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Orioles fans dreaming of Andrew Miller are not realistic

Orioles fans dreaming of Andrew Miller are not realistic

As some Orioles fans watched the Cleveland Indians take a 2-0 lead over the Toronto Blue Jays, there were a number who wondered about Andrew Miller. 

The Orioles showed little interest in re-signing Miller after the 2014 season, but were all about Darren O’Day a year later, they said. 

Miller signed for four years and $36 million, and a year later, O’Day for four years and $31 million. 

The situations were very different. 


Everyone around the Orioles loved Miller. There was nothing not to love. In 20 innings, he struck out 34 and walked just four and had a Britton-like WHIP of 0.600. 

In the postseason Miller was even better, giving up just one hit in 7 1/3 innings, striking out eight and walking one. 

Miller has been nearly unhittable in this year’s postseason, allowing three hits in 7 2/3 innings to the fearsome Red Sox and Blue Jays lineups, and recording 17 strikeouts in 23 outs. 

Why couldn’t the Orioles have kept him? 

Miller liked his 10 weeks in Baltimore, and was popular among his teammates, and the Orioles didn’t make an effort to sign him, telling his agent they didn’t feel they could compete with a team like the Yankees, who signed him. He also may have had more lucrative offers from others. 

After 2014, the Orioles lost not only Miller, but Nelson Cruz, who many fans still miss and Nick Markakis, and that offseason has generally been considered an awful one. 

While the Orioles’ bullpen has continued to shine in the last two seasons, the production of Cruz and Markakis is still missed. 

The Orioles tried to re-sign Cruz, but the Seattle Mariners were willing to give him a fourth year.
Two seasons into the four-year, $57 million contract, Cruz has continued to play well. He’s hit 87 home runs and driven in 198 runs while hitting .287.

Perhaps the primary reason the Orioles refused to give Cruz a fourth year was his age, but at 36, he had a better offensive season than his excellent one with the Orioles in 2014. 

Last year, the Orioles made an organizational change. They decided that in order to compete they had to be more aggressive with free agents. 

A year ago, no one would have dreamed a seven-year, $161 million contract for Chris Davis was possible, or that they’d pay that much for a relief pitcher. 

The Orioles still probably won’t win many bidding wars over free agents. The biggest ones they’ve signed during the Dan Duquette era have been their own (Davis, O’Day Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy, Matt Wieters) or those at a deep discount because there wasn’t a great market for them (Cruz, Ubaldo Jimenez, Yovani Gallardo and Pedro Alvarez). 

In Feb. 2014, it was a stretch for the Orioles to sign Jimenez for four years, and after his poor initial season, the team was reluctant to offer four years to another free agent pitcher, and that’s why they weren’t going after Miller. 

Even now, the four-year barrier could be difficult to overcome if they’re trying to extend Chris Tillman. 

The money for Miller and O’Day isn’t quite as comparable as it looks, either. 

Miller’s contract is for four years at $9 million a season while $4 million of O’Day’s $31 million is deferred. 

The Orioles are hoping that O’Day rebounds smartly from his painful 2016 season when he missed more than the year with hamstring and shoulder injuries. 

His 2016 production lagged. In 34 games, O’Day was 3-1 with a 3.77 ERA. The ERA was more than half again as much as his previous high with the Orioles (2.28 in 2012). 

The Orioles thought they were taking a good risk with O’Day, who hadn’t suffered any disabling injuries in his first four seasons with the team. 

They were heartened by his last three regular season outings (2 2/3 perfect innings), and the sharp five-out performance in the wild-card game. 

Miller would have been wonderful to have, and it’s great to see the inventive way Terry Francona has been using him, but the bullpen is hardly the Orioles’ weakness. 

With O’Day, Brad Brach, Zach Britton and Mychal Givens, it’s one of the game’s best. 

While having Miller as part of that bullpen would be great, but it just wasn’t possible—or realistic. 


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

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."


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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