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Five Orioles who may not be back in 2013

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Five Orioles who may not be back in 2013

The Orioles will undoubtedly look different next year.  There will be some popular and valuable players missing.

Here are five key possible departures:

1) Joe Saunders

Saunders wasn’t an Oriole for long this season. He was acquired in late August from Arizona, and was thrilled about it.

He was 3-3 with a 3.63 ERA in seven starts. Saunders won the Wild
Card game and pitched well in Game 4 against New York.

At 31, Saunders was a devoted Orioles fan the last time the team was in the post-season. A Northern Virginian, Saunders would love to stay with the team, but it might not be in either side’s best interest.

Saunders earned $6 million this season and the Orioles may be reluctant to pay him that much or more in 2013 and beyond. With lots of young starting pitching, it would be nice to have another veteran on hand, but perhaps not at his price.

Unless Saunders agrees to give the Orioles a hometown discount or there isn’t a huge market for him, the left-hander probably ends up elsewhere.

One possible destination is Seattle. Saunders, who pitched six seasons for the Angels, is 6-0 with a 2.13 ERA in nine starts at Safeco Field.

2)  Nate  McLouth

Two years ago, McLouth made $7 million from Pittsburgh. This season, the one-time All-Star earned a quarter of that.

McLouth had a superb 2008 season with the Pirates, leading the league in doubles, but two years later he was in the minors. After Pittsburgh let him go in May, he was signed to a minor league contract by the Orioles, and was generally unimpressive at Norfolk.

Tides manager Ron Johnson implored manager Buck Showalter to take a look at McLouth, who had an opt-out clause.

McLouth was surprisingly effective, showing some power and speed for the Orioles. He was the club’s leading hitter againsnt the Yankees and his defense shored up left field.

If McLouth re-signs, he may have to platoon with Nolan Reimold in left. He may want to test the market,  though he may need more than a strong two months to get a long-term deal.

3) Mark Reynolds

In early August, Reynolds looked to be in his final weeks with the Orioles, but his offense perked up and his defense at first picked up.

He’s become a solid first baseman, and while the Orioles may not exercise the $11 million option in his contract, they have no real inn-house candidates to replace him, and the free agent candidates aren’t impressive.

The Orioles don’t want Chris Davis or Wilson Betemit as their everyday first baseman. In a time when nearly every available body was recalled during September, Joe Mahoney wasn’t.

It’s likely the Orioles will make a deal to keep Reynolds around for at least another year, maybe two.

4) Robert Andino

The Orioles’ second baseman for 2013 is probably not currently with the team. Andino filled in acceptably the last two years, but he’s best suited to the “superutility” role that Showalter envisioned for him last spring.

The problem with that role is it doesn’t exist. J.J. Hardy and Manny Machado are the shortstop and third baseman for next season, and Andino really isn’t an outfielder.

If the Orioles want to keep Andino around as a backup infielder while they acquire another second baseman, that would be fine, but in arbitration, Andino would probably get a hefty raise from his $1.3 million. That might make him overpriced for his value.

Look for the Orioles to explore a deal for him.

5) Pedro Strop

Strop feel out of favor with Showalter after his shaky final six weeks of the regular season. He was impressive against the Yankees, but if a team wants to make Strop its closer, the Orioles may be willing to deal him.

He has a big-time arm, and while Darren O’Day supplanted him  as the bridge to Jim Johnson, Strop could get that role back next year.

Strop may want to be a closer, and as long as Johnson’s around and effective, that isn’t going to happen.

He may be the most valuable trade chip around and if the Orioles can use him to get a quality second baseman, Strop may be moved.

The team may also try and move Luis Ayala, whose $1 million contract makes him very attractive.

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Trumbo homers twice, drives in 5 as Orioles beat Rangers 9-6

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Trumbo homers twice, drives in 5 as Orioles beat Rangers 9-6

 Mark Trumbo could have looked around the diamond at his Orioles teammates and wondered, "Who are these guys?"

With veterans Adam Jones and Chris Davis out of the starting lineup, Trumbo alone represented experience on a young, struggling team.

The slugger homered twice and drove in five runs, and Baltimore beat the Texas Rangers 9-6 in a back-and-forth game Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep.

"There's a few of us guys that have been around a little longer than most," Trumbo said. "The production comes and goes, but the mindset is the big thing, and I think these guys are doing a good job."

Entering the series, Trumbo hadn't gone deep since July 9. He completed the four games 7 for 16 with three homers and nine RBIs as Baltimore totaled 21 runs.

Austin Wynns and Jonathan Villar also homered for the Orioles.

Trumbo singled home a run in the first inning. His two-run homer in the third put Baltimore ahead to stay at 6-5 against starter Drew Hutchison (1-2), who was making his Rangers debut.

"Just pitch execution, poor command, too many balls up in the zone," Hutchison said. "When you do things like that, those are the results that you're going to have."

Both of Trumbo's homers came with two strikes.

"I've been getting to two strikes a lot lately and still getting some hits," he said. "I hit a changeup (from Hutchison), and I put some good wood on it."

The teams had scored in every half-inning before that, with the lead changing hands in four of those.

Trumbo left the game after his two-run homer against Matt Moore in the seventh.

"(Trumbo) almost didn't play today," Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "His knee's been a little sore. I noticed running around the bases on the second home run."

Another difference was Baltimore's beleaguered bullpen, which allowed only one run and one hit in 7 1/3 innings.

Tanner Scott (2-2), the second of six Orioles pitchers, shut out Texas for 2 1/3 innings, which tied his longest major league outing. He relieved starter Yefry Ramirez with the bases loaded and two outs in the second and struck out Ronald Guzman.

Mychal Givens retired the final four batters for his second save.

Jace Peterson led off the game with a single and scored on Trumbo's single for a short-lived 1-0 lead.

Ramirez retired the first two Rangers hitters but gave up a triple to Elvis Andrus. After two walks loaded the bases, Robinson Chirinos singled home two runs.

The Orioles regained the lead at 4-2 in the second on a three-run homer by Wynns, the No. 9 batter.

The Rangers scored three runs in the bottom half on Shin-Soo Choo's sacrifice fly, Andrus' groundout and a broken-bat single by Joey Gallo for a 5-4 advantage.

Gallo and Rougned Odor homered in each of the first three games of the series, but their streaks were stopped on Sunday.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: Davis didn't play for a second straight game. Showalter said, "He's banged up a little bit. We're going to give him the benefit of another day and the off day Monday." ... Showalter said it's likely that OF Craig Gentry, who has missed six weeks because of a fractured rib, will begin a rehab assignment Tuesday at Double-A Bowie. ... INF Steve Wilkerson (strained left oblique), who hasn't played since July 1, could go on a rehab assignment Thursday.

UP AND DOWN AGAIN

To make room for Hutchison on the roster, the Rangers optioned RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx to Triple-A Round Rock for the third time this season.

JUST KEEP HITTING

Andrus extended his hitting streak to 16 games, equaling a career best. It's also the longest current run in the majors.

UP NEXT

Orioles: Begin a three-game series at Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Alex Cobb (3-14, 5.83 ERA) will start against Rays newcomer Tyler Glasnow (1-2, 4.27).

Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (2-4, 6.50) pitches Monday as Texas hosts Seattle and LHP Wade LeBlanc (6-2, 3.95) to begin a three-game series.

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Adam Jones helps Little League team with $8.5K donation

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Adam Jones helps Little League team with $8.5K donation

Adam Jones continues to be one of baseball's Good Dudes. 

Jones, who's been recognized before for his philanthropic efforts around Baltimore, made headlines recently when he donated $8.5 thousand dollars to the Mamie Johnson Little League team. 

Mamie Johnson are headed to the Mid-Atlantic Finals of the Little League World Series qualifying tournament but needed $10k in travel assistance to get there. That's where Jones, who orginally learned of the team on Twitter, stepped in: 

When asked about his donation, Jones said, "I want to see the next generation get an opportunity to succeed. Me being a black man trying to integrate more African-Americans into baseball, this was a no-brainer.''

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