge of pitching in this division and they know that over the times we talked. They did a really good job of making me feel like this is where I need to be."

Cobb gets $14 million in each of the first three seasons and $15 million in 2021, and he would earn a $500,000 bonus in each year he pitches 180 innings. Baltimore will defer $6.5 million from this year's salary and $4.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He gets $2 million of the deferred money on Nov. 30, 2022, and $1.8 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2023-32. If he doesn't pitch at least 130 innings in 2020, an additional $5.25 million of the final's year salary would get deferred, payable $1.75 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2033-35.


Cobb has a full no-trade this year, then can list 10 teams from 2019-21 that he cannot be dealt to without his consent.

He had spent his entire six-season big league career with Tampa Bay and was the last big-name starting pitcher available in a slow-moving free agent market. He joined Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman, who were signed last month, in a revamped rotation that includes holdovers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman.

Cobb was 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts last season. He pitched 179 1/3 innings in his first full year back after missing nearly two seasons because of Tommy John surgery.

He had turned down the Rays' $17.4 million qualifying offer in November, and Baltimore pursued him from the start of free agency.

"They didn't stop bothering me the whole offseason," Cobb said. "They were very persistent, and I think that you notice that confidence they have in you just by the way they speak to you and the questions you ask and not questioning anything that's gone on. Everyone's got flaws that they come with and potential things you could really harp on that might not be your strong suit, but they never went down that avenue. They always told me how much they like certain aspects of what I do on and off the field, and just kept repeating how well I fit in here."


Cobb is 48-35 with a 3.50 in six big league seasons. Baltimore will lose its third-highest draft pick, currently No. 51, and the Rays get an extra selection after the first round as compensation.

Jose Mesa Jr. was designated for assignment Wednesday to clear a roster spot.

Baltimore opens on March 29 at home against Minnesota, but Cobb won't be ready to pitch then. He has agreed to be optioned to a minor league affiliate to help build up innings.

"I'm going to be pushing it as quick as I can," Cobb said. "That's going to be up to them. They've invested in me for a four-year period and as much as we know how much every game matters even early in April, we're going to have to look out for the overall future of this whole thing and whole contract and whatever they determine to be the way to protect me and my feedback from the bullpens I'm going to be throwing here in the next few days will probably determine the timeline."

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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."