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Duquette says Orioles want Chris Davis to return

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Duquette says Orioles want Chris Davis to return

BALTIMORE – Everyone wants Chris Davis to stay with the Orioles. Dan Duquette does. Buck Showalter does.

But does Davis really want to stay?

On Monday, Duquette and Showalter discussed the 2015 season, and Davis was the primary topic.

Davis, who led the major leagues in home runs with 47, is the club’s most significant free agent.

“I don’t know what the final market is going to be for Chris Davis, but having looked at some of the other contracts, it’s going to be a lot of money,” Duquette’s the club’s executive vice president of baseball operations said.

“I don’t know where the money is going to end up, but we have enough money in this market to field a competitive team.”

“Chris Davis is a very compelling player because he hits prodigious home runs, and the club understands that value,” Duquette said.

“There’s a lot bigger markets that are out there than this market. I don’t know where that’s going to end up, but we like Chris Davis. We tried to sign Chris Davis, and we’d like to have him back for next year.”

Duquette also mentioned Wei-Yin Chen and Darren O’Day as free agents the team was interested in re-signing. Gerardo Parra, Steve Pearce and Matt Wieters are also free agents.

As Duquette pointed out, the Orioles’ payroll, which was about $120 million at the start of the season, is about in the middle of baseball despite Baltimore being one of the smaller markets in the game.

“The idea is to have a competitive team, O.K.? It’s to have a competitive team that’s also accessible and affordable to the fans. We’re going to fund a payroll that’s going to allow us to field the best team we can field and have the best experience that we can have for the fans in our market. We’ve done that effectively for a couple of years,” Duquette said.

MORE ORIOLES: A LOT OF QUESTION MARKS

It’s possible that the Orioles will proffer qualifying offers for Chen, Davis and Wieters. Duquette said that he hasn’t decided whether to do so. None are expected to accept a qualifying offer, but the Orioles would receive a draft choice if they decline the offer.

Duquette said that with the expected loss of Chen, the team has to improve its starting pitching.

“Our off-season, we need to focus on a stronger pitching staff. I know we’ve got plenty of free agents to sign. Any informed analysis of a team, you’ve got to have a strong pitching staff. That’s where it starts, and that’s where we’re going to put our focus in the off-season,” Duquette said.

“If we’re going to improve our pitching staff, we’re going to have to add to our pitching staff. You’d love to have a top of the rotation starter.”

A frequent theme for Duquette since his arrival nearly four years ago is the need for the Orioles to improve their on-base percentage, which this year fell to .307.

On Sunday, Manny Machado said that he would consider signing an extension with the team.

“I’m encouraged that he’s interested in committing long-term to the Orioles. We tried to do that one time, and we didn’t quite get to a deal. We also tried to sign Chris and Matt Wieters a couple of times, but we didn’t quite get to a deal,” Duquette said.

“It’s heartening that Manny wants to play here, we’ve got him for three more years, and it’s something we can consider, but I’ve got to tell you, we’ve got a lot more work to do.”

Duquette and Showalter repeated that they wanted the coaches to return, but had no timetable for an answer.

They also disputed reports that there was friction between them and each said they wanted to return to their respective jobs in 2016. Each is signed through 2018.

“I like our body of work. It’s a great honor to manage the Baltimore Orioles, and I don’t plan on doing anything else,” Showalter said. “As long as I can be a contributor, this I what I want to do.”

Fans are anxious about the makeup of the team. Duquette and Showalter sought to allay those fears—especially when it came to those players who could leave.

“We like those players on our team whether we can have them next year or not, we’re going to try to sign them. I can tell you this, we’re going to have a good team when we start the season. I don’t know who exactly will be on it,” Duquette said.

Duquette said that a .500 record was the minimum for acceptability, but Showalter took it a step further.

“If you think this year was good enough, you haven’t been watching,” Showalter said.

“We’re going to have a good, competitive team next year. You’re going to like some things.”

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Machado hits 2-run HR in 15th as Orioles beat Braves 10-7

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USA TODAY Sports

Machado hits 2-run HR in 15th as Orioles beat Braves 10-7

ATLANTA -- For Braves manager Brian Snitker, playing the matchups meant pitching to Manny Machado with first base open and a marathon game on the line.

The Orioles slugger made that strategy look foolish.

Machado hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the 15th inning, lifting Baltimore to a 10-7 win over Atlanta on Friday night after each team staged dramatic ninth-inning rallies.

The Braves surrendered six runs in the ninth, and then scored four times in the bottom of the inning.

Peter Moylan, Atlanta's eighth pitcher, hit Craig Gentry to open the 15th. Gentry moved to second on Austin Wynns' sacrifice.

With first base open, the Braves pitched to Machado and he responded with his 19th homer, a drive into the Orioles' bullpen in left.

Snitker said the right-handed Moylan is tough on right-handed hitters but acknowledged "you hate like hell (Machado) is one of them."

Machado said an intentional walk "crossed my mind at first. I thought they were. In that situation they probably had faith in Moylan out there that he could get some ground balls to the left side of the infield."

Machado hit a 0-2 slider Moylan said was "supposed to be middle in." Moylan said the pitch "slipped out of my hand and ended up middle middle."

Moylan (0-1) gave up another run on singles by Colby Rasmus and Jonathan Schoop.

Mike Wright Jr. (1-0), Baltimore's seventh pitcher, threw two scoreless innings.

The game lasted 5 hours, 21 minutes.

The Orioles trailed 3-1 heading into the ninth, and the Braves rallied against closer Zach Britton in the bottom of the inning. Braves closer Arodys Vizcaino was not used while Dan Winkler allowed four runs while recording only one out.

Snitker said he rested Vizcaino because of shoulder soreness and he might be available on Saturday.

Chris Davis hit a drought-breaking homer and drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly as Baltimore opened a 7-3 lead.

Britton got one out and was charged with four runs and five hits. He gave up a single to Johan Camargo and a double to Danny Santana before hitting Ender Inciarte to load the bases.

Ozzie Albies' bases-loaded single drove in Camargo. Freddie Freeman's two-run single cut the lead to one before Nick Markakis tied the game with a double to right field.

Atlanta had jumped in front on Charlie Culberson's tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth.

Davis, making his first start since June 11, hit his first homer since May 9 in the fifth. Camargo tied the game with his run-scoring double in the seventh.

Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb allowed five hits in seven innings.

Orioles right-hander Alex Cobb permitted four hits in seven innings

The start of the game was delayed 11 minutes by rain.

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

The 2018 Major League All-Star Game is less than a month away. Fan votes are well underway and early frontrunners are close to locking their position in the Midsummer Classic.

Yesterday, we projected how the National League roster will play out. Today it is time to look at the American League roster projection.

For five straight seasons, the AL has had the upper hand in the MLB All-Star Game. In 2018, it does not appear that will change as the American League roster will be loaded from top to bottom.

As a reminder, here is how the process shakes out, first with the fan vote, players’ ballots, and the MLB Commissioner’s Office:

  • Fan vote: nine position players in AL (DH)/ eight in NL; plus final vote for each league
  • Player’s ballots: next 17 players in AL/ 16 players in NL; (five starting pitchers, three relievers must be chosen)
  • MLB Commissioner’s Office: five AL players (four pitchers, one position player) and seven NL players (four pitchers, three position players)

One player from each team must make the initial roster (before injury withdraws, etc.). Below is how it looks the American League roster will play out, considering the latest fan vote returns:

American League All-Star Roster Projection:

C – Wilson Ramos, Rays (Fan Vote), Gary Sánchez, Yankees (Player Ballot)
1B – José Abreu, White Sox (Fan Vote), Joey Gallo, Rangers (Player Ballot)
2B – Jose Altuve, Astros (Fan Vote), Jed Lowrie, Athletics (Player Ballot)
3B – José Ramírez, Indians (Fan Vote), Yangervis Solarte, Blue Jays (Player Ballot), Mike Moustakas, Royals (Commissioner’s Office)
SS – Manny Machado, Orioles (Fan Vote), Jean Segura, Mariners (Player Ballot),
OF – Mookie Betts, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Mike Trout, Angels (Fan Vote), Aaron Judge, Yankees (Fan Vote), Michael Brantley, Indians (Player Ballot), Eddie Rosario, Twins (Player Ballot), Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (Player Ballot),
DH – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Shohei Ohtani, Angels (Player Ballot)

SP – Justin Verlander, Astros (Player Ballot), Luis Severino, Yankees (Player Ballot), Corey Kluber, Indians (Player Ballot), Chris Sale, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Gerrit Cole, Astros (Player Ballot), Blake Snell, Tampa Bay (Commissioner’s Office)

RP – Edwin Díaz, Mariners (Player Ballot), Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Aroldis Chapman, Yankees (Player Ballot), Joe Jiménez, Tigers (Commissioner’s Office), Delin Betances, Yankees (Commissioner’s Office), Chris Devenski, Astros (Commissioner’s Office)

Manager: Jeff Luhnow, Astros

Based on this projection, the New York Yankees will have the most representatives with six. The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox will both have four.

Ensuring no snubs, there will be five players selected for the final fan vote to get one more All-Star into the game for a total of 32 for the American League. As you can see, no matter how the AL roster plays out, it will be a dominant team once again as they look for six straight All-Star wins.

Four of those five wins were inside a National League stadium and that will not change as the Washington Nationals will host this season.

MORE ALL-STAR NEWS: