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Orioles designate Gregg for assignment

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Orioles designate Gregg for assignment

The addition of two outfielders meant the end of Kevin Greggs time with the Orioles on Tuesday.To help make up for the absence of Nick Markakis, the Orioles purchased the contracts of outfielders Endy Chavez and L.J. Hoes from Triple-A Norfolk. They needed room on the 40-man roster from them and designated Gregg for assignment. I dont think anybody this time of year is going to think they can replace a Nick Markakis, manager Buck Showalter said.Showalter said that Dan Duquette, the teams executive vice president of baseball operations looked outside the organization, but felt that Chavez and Hoes were better options.Any player added from outside the organization would be ineligible for the postseason.If you want to trade Manny Machado for a guy thats going to be here for three weeks and not eligible for the playoffs, if we were lucky enough to make it, we probably could have done that, Showalter said.Were not going to do it.Gregg lost his job as closer in Aug. 2011 after blowing seven of 29 save opportunities to Jim Johnson and never reclaimed it.The improved depth in the bullpen weakened Greggs standing in the bullpen. He was 3-2 with a 4.74 ERA in 40 games.I know Kevin deserves an opportunity to pitch more consistently, Showalter said.Its been a tough go for Kevin. Hes been very professional about it.The Orioles would like to trade him, and he also could be claimed on waivers as Steve Pearce, Miguel Socolovich and Jason Berken were recently.I dont want to say, we trying to do him a favor, Showalter said. Were trying to see if we can put him in a place where he can get the ball on a consistent basis and present himself as a good option he will be next year for some team.Gregg fell behind Johnson, Strop, Luis Ayala, Darren ODay and for much of the season, Matt Lindstrom. Hes pitched some good innings for us this year. His ERA was under four for most of the year. It has as much to do with his inactivity, Showalter said.Were trying to be fair to be him, plus we need a roster spot. I hope it will work out for him. I think it will. A change of scenery and getting the ball every day or every other day will help him.Hoes, the teams third-round choice in 2008, was home in Mitchellville, Md. when he got a call Tuesday afternoon asking him to drive to Baltimore.He batted .300 with three runs and 38 RBIs in 82 games with Norfolk.Hoes was preparing to play in the Arizona Fall League early next month when he learned of Markakis injury.I was watching the game on TV. I knew it could be a possibility. I didnt want to read too much into it, Hoes said.With him going down, someones going to have to step up.Chavez batted .190 with two home runs and eight RBIs in 47 games with the Orioles and was designated for assignment last month. He batted just .149 in 15 games with Norfolk.I know I didnt play good down there, Chavez said. He was in New York with family on Sunday when he was summoned by the Orioles.I heard that Markakis got hurt, and I was like uh-oh. Then I got a call, Chavez said. Adams, who batted .289 in 21 games with the Orioles in 2011, batted .224 in 65 games for Norfolk this year. He was one of the first cuts in spring training, and with the Orioles stocked with middle infielders, Adams clearly didnt fit into the teams plans.

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Baltimore Orioles add to their rotation, sign RHP Andrew Cashner

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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.

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

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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."