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Zimmermann signing, lots of rumors highlight weekend

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Zimmermann signing, lots of rumors highlight weekend

Two free agent signings over the weekend have set the market for starting pitchers. On Black Friday, which is apparently not a holiday in Canada, J.A. Happ signed for three years and $36 million with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Sunday’s news was that former Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann agreed on a five-year, $110 million contract with the Detroit Tigers.

Neither contract should be a surprise.

Zimmermann, who was arguably the third best pitcher behind David Price and Zack Greinke in this winter’s free agent sweepstakes, gets an average of $22 million from the Tigers, who are not shy about spending.

Johnny Cueto, who obviously thinks he’s a better pitcher than Zimmermann, reportedly turned down six years and $120 million from Arizona.

Perhaps Cueto doesn’t want to pitch for the Diamondbacks, but if he thinks he’s going to get a better offer, well, he may not.

The Boston Globe reported that the Red Sox remain the favorite in the Price sweepstakes. He’ll probably command Max Scherzer-type money — seven years, $210 million.

If he doesn’t go to Boston, the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals are seen as options.

Dave Dombrowski, who acquired Price in July 2014 for the Tigers, and flipped him a year later to the Blue Jays just days before he and Detroit parted ways, could sign him.

Or Dombrowski could get into the Chris Davis sweepstakes.

If Davis doesn’t re-sign with the Orioles, and I think there’s a decent chance he does, he could be a logical successor to David Ortiz, who will retire after next season.

The Globe reported that the Red Sox are eager to move Hanley Ramirez, who was a huge disappointment in first season of a four-year contract.

MORE ORIOLES: Do the Orioles have enough candidates for the bullpen?

Ramirez was challenged in left field, and if he remains in Boston, they’re contemplating a move to first base. With the Marlins and Dodgers, he was a shortstop with a terrific bat.

He’s owed $22.75 million over the next three seasons, and will be 32 next month.

Speculation is that the Orioles might be interested in him because if Davis leaves, they’ll need a big bat, and that Dan Duquette originally signed him for the Red Sox.

If Duquette thinks highly of him, that opinion is not shared universally among Orioles decision makers.

It’s a much, much better bet to overspend for Davis than take on Ramirez—even if the Red Sox help with his contract.

If the Orioles don’t re-sign Davis, and it won’t be because they haven’t made a genuine try, they need to focus on getting a quality starter and outfielder with the ability to get on base.

This week promises to be a much more interesting one than last week’s. The Orioles have to tender contracts to their 11 arbitration eligible players, and more free agents are likely to sign.

A week from now, the Winter Meetings will be underway in Nashville, Tenn., and the Orioles will be linked with countless players.

The last time the meetings were there, Nate McLouth re-signed with the Orioles and T.J. McFarland was taken in the Rule 5 draft. Those were nice moves, but the team is looking for something a little bigger this time.

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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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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