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Five Orioles who may not be back in 2013


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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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."