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Duquette on the way home from General Manager meetings


Duquette on the way home from General Manager meetings

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Dan Duquette left the General Managers meetings on Thursday morning hoping that his time here set the Orioles up for trades and free agent signings.

Duquette continued to meet with more agents and teams on Wednesday night as the Orioles continue to look for pitchers and outfielders.

By Friday at 5 p.m., the Orioles will learn whether Matt Wieters accepted their qualifying offer of $15.8 million. Wei-Yin Chen and Chris Davis will reject theirs.

The agent for Chen, Davis and Wieters, Scott Boras held court on Wednesday afternoon.

Boras believes that major league players are underpaid and that the $15.8 million qualifying offer is unfair because it holds the market value of many players down. He also objects to baseball executive salaries rising without a governor while player salaries are held down artificially in his opinion.

RELATED: Boras says Wieters hasn't decided on qualifying offer

And, the prices he pays for season tickets keep rising, he remarked.

If Wieters declines the qualifying offer as has everyone else in the first three years of the system, he’ll be free to negotiate with others, and the Orioles will turn elsewhere for a free agent catcher.

Two of the more experienced names, Chris Iannetta and A.J. Pierzynski, are reportedly already off the market.

Boras compared Davis’ stats with Alex Rodriguez’s—back in the days when he was a client of the uber-agent. Clearly, Boras is expecting a big haul for Davis, and he implied that Orioles ownership has taken notice.

Chen won’t be back with the Orioles next year, and he’ll be one of the prized left-handers on the market.

Darren O’Day has gotten huge interest from teams, including the Orioles, but it seems a stretch for him to stay, particularly when others will likely be offering much more money, a longer contract and in some cases, a more prominent role.

The New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins made an interesting trade on Wednesday with catcher John Ryan Murphy heading off to the Twins for outfielder Aaron Hicks.

Hicks was a first round pick in 2008, and has hit only .225 in parts of three seasons with Minnesota. He has some power, but strikes out a lot. He’s also speedy and if the Yankees trade Brett Gardner, could be a cheaper replacement.

Gardner to the Orioles? I doubt it.

He’s owed $37.5 million over the next three seasons, and still has some decent numbers (16 homers, 66 RBIs, a .259 average with a .343 on-base percentage and 20 steals last year). At 32, he’s on the downward slope, but I don’t see a trade match with New York.

The Orioles and Yankees don’t often make deals with each other.

“I believe you have to be a little more thoughtful if you’re going to trade within your division,” Duquette said.

“A lot of times there’s good reason to trade within your division. Generally, that’s not the preferred choice, right? Because if you’re not right on your transaction you have to look at your transaction 18 times a year. It’s generally easier to look outside your division. Sometimes it’s required.”

MORE ORIOLES: O'Day continues to draw huge free agent interest

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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


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."