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Duquette says Orioles want Chris Davis to return


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.


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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How former Orioles players fared in the 2018 MLB Postseason

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How former Orioles players fared in the 2018 MLB Postseason

The Baltimore Orioles were historically awful in 2018. The Orioles were eliminated from the A.L. title race on Aug. 10 and eliminated from playoff contention Aug. 20. Since the divisional era began in 1969, no team has been eliminated from postseason contention as early as the 2018 Orioles were.

The 2018 season was downright awful for the Orioles. Manny Machado was traded to the Dodgers. Chris Davis, who is set to receive $94 million over the next four years, had one of the worst seasons in MLB history.

Baltimore fans knew very early that a trip to the 2018 MLB Postseason was not going to happen. But because the Orioles traded away such a sizable chunk of its roster, fans actually had a better opportunity to see their favorite players in the postseason.

How did the former Orioles players do in the 2018 MLB Postseason? Glad you asked.

Atlanta Braves

Brad Brach (2014-2018): Continuing off of a regular season in which he struggled, Brach was unable to turn it around in the postseason. He gave up two walks and two hits in an 1.1 innings (two games), allowing one run.

Kevin Gausman (2013-2018): Gausman came on in relief in Game 3, Atlanta's only win in the series, though Gausman didn't play a big role. He allowed two runs in two innings, off two hits and two walks (deuces are wild). He did strike out four though.

Ryan Flaherty (2012-2017): Ryan Flaherty had an uneventful October, as he only got two at-bats in the series, and he went 0-for-2.

Nick Markakis (2006-2014): The beloved Markakis' comeback season was a major reason for the Braves making it to the postseason, but he didn't do much with the opportunity. Markakis went 1-for-12, just a .083 batting average.

Boston Red Sox

Steve Pearce (2013-2016): Pearce's overall numbers don't jump off the page, but he's had quite the postseason. On numerous occasions, Pearce has come up with the big hit when needed. He's just 9-for-34, but hit one of the most critical home runs of the World Series when he tied the game off Kenley Jansen in the eigth inning of Game 4, and he started the scoring in Game 5 with a home run in the first inning off Clayton Kershaw.

Chicago Cubs

Pedro Strop (2011-2013): Strop pitched just one inning in the NL Wild Card game, allowing one hit and striking out two in the Cubs loss. 

Cleveland Indians

Andrew Miller (2014): Miller didn't have many leads to protect during the Astros' dominating performance against the Indians, and he pitched poorly when he actually got in the game. In 0.1 innings, Miller allowed one hit and walked three batters, which is unheard of for someone of Miller's talent.

Colorado Rockies

Gerardo Parra (2015): Parra reached base twice in the NL Wild Card game, walking once and recording a hit. He stayed hot in the NLCS against the Brewers, going 3-for-6 and scoring a run.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Rich Hill (2009): It feels strange including Hill, given his minimal time in Baltimore (Justin Turner was left off the list for the same reason). He is technically a former Oriole, however. This postseason, Hill pitched 16.2 innings and allowed four earned runs. Hill was terrific in Game 4 with the Dodgers trying to tie up the World Series, allowing one hit, one run, and three walks whil striking out seven. The Dodgers lost the game, thanks in part to another former Oriole in Steve Pearce.

Manny Machado (2012-2018): You could write a dozen articles about Machado's postseason without even mentioning his on-field performance. Manny has taken a heel turn this October, becoming baseball's biggest postseason villain since Alex Rodriguez. There have been quesitonable slides, weird kicks and stomps while running to first, and even the occasional crotch grab. In terms of the games themselves, he's hit 15-for-62, though struggled in the World Series, being held without a single extra-base hit.

Milwaukee Brewers

Wade Miley (2016-2017): Miley has had an interesting postseason. He pitched well in his one NLDS start, going 4.2 scoreless innings (which is essentially a complete game in this era of pitching). He then started Game 5 in the NLCS and was pulled after just one batter, part of a strategic decision by the Brewers. He started again in Game 6. The Brewers lost Game 5, but he held his own the next day and the Brewers forced a Game 7. 

Jonathan Schoop (2013-2018): Schoop didn't get many chances this October, and he did literally nothing with them. He was 0-for-8 overall, and struck out three times.

New York Yankees

Zach Britton (2011-2018): Britton struggled in pinstripes, allowing two runs in his only inning pitched during the Wild Card Game. He fared better in the ALDS, allowing one run and three hits over the course of four innings across three games.

Oakland Athletics

Edwin Jackson (2017): Did not pitch.


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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."