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Orioles keep looking for trades, are there matches?


Orioles keep looking for trades, are there matches?

This week's biggest Orioles move was involving three players many fans haven’t heard of. On Friday, they added pitchers Parker Bridwell, Christopher Lee and Andrew Triggs to the 40-man roster.

Dan Duquette believes that all three could contribute to the Orioles in 2016, and with the increasingly likely exodus of Darren O’Day and the possible departure of Brian Matusz, there may be some openings.

O’Day has been getting some play in the free agent market, and there was a not surprising report that he was seeking a four-year deal at between $8 and $9 million. Paying that much for a reliever isn’t the Orioles way.

The team will have to decide by Dec. 2 if they want to offer a contract to Matusz, which I think they should, or non-tender him. They could also trade him, but as in the cases of Robert Andino and Jim Johnson, they’re likely not to get very much back.

Matusz’s issue is that he could make $4 million in arbitration, and that’s a lot of money for a middle inning reliever. He justifiably wants an opportunity to start, which some other team could get them, but may have to wait until a year from now to get that chance.

There were reports that the Orioles had engaged with the Pittsburgh Pirates about their longtime second baseman Neil Walker, who earned $8 million last year and is in line to earn much more this year.

While Walker is a useful player, and perhaps the Orioles could use him as a superutility guy, they can’t give up very much for him.

A year ago, the Orioles lost Nick Markakis in free agency, and they needed a new right fielder. They thought they found their man when they traded two minor league pitchers to the Pirates for Travis Snider.

That was a disaster. Not only did Snider not play well for the Orioles, they had to go out and trade for another right fielder, Gerardo Parra.

The two pitchers they sent to Pittsburgh, Steven Brault and Stephen Tarpley, both had outstanding years in the minors. Brault is in Double-A, and Tarpley Low-A. Tarpley was in the Orioles’ mini-camp in Sarasota last January, shortly before he was sent to Pittsburgh.

The Orioles traded another promising pitcher, Zach Davies, to Milwaukee for Parra, who may leave, too.

Snider’s trade hurt. Had he played well last year, he would have remained under team control for 2016, and the team could have focused their energy elsewhere. Instead, they had to burn three promising pitchers.

Parra has gotten some rumored interest from the Mets and Seattle, and should he leave they’ll need another right fielder.

The only outfielders on the 40-man roster are Adam Jones and several players who may not play much, if at all, for the team in 2016: Dariel Alvarez, Junior Lake, David Lough, Nolan Reimold and Henry Urrutia.

They obviously need outfielders, and if they don’t sign Parra and Steve Pearce, will look elsewhere, and that’s what they’re doing.

Duquette may try to go the trade route, but in his four years with the Orioles, he hasn’t pulled off a blockbuster move, and he’s not expected to.

His biggest trade was his first major one, and it worked out well. In Feb. 2012, the Orioles traded Jeremy Guthrie to Colorado for Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom. Lindstrom was later moved to Arizona for Joe Saunders.

Duquette acquired seven of the players on the 40-man roster by a trade. Duquette acquired Lake, Lee, Lough, Triggs, Brad Brach, Chris Jones and Jimmy Paredes.

Paredes and Triggs were both purchased from Kansas City. Lee was traded for two international draft slots. Brach came for minor league pitcher Devin Jones, who later returned to the Orioles organization. Jones was acquired from Atlanta for Luis Ayala.

The bigger moves, and they certainly weren’t major were getting Lake from the Cubs for Tommy Hunter last July, and Lough, who arrived from the Royals two years ago for Danny Valencia.

In the past 2 ½ years, the Orioles have traded five promising pitchers: Brault, Davies, Tarpley, Josh Hader and Eduardo Rodriguez. Hader was sent to Houston for Bud Norris, and Rodriguez to Boston for Andrew Miller. Hader has since moved on to Milwaukee, and he’s advanced rapidly.

While Duquette said in a conference call last week that another major league team told him the Orioles’ minor league prospects were better than many in the industry think, they can’t keep trading young pitching prospects. They don’t have all that many.

Had Snider worked out, they could have kept Davies, and he could have competed for the fifth starter role—or at least been a possibility for later in 2016.

While Duquette will keep looking for trades, don’t expect them to be major ones.



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Orioles bats stay silent against Cleveland

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Orioles bats stay silent against Cleveland

BALTIMORE -- Mike Clevenger pitched a two-hitter in his first career complete game, and the Cleveland Indians hit three solo homers off Chris Tillman in a 4-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

Jose Ramirez went 3 for 4 with his team-leading fifth home run. Yan Gomes and Yonder Alonso also went deep for Cleveland, which came into the game ranked second-to-last in the AL in runs and last in batting average.

Clevenger (2-0) hardly needed the offensive support. Pitching on seven days' rest, the right-hander struck out three, walked two and allowed only one runner past first base.

The only two hits he allowed were singles by Manny Machado in the fourth inning and Chance Sisco in the fifth.

It was Clevenger's 35th career start. His previous longest outing was 7 1/3 innings, earlier this month against Kansas City.

While Clevenger is unbeaten in 11 starts since July 31, Tillman has experienced an opposite fate. This was his 22nd straight start without a victory, dating back to his first outing last season.

Tillman (0-4) gave up four runs, eight hits and a walk in six innings. The three home runs were one more than he yielded in his first three starts this season.

Michael Brantley hit a run-scoring groundout in the first inning and Gomes connected in the fourth for a 2-0 lead.

The Orioles put runners on the corners with one out in the fourth, their lone threat against Clevenger, who responded by retiring Tim Beckham on a short fly to left and getting Anthony Santander to ground out.

Ramirez led off the sixth with a drive to left, and Alonso hit a two-out shot that landed on Eutaw Street beyond the right-field scoreboard.

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Orioles pitching falls apart as Tigers complete sweep in Detroit

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Orioles pitching falls apart as Tigers complete sweep in Detroit

DETROIT - Leonys Martin hit his first big league grand slam, Jeimer Candelario had four hits and three RBIs, and the Detroit Tigers beat Baltimore 13-8 Thursday to extend the Orioles' losing streak to six.

Jordan Zimmermann (1-0) gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, allowing two home runs to Manny Machado and one to Chris Davis. Zimmermann was pitching for the first time since being hit in the jaw by a line drove off the bat of Cleveland's Jason Kipnis on April 11.

Alex Cobb (0-2) made his second start after signing a $57 million, four-year contract in spring training and his ERA rose to 15.43. He allowed seven runs - five earned - and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Machado had four RBIs for the Orioles, who were outhit 18-14 in the game and outscored 23-15 in the three-game sweep.

Victor Martinez hit an RBI single in the first, but Davis put Baltimore ahead with a two-run homer in the second, his sixth hit and fourth homer in 10 career at-bats against Zimmermann.

Detroit went ahead for good with four runs in the bottom half after third baseman Tim Beckham's throwing error allowed James McCann to reach base leading off. Jose Iglesias hit a two-run triple, Miguel Cabrera had an RBI single and Nick Castellanos a run-scoring groundout.

Machado's homer in the third cut Baltimore's deficit to 5-2, but Candelario's two-run homer extended the lead to 7-2 in the bottom half. Martin homered off Mike Wright Jr. in a five-run fifth.