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Five free agents to look at, five to look away from

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Five free agents to look at, five to look away from

Free agency is coming, and the Orioles are getting ready. With that in mind, here are some free agents the team ought to consider and some they shouldn’t.

Five to look at:

1) Maicer Izturis

The Orioles had a good experience with Cesar Izturis, so why not take a chance with his brother?

There’s a hole at second base and it’s possible that Jonathan Schoop could fill it in a year. It’s also possible that Schoop, who’ll probably start next year at Norfolk is a better shortstop.

Izturis could be an affordable stopgap at second base. In 29 games at second base for the Angels in 2012, Izturis didn’t commit an error. He has 10 in 246 career games at second.

If Robert Andino isn’t back, the 31-year-old Izturis could fill the “superutility” role that Andino was supposed to play.

2) Kelly Johnson

He strikes out a lot, but with Mark Reynolds and Chris Davis, the Orioles don’t seem to be afraid of players who fan. Johnson also hits home runs, 63 in the past three seasons.

A durable player, Johnson has played more than 140 games in five of his seven years. That’s what the Orioles got from Brian Roberts at second base before 2010.

At 30, Johnson could command a multi-year contract, and the Orioles may be reluctant to offer one. Johnson made $6.375 million with Toronto last year.

3) Jeff Keppinger

He may be a cheaper Johnson. Keppinger will turn 33 next April. He’s bounced around a lot, six teams in eight years, but in 2012, had his best year with Tampa Bay.

Keppinger batted .325 in 115 games with the Rays. He doesn’t walk a lot, but he’s committed just 14 errors in 307 games at second base.

He made $1.525 million last year which might make him attractive to the Orioles.

4) Kyle Lohse

He’s 34, but Lohse seems to be getting better. He was 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA in a career high 211 innings for the Cardinals. That’s what the Orioles need.

His age may scare some suitors off, but a three-year deal for a durable starter seems acceptable. A three-year $40 million contract for a 34-year-old starter may scare the Orioles away.

5) James Shields

The Rays may want to trade him. They may not want to exercise his $9 million option for 2013. If they want to trade him or if he’s a free agent, the Orioles should snap him up.

Tampa Bay probably won’t want to trade him within the division, but Shields who struck out 15 Orioles just a few weeks back, is one of the better right-handers around. He could be the ace the Orioles are seeking.

Five to keep away from:

1) Zack Greinke

Greinke is talented and will be a highly sought-after free agent. The 29-year-old has anxiety issues and is high maintenance. The Orioles don’t need a potentially disruptive player like him in their easy-going clubhouse.

He seemed to do better in low pressure markets like Kansas City and Milwaukee. Baltimore might also fall into that category. He was 6-2 after a trade to the Angels, and only a big market team might offer him a five-year $100 million deal.

2) Erik Bedard

In the past few years, there’s been some talk about bringing him back, but the Orioles should ignore that.

Bedard won 28 games in 2006 and 2007 his last two years with the Orioles. He’s 12-23 in his last two seasons.

The moody left-hander was traded to Seattle for Adam Jones, Chris Tillman and George Sherrill. That was a great trade. Bringing him back wouldn’t be such a great move.

3) Jeremy Guthrie

Enormously popular with fans, he was less popular with Orioles management. Guthrie has finally reached free agency.

He’ll be 34 just after Opening Day. His trade to Colorado was a good one for the Orioles, a bad one for him. After the Rockies dumped him, Guthrie was 5-3 with a 3.16 ERA for the Royals.

While it would be intriguing to see him pitch for a good team, the Orioles can better spend their money elsewhere.

4) Joe Blanton

The Orioles wouldn’t give up Schoop for him, so the Phillies sent him to the Dodgers instead. He gives up way too many home runs to be effective at Oriole Park.

5) Josh Hamilton

Josh Hamilton = Albert Belle

The Orioles regret the enormous five-year contract they gave Belle. The angry slugger played two seasons before he broke down.

Hamilton hit four home runs in Baltimore in May, but has all sorts of personal issues. He was criticized by Rangers team president Nolan Ryan, who said Hamilton picked a bad time to quit smokeless tobacco. He looked lost late in the season.

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Orioles welcome home military service member with surprise first pitch

Orioles welcome home military service member with surprise first pitch

The Orioles helped make one family's Father's Day a day that they will never forget. 

Specialist Addam Bostwick from Fort George G. Meade United States Army installation surprised his father, former Marine Stephen Bostwick, with a special ceremonial first pitch Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards.

Stephen, who is a four-year veteran of the US Marine Corps, was expecting an Orioles player to catch the first pitch, was shocked to see Addam, who had been deployed in Afghanistan for four months, surprised his father.

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Orioles Roundup: O's look to rebound in series against Blue Jays

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Orioles Roundup: O's look to rebound in series against Blue Jays

Entering a weekend series against one of the best teams in baseball, the Orioles looked for their first series win since late April. Even though the team played some good baseball, the search will continue on as Baltimore could only salvage one game.

Looking to break the streak, a three-game stretch with Toronto offers them a chance to change the fortunes. 

Here's the latest Orioles and Blue Jays news:

Player Notes

ORIOLES:

The Orioles made a trade on Monday that netted them right-hander Thomas Eshelman from the Phillies. Sending back international signing bonus slots in return, Baltimore picks up a starter that has a 4.61 ERA in the minors this season. His journey with the Orioles will begin at Triple-A Norfolk.

As he continues to rehab from a knee injury, Mark Trumbo could return to the Major League in the near future. The slugger was in Baltimore Monday to have his knee looked at, and his rehab assignment comes to an end on June 16. So, a decision will be coming soon.

John Means will take the hill on Tuesday looking for his sixth win of the season. Sitting at 5-4 with a 2.67 ERA, Means 2019 has been a solid one. He's coming off six innings of one-run ball against the Rangers, though he did still suffer the loss.

BLUE JAYS:

Things may not be going great a the MLB level, but the Blue Jays are getting some good performances from their farm system. One of them came recently from Double-A starter Nate Pearson. With five scoreless innings on Sunday, the 22-year-old continued his stellar 2019 campaign. His K/BB catches your eye, as it sits at 63/8.

David Phelps rehab from Tommy John surgery continues to trend upwards, as he pitched a scoreless frame on both Tuesday and Wednesday in High-A ball.

Trent Thornton will go for Toronto on Tuesday. With a 1-4 record in 13 starts, he'll look to lower his 4.73 ERA. Thornton did pick up a win against the Yankees his last time out, but four earned runs in 5.0 innings led to his ERA actually increasing. 

Injuries

OF Dwight Smith Jr.: Concussion, 7-Day IL

OF DJ Stewart: Ankle, 10-Day IL

SP Alex Cobb: Back, 60-Day IL

SP Nate Karns: Arm, 60-Day IL

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, 60-Day IL

Coming Up

Tuesday 6/11: Orioles vs. Blue Jays, 7:05 p.m. ET, Orioles Park

Wednesday 6/12: Orioles vs. Blue Jays, 7:00 p.m. ET, Orioles Park

Thursday 6/13: Orioles vs. Blue Jays, 7:00 p.m. ET, Orioles Park

Source: Rotoworld

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