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After Davis, what's next for the Orioles?

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After Davis, what's next for the Orioles?

Where does the Chris Davis signing leave the Orioles roster? It’s now actually fairly set. Barring injuries, perhaps 20 of the 25 roster spots are set.

Even before the Davis agreement, 10 of the 12 pitchers were fairly locked in. Starters Kevin Gausman, Miguel Gonzalez, Ubaldo Jimenez and Chris Tillman are givens. In the bullpen, it’s Brad Brach, Zach Britton, Mychal Givens, Brian Matusz, Darren O’Day and if he’s healthy, Dylan Bundy.

Manager Buck Showalter has said he’s going with 12 pitchers, and the fifth starter and, barring trades, another bullpen spot remain open.

At the end of last season, just four spots were secure: J.J. Hardy (shortstop), Adam Jones (center field), Manny Machado (third base) and Adam Jones (center field).

The Orioles re-signed Matt Wieters to a $15.8 million qualifying offer, something that many incorrectly forecast would have a detrimental effect on the team’s ability to sign other free agents.

They traded for Mark Trumbo, a slugger who can play the outfield, first base and be the designated hitter, signed South Korean outfielder Hyun Soo Kim, and now have brought back Davis.

MORE ORIOLES: DAVIS DEAL IS HUGE

Add in Caleb Joseph as the team’s backup catcher and Ryan Flaherty as the utility infielder leaves three position player slots unaccounted for.

If he plays decently in spring training, one could be allocated to Rule 5 draftee Joey Rickard, who has on-base ability and speed. Rickard could also serve as a needed understudy to Jones in center.

Last year, the team suffered when Jones was hurt and they didn’t have an adequate fill-in.

For the moment, the favorites for the last two spots seem to be L.J. Hoes, Jimmy Paredes and Nolan Reimold. Hoes was picked up from Houston and Reimold re-signed. Paredes was under club control.

Other contenders on the roster include Dariel Alvarez and Henry Urrutia.

Paredes has no position, but is a switch-hitter. Urrutia’s main advantage is that he’s a left-handed hitter.

Joey Terdoslavich is also a switch-hitting outfielder, but he could be removed from the roster when Davis is added to the 40-man roster.

It’s likely that the Orioles will try and sign another outfielder, preferably a left-handed hitting one. There are still some interesting choices left on the market. Matt Joyce, David Murphy and Will Venable are all still free agents, and all can play right field and bat left-handed. The Orioles have shown interest in Murphy and Venable in the past.

The Orioles’ bigger concern is finding that other starting pitcher. With the team’s payroll heading north, possibly in excess of $140 million, it seems unlikely they’ll pay the bigger money that Yovani Gallardo will likely want. Ian Kennedy, the other name starter on the market, has a reported five-year, $70 million deal, and Gallardo will certainly want something like that.

Doug Fister, who the Orioles also have had interest in, is reportedly looking for a two-year, $22 million contract. That would be a reach for the Orioles, too.

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Orioles' Adam Jones purchases Cal Ripken Jr.'s former estate, per report

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Orioles' Adam Jones purchases Cal Ripken Jr.'s former estate, per report

Cal Ripken Jr.'s 25-acre, 8,545 square-foot home went up for auction this past Saturday and the highest bidder was......Adam Jones? 

The center fielder is purchasing the Orioles legend's former Reisterstown, Md. estate, according to The Athletic

Placed on the market in 2016 for $12.5 million, Ripken reduced the price to $9.7 million last year but was still unable to find a willing buyer. The estate was eventually put up for auction and sold to Jones for an undisclosed amount. 

The six bedroom home has 10 full bathrooms, a movie theater, a gym that overlooks an indoor basketball court, a pool and a baseball field with batting cages, a locker room and soaking tubs. One of the tubs was taken from Memorial Stadium and used by Johnny Unitas and Art Donovan, but Ripken is keeping that one. 

What makes this purchase even more interesting is that Jones will become a free agent at the end of the 2018 season, but that does not mean he plans on re-signing with the team. The 32-year old, who is in his last year of a six-year $85.5 million contract, is known to dip his toes in real estate investments and his wife, Audie Fugett, is a Baltimore native. 

The deal is scheduled to close on June 11. 

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David Price's complete game shuts down Baltimore's offense

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USA TODAY Sports

David Price's complete game shuts down Baltimore's offense

BOSTON -- One strike away from a four-hit shutout, David Price happily settled for a complete game and his strongest outing of the season.

Price struck out eight and held Baltimore to five hits, including two in the ninth when the Orioles broke up the shutout before the Boston left-hander finished them off in a 6-2 victory for the Red Sox on Thursday night.

"He was amazing," Boston manager Alex Cora said. "He was outstanding. You saw it. Bad swings, up, down, in and out, changeup, cutter, sinkers ... that was fun to watch."

J.D. Martinez hit a two-run homer in the first, and Xander Bogaerts homered with two on during a four-run fifth, giving Price more than enough cushion against the struggling Orioles.

Price (4-4) struck out eight and didn't walk a batter while winning consecutive starts for the first time this season. He cruised through the first eight innings before Andrew Susac led off the ninth with a double, the first Baltimore player to reach second base in the game.

Manny Machado spoiled the shutout bid with a two-out homer, but Price finished off Baltimore on Jonathan Schoop's pop-up to center as the Red Sox improved to 4-0 against Baltimore by taking the makeup game that was rained out on Patriots' Day.

"They're a free-swinging team," said Price, who threw just 95 pitches. "You can go out there and do that or you can go out there for three innings and give up a bunch of runs."

Danny Valencia had a pair of hits for the punchless Orioles, who have lost three of four and have the second-fewest wins in the American League. Valencia nearly had a double in the fifth, but got thrown out at second by left fielder Andrew Benintendi, one of several strong defensive plays that helped Price go the distance.

Hanley Ramirez also caught a foul pop on the top step of Boston's dugout in the second and Mookie Betts ran down a fly ball that was headed to the wall in right.

"The defensive plays that I had today, it makes everything a lot easier," Price said.

Kevin Gausman (3-3) went 4 2/3 innings for Baltimore, allowing six runs and eight hits while striking out six and walking two. He was pulled after Bogaerts drove a high fastball out to left with two men on during Boston's four-run fifth.

"We just got into some sticky situations where we just had to dig ourselves out of a hole and we just couldn't," Susac said.

The Orioles also weren't happy with the strike zone, which Susac said forced Gausman to throw some pitches the Red Sox pounced upon.

Manager Buck Showalter agreed with his catcher.

"I'm very biased, but I didn't think he got a fair shake tonight," Showalter said. "There were a lot of pitches that could have and should have gone his way."

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