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Span signing means Orioles must look elsewhere

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Span signing means Orioles must look elsewhere

Denard Span might have been nice. A left-handed hitting outfielder with speed. The Orioles could have used him, but not for three years and $31 million.

Yes, Scott Boras struck again.

There was no demonstration for interested teams that Span was healthy. The San Francisco Giants jumped at the opportunity to add Span.

For most of his big league career he’s played center field, but that’s Adam Jones territory. The Orioles would have put him in right field where they have a glaring need.

Span would have livened up spring training. When he was with Minnesota, his family drove from their home in Tampa to Sarasota and enthusiastically cheered for him in games that didn’t count.

The Orioles now hope that Span’s agent, who is also Chris Davis’ doesn’t pull a January surprise and find a suitor willing to better seven years and $150 million.

While we wait for that to resolve, the Orioles continue to look at other options. Yoenis Cespedes and Justin Upton are the two most interesting outfielders on the market.

An Upton signing would cost the Orioles their first round draft choice, but that would be worth it. Cespedes’ wouldn’t, but his signing would cause some juggling in manager Buck Showalter’s lineup.

He won’t play center with Jones around, and the Orioles signed South Korean Hyun Soo Kim to play left. They don’t think Kim’s a right fielder—or a first baseman, and he probably didn’t come to the U.S to be a designated hitter.

But, if Cespedes’ price drops; at the beginning of free agency he was asking for six years north of $100 million, the Orioles might take him off the market.

There are other outfielders still available in free agency. They include Marlon Byrd, Matt Joyce, David Murphy, Alex Rios, Will Venable and Shane Victorino. The Orioles have had some interest in Byrd, Murphy, Venable and Victorino in the past.

Some of these names—and others—could be fallbacks if the Orioles don’t sign Cespedes or Upton—or lower price alternatives if Davis re-signs.

The Giants were rumored as a possible destination for Cespedes, but after signing Span, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, they probably don’t have enough money for him.

Gerardo Parra, the right fielder for the final two months of the season, seems to be a semi-hot commodity. Now, he’s being linked with the Nationals, for whom Span played the last three seasons, and the Colorado Rockies.

Delmon Young, who made a surprise appearance at minicamp two years ago, which led to his signing, is also on the list of available right fielders. He hasn’t played since he was let go by the Orioles last July.
Travis Snider, who also played right field for the Orioles last year, is also on that list.

He won’t be walking through that door in Sarasota next week.

NOTES: Vance Worley, who the Orioles acquired on waivers from Pittsburgh in October, will not be at minicamp. The camp is not designed for arbitration-eligible players.

-Zach Clark, who pitched in one game for the Orioles in 2013, has accepted a position with the Houston Astros as an amateur scout. He’ll cover the Northeast.

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

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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."

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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USA Today Sports Images

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