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Can Orioles wait on Boras for Davis, Wieters, Chen?

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Can Orioles wait on Boras for Davis, Wieters, Chen?

If the Orioles are serious about keeping Wei-Yin Chen, Chris Davis and Matt Wieters, they know they’re going to have to deal with Scott Boras.

They’ve dealt with Boras countless times before, and will again. Zach Britton is also a Boras client.

They signed another Boras player, Chris Parmelee to a minor league deal in January.

Boras is baseball’s most powerful agent, and one of the most hard to predict.

Yes, he has lots of top shelf clients, but he has some “while I’m in the office” guys, too. “Dan, while I’m in the office, let’s talk about Chris Parmelee.”

Boras almost always takes his players to the free agent market and generally disdains signing younger players to deals that take away free agent years, but does make exceptions.

Jered Weaver re-signed with the Angels, Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez signed a seven-year extension after his first full season in the majors, and Elvis Andrus inked an eight-year extension with Texas.

Sometimes Boras strikes quickly. Jayson Werth signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Nationals as the 2010 Winter Meetings were getting underway.

Jacoby Ellsbury got a seven-year, $153 million contract with the Yankees before the 2013 Winter Meetings.

Often, he waits, and that’s where the problem lies.

RELATED: Adam Jones' contract is great one for Orioles

Let’s assume the Orioles tender qualifying offers to Chen, Davis and Wieters, and they’re rejected. The Orioles at least have extra draft choices next June.

But, if they’re serious about those players, they have to deal with Boras’ timetable.

In late Dec. 2008, he signed Mark Teixeira, who is no longer a client, to an eight-year, $180 million with the Yankees. The Orioles were on the fringes of that deal.

He may want even more for Davis, and he and the slugger may be willing to wait.

Prince Fielder didn’t sign his nine-year, $214 million contract with Detroit until Jan. 24, 2012, and this year, Max Scherzer’s seven-year, $210 million deal with the Nationals wasn’t done until Jan. 19.

If the Orioles seriously want to re-sign any of the Boras clients, they’ll have to try and make a preemptive offer quickly—or at least one early in free agent season.

This year’s Winter Meetings begin on Dec. 7 in Nashville, and Boras’ scrum with reporters is always a highlight. He compares his clients with baseball royalty and once complimented Dan Duquette’s hair during a discussion on Orioles free agents.

He uses the meetings to gin up interest in his players, but the Orioles need to have at least some of their deals done by then.

On Dec. 12, the team will hold FanFest. Season ticket holders will pepper Duquette and Buck Showalter with questions about free agents, and they’ll want answers.

Usually FanFest is held in late January, and often the team is relatively set by then. It won’t be this time.

The Orioles can’t risk more fan discontent by not making at least one major move by FanFest. Ideally, they’d be able to trot a new or re-signed player or two out to get some love from the fans.

They can't wait until mid-January because if they aren't going to sign those Boras clients, they'll have to look for replacements.

This time, the Orioles have to deal with Boras, who has had clients with qualifying offers wait even into the regular season to sign.

They can’t wait this year—even if Boras can.

MORE ORIOLES: Let's imagine Bartolo Colon with the Orioles in 2016

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Showalter fired as Orioles manager after 115-loss season

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Showalter fired as Orioles manager after 115-loss season

Buck Showalter has been fired as manager of the Orioles, who made three playoff appearances under his guidance but this year staggered through the worst season since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954.

Showalter confirmed the dismissal Wednesday in a text message to The Associated Press.

A three-time AL Manager of the Year, Showalter ranks second on the Orioles' career list with 669 victories, trailing Earl Weaver. He took over in August 2010 and orchestrated the resurgence of a team that suffered through 14 straight losing seasons.

Once hailed for making baseball in Baltimore relevant again, the 62-year-old Showalter is out of a job after a season in which the Orioles finished 47-115, 61 games behind Boston in the AL East. His contract expired at the end of October, and the Orioles opted against a renewal as they continue a major rebuild that began in late July, when they traded stars Manny Machado, Zach Britton, Jonathan Schoop and Kevin Gausman for minor league prospects.

Those deals were made by Dan Duquette, the executive vice president of baseball operations, whose future with the organization is up in the air.

Showalter earned AL Manager of the Year honors in 2014 after taking the Orioles to the AL East title and a berth in the Championship Series. He was also named Manager of Year with the Yankees in 1994 and Texas in 2004. His career record is 1,551-1,517, including 669-684 with Baltimore.

"I just think ever since he came here, the franchise just gained a little more accountability, gained an edge for some time," Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said before the final game of the season. "It's the end of an era. A great manager, a great tenure. I don't know if he's going to coach or manage again, but he's got grandchildren. Go golf. Relax and go sit on the golf course."

With his future in doubt, Showalter appeared undaunted during the final series of the regular season.

"You know how good they've been to me? I'm not ever going to forget that, regardless of what happens," he said.

Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin was asked before his team's playoff game against the Yankees on Wednesday night whether Showalter was victimized by the trend toward analytics.

"I don't think Buck was a guy that ignored analytics," Melvin said. "I think it was probably a combination of how they did this year and maybe some relationships."

After the Orioles brought Showalter out of retirement, he offered renewed hope by fashioning a 34-23 finish in 2010 for a team that was 32-73 upon his arrival.

Baltimore ended a 14-year playoff drought in 2012, advancing to the AL Division Series following a victory over Texas in the wild-card game. Playoff appearances in 2014 and 2016 followed.

Last year, however, the Orioles fell to 75-87 after losing 19 of their final 23 games. Baltimore hoped the addition of starters Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner would enable the team to be a contender this year, but a horrid start quickly dispelled that notion.

The Orioles' deficit in the AL East reached double digits by April 18 and they were 8-27 on May 8. By the end of July, Baltimore fully entered rebuilding mode, leaving Showalter with the dubious distinction of overseeing a team that finished with the poorest record in the majors and one that surpassed the 1939 St. Louis Browns for most losses in franchise history.

Showalter never offered an excuse. He just grinded forward, working to prepare the team for 2019 even though he knew he might not be around to follow through.

At the outset of a season-ending series against Houston, Showalter was asked if he was thinking these might be his final days in the Baltimore dugout.

"We all have some private thoughts and emotions about that, but I don't think it serves the organization well for me to be worried about that right now," he said. "We've got some things to do these last four games that need to get done."

Showalter has a reputation as a no-nonsense manager, but his players appreciated his baseball knowledge and skill at handling a team. He made a point of talking to each of them on a regular basis, almost always offering encouragement.

"He gave me a chance," said catcher Caleb Joseph, who played six-plus years in the minors before arriving in Baltimore. "He believed in me in 2014, ran me out there and gave me a chance to be part of a championship team. He's really vouched for me ever since. I owe a lot to Buck and his loyalty. He's been a main figure here for a long time."

Sensing the end was near for the only big league manager he had ever played for, first baseman Trey Mancini said: "It's been an absolute honor to play for Buck. He's been incredible."

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Red Sox beat Orioles 6-2 to clinch home field through Series

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Red Sox beat Orioles 6-2 to clinch home field through Series

The Boston Red Sox broke a 106-year-old franchise record with their 106th victory on Monday night, clinching home-field advantage through the postseason by beating the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 thanks to a pair of hits from major league batting leader Mookie Betts.

Nathan Eovaldi struck out 10 hapless Orioles batters to assure the Red Sox of the best record in baseball this season and home-field advantage through the World Series, if they make it that far. For now, they know they will open the Division Series at Fenway Park on Oct. 5 against the winner of the AL wild-card game between the New York Yankees and mostly likely Oakland.

The 1912 Red Sox won 105 games in their first season at Fenway Park.

The Orioles (45-111) became the sixth AL team and the first since the 2003 Tigers to lose 111 games, falling 60 games behind Boston (106-51) in the division. It's the first time since 1939 that teams separated by 60 wins in the standings have played each other.

Boston scored four in the second inning, getting back-to-back doubles from Steve Pearce and Brock Holt, an RBI single from Christian Vazquez and Betts' two-run homer over the Green Monster. It was the 32nd homer of the season for Betts, a new career high.

Betts also singled and scored in Boston's two-run fourth, moving him into the major-league lead with 125 runs scored. In his last three games, he is 10 for 16 with three homers and four doubles, and he leads teammate J.D. Martinez (.328) in the AL batting race.

Renato Nunez had three hits for the Orioles, who fell to 2-15 against Boston and 18-61 on the road this season.

FOR STARTERS

Six days after throwing six scoreless innings against the Yankees, Eovaldi (6-7) allowed one run on four hits in five innings, walking none but uncorking a pair of wild pitches.

Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy (8-16) gave up four runs on five hits and three walks in three innings, striking out five.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: RHP Yefrey Ramirez is scheduled to start on Wednesday, but manager Buck Showalter said he wanted to give him an extra day or two. "I think Yefrey will pitch again, I just don't know when," Showalter said.

Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts was back in the lineup after feeling soreness in his left shoulder during a swing and leaving Sunday night's game. ... INF Eduardo Nunez ran on Sunday to test his hamstring and was scheduled to run again on Monday with the goal of having him back in the lineup by Wednesday or Friday.

UP NEXT

LHP David Price (15-7) tries to bounce back from a rough start in Yankee Stadium in the second game of the series in what could be his last start of the regular season.