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With Reynolds' exit, will Orioles pursue big-name free agents?


With Reynolds' exit, will Orioles pursue big-name free agents?

Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy are scheduled to earn $40.5 million in 2013. That’s more than half the Baltimore Orioles’ 2012 payroll

Had they signed Mark Reynolds, they would have been paying nearly $50 million for five regulars, or four regulars and one who is no longer.

There’s a lot of consternation this morning about the Orioles’ refusal to sign Reynolds—or even make him a concrete offer. Now, he’s a free agent, and the only way he returns to Baltimore is if there’s little interest in him.

There’s likely to be at least tepid interest. At 29 while Reynolds may not be as accomplished as Adam LaRoche, Nick Swisher, Carlos Pena and Kevin Youkilis, he’s also younger and cheaper.

If Reynolds would have gotten $8.9 million from arbitration as the savants in MLBTradeRumors.com estimate, other teams can calculate their offers to reflect that.

It may turn out to be a big win for Reynolds. There’s no Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder on the market, and a converted third baseman who’s averaged 34 home runs, 95 RBIs and well over 200 strikes outs per season can do well. How well? Even a two-year, $20 million deal is better than what Reynolds would have done with the Orioles.

Markakis will make $15 million in 2013, Roberts $10 million, Jones $8.5 million in the first year of a six-year extension and J.J. Hardy $7 million.

Jason Hammel, who made $4.75 million is likely to see more than a modest increase in his take. Add Wei-Yin Chen ($3.57 mil.) and Tsuyoshi Wada ($4.4 mil.), and that could add $15 million more to the payroll.

With about $55 million set aside for seven players and nice raises for Jim Johnson, Matt Wieters, Darren O’Day and Chris coming along, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette was looking to cut corners.

Last year’s payroll placed the Orioles 18th in major league baseball. With their postseason success and an increase in attendance last year and another likely next year, there will be more money to spend. It won’t be enough to put the team in the payroll top 10.

Duquette is likely to continue to keep an eye on the future. In the not-too-distant future, he’d like to be able to extend Johnson and Wieters. While Roberts’ $10 million disappears after this season, Jones has a built-in raise to $13 million in 2014.

That means Duquette’s plan of keeping home-grown players, signing relatively low-priced international free agents and avoiding the Josh Hamiltons and Zack Grienkes will probably stay intact.

The Orioles will cut corners when they can. Using Davis at first base and populating their bench with low-priced players such as Yamaico Navarro, Steve Pearce, Trayvon Robinson, Ryan Flaherty, Danny Valencia and Taylor Teagarden, will keep costs down.

If a higher-profile free agent’s market softens, Duquette will pounce. It’s unlikely that Reynolds’ will soften enough to interest the Orioles.

This also means that the chances for a return of Nate McLouth and Joe Saunders are probably slim, and the only way they’ll come back is if they remain unsigned into January.

It’s on to the winter meetings in Nashville for the Orioles who will probably listen politely to pitches from agents then wait until the post-holiday White Sales.

On the other hand, they’ll listen to offers for Jake Arrieta, Zach Britton, Tommy Hunter and Brian Matusz, but will want major-league ready players whose price tags are in their range.

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

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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

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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