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Norris feeling better, will start at Bowie Wednesday


Norris feeling better, will start at Bowie Wednesday

BALTIMORE – Bud Norris will start on Wednesday in Erie in his second rehab game. Norris had a bad outing on Friday in Norfolk when he allowed nine runs on 12 hits in 2 2/3 innings, but he says he’s feeling much better after a bout with bronchitis.

Manager Buck Showalter said he considered Norris as a candidate to pitch in one of the games in Thursday’s doubleheader against Chicago, but decided against it.

“I'm feeling better. I'm getting there. I didn't know how much it took out of me. I'm glad Buck did what he did and I'm glad I got one under my belt and I've got one more to go. I'm really excited just to get my weight back on my body and kind of get through all of this,” Norris said on Monday.

Norris had a tough time Friday, but said he was weak.

“I went down to the bullpen and started to warm up and felt great in the 'pen and by the time I pitched the first inning I could feel my legs kind of giving out. As much as I do squatting and running and all that good stuff, missing as much time as I did, my body definitely took a toll. Losing as much weight as I did, I never had anything happen to me like that before. I'm excited to put it back on and take care of my body,” Norris said.

Norris first felt sick in New York on May 9, struggled through a five inning start the next day, and after feeling better had a relapse on May 14.

"I didn't know how much my body went through, but that Saturday, Sunday and Monday I basically slept all day. Every time I got out of bed for 20, 30 minutes, I got so weak I had to get back in bed. My parents came into town and stayed a couple nights with me, which was extremely helpful. I got some homemade chicken noodle soup from my mom, which I was really excited about, actually. But like I said, I didn't know how it was going to take a toll on me. It did. It took its course and I'm definitely learning from it,” Norris said.

"I lost about 14 pounds at the time. I got down as low as like 204 and my playing weight's around 215, 220. In my Houston years it was 225. I'm probably back to about 212. I went into camp in a little bit better shape this year. I thought I was in the best shape of my life, but weight's something I've got to monitor through the course of the season."

Even though he’s on the disabled list, Norris says that he’s still found time to follow his favorite NBA team, the Golden State Warriors, and their 3-0 lead over Houston in the Western Conference finals has him feeling better.

“Yeah, absolutely. If they sweep in four, that’s going to be even a better sign,” Norris said.

NOTES: Matt Wieters will catch Dylan Bundy in Bowie when the Baysox play Erie at 6:35 p.m. on Tuesday. It will be Wieters’ first rehab game. … Kevin Gausman (shoulder tendinitis) will throw a bullpen on Tuesday. He’ll throw to hitters on Friday and throw a side session on Sunday. On June 2, the plan is for him to throw a simulated game in Houston, and after that, the Orioles will decide on his next move. … Ryan Flaherty (right groin) will play for Norfolk today and Tuesday. … Tyler Wilson will pitch briefly in the Tides’ game today because he’s a candidate to start one of the games on Thursday. Mike Wright will pitch the other.

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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."