Orioles

Quick Links

What kind of deal will Chen get in open market?

chen.jpg

What kind of deal will Chen get in open market?

The Orioles need better pitching. Dan Duquette said that at last week’s press briefing. Their best pitcher this season was Wei-Yin Chen, but there seems no urgency in keeping him.

As soon as Chen changed his representative to Scott Boras in 2013, the chances of him re-signing with the Orioles ahead of time disappeared, and the chances of him remaining in Baltimore vanished.

While Chen’s signing may well have been Duquette’s shrewdest move in his four years with the Orioles, he’s betting that it will be an equally shrewd move to have someone else overpay for the left-hander.

In his four years with the Orioles, Chen, who turned 30 in July had a 46-32 record with a 3.72 ERA. His last two years have been his best, with a 27-14 record.

Over those four years, the Orioles paid Chen $15.466 million. That was a bargain.

Many people feel that Chen could attract a three of four-year contract with an average annual value of about what the Orioles paid him over those four years.

The Orioles will make Chen a qualifying offer, and he’ll refuse it.

A number of teams are interested in Chen. Arizona, San Diego and Seattle have been mentioned as well as the Angels, Dodgers and Giants.

He may want to stay in the American League because he doesn’t like hitting. Chen batted only seven times in his four years, and this year didn’t pitch in any National League ballparks. On the other hand, Ubaldo Jimenez started in each of the four NL parks.

This year’s free agent pitchers are an unusually talented group. While Chen won’t get the same kind of money as Johnny Cueto, Zack Greinke, David Price or Jordan Zimmermann, but Chen fits nicely into a tier that may include Doug Fister, Hisashi Iwakuma, Scott Kazmir, Ian Kennedy, Mike Leake and Jeff Samardzija.

From that group, the Orioles could try and find Chen’s successor.

In that large listing, there’s another familiar name: Gavin Floyd. Ever winter the Orioles are somehow linked with the oft-injured right-hander from Severna Park, so why not this winter, too?

Without Chen, the Orioles don’t have a left-hander on the staff who’s ready to start, but manager Buck Showalter often said Chen didn’t pitch like a true left-hander.

NOTES: Over the weekend, Chris Parmelee opted for free agency. Parmelee, who signed a minor league contract with the Orioles in January, batted .216 with four home runs and nine RBIs in 32 games.

He was designated for assignment on July 31 and returned to Norfolk, but his season was truncated when Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore, who was on a rehab assignment for Durham, broke his left forearm with a pitch.

-The Chicago Cubs designated Tsuyoshi Wada for assignment so they could add former Orioles catcher Taylor Teagarden to the 40-man roster.

[RELATED: Chris Davis voted Most Valuable Oriole for second time]

Quick Links

Baltimore Orioles add to their rotation, sign RHP Andrew Cashner

cashner-usat.png
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.

Quick Links

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

machado-usat.png
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."