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Five Orioles who might not be offered contracts


Five Orioles who might not be offered contracts

Friday is the last date the Orioles have to make a contract offer to players eligible for arbitration. Fourteen are eligible, and most of them will be offered contracts.

Alexi Casilla, Chris Davis, Jason Hammel, Tommy Hunter, Jim Johnson, Brian Matusz, Darren O’Day, Nolan Reimold and Matt Wieters will receive offers. There are some who may not.

Five Orioles who may not be offered contracts for 2013:

1) Mark Reynolds

Reynolds is the most controversial of the bunch. There’s still plenty of time between now and midnight Friday before the team has to offer him a contract, or else he’s a free agent.

It seemed unlikely when the season ended that the Orioles would not offer Reynolds a contract. It was obvious that his $11 million option for next year would be declined, but also apparent the Orioles had few appealing alternatives.

Has Chris Davis suddenly become a competent first baseman in their eyes? Do they think that Davis is wasted as a designated hitter? Does Buck Showalter not want a majority-time DH? Is there another first baseman available in trade or as a free agent that’s better than Reynolds?

The answers should become apparent by Friday. If the Orioles negotiate a deal with Reynolds by then, which seems unlikely, they’ll have one less issue. They don’t seem to want to go to arbitration, but perhaps that might change by then, too.

2) Taylor Teagarden

Instead of acquiring a backup for Matt Wieters in a thin free agent market last year, they got Teagarden in a trade. Then, they waited for half a season while he recuperated from a back injury.

Teagarden played just 22 games and hit .158. He had just nine hits, but most of them were important ones.

Being the caddy to a catcher who plays 130 games a season isn’t an attractive job, and Teagarden is probably an ideal guy for it. The list of free agent catchers who’d embrace the role and the Orioles could afford isn’t great.

Luis Exposito is still on the 40-man roster, but the team looks upon him as an emergency, and there’s no minor league catcher on the horizon.

Teagarden is a favorite of Showalter, and the Orioles could non-tender him, but quickly sign him back.

3) Steve Pearce

The Orioles knocked themselves out to re-acquire Pearce with five days left in the regular season. They had him earlier in the season, but couldn’t get him through waivers when they wanted to send him to Norfolk.

Pearce lasted a month each with the Astros and Yankees. He couldn’t immediately report to the Orioles when they claimed him again because his baby was in intensive care. He was available only for the last three days of the regular season at Tampa Bay, not far from his Lakeland, Fla. home, but he didn’t play.

He wasn’t eligible for the postseason, so he went home.

If he’s not offered a contract, like Lew Ford, later he may well sign a minor league deal and join the fray for a backup outfielder’s job.

4) Omar Quintanilla

It will be surprising if the Orioles offer him a contract. Quintanilla was flavor of the month after he was acquired from the Mets in July. While Robert Andino was on the disabled list, Quintanilla was hot and stayed hot until he finished the season in an 0-for-30 slump.

By early September, Andino, Ryan Flaherty and Steve Tolleson had all eclipsed Quintanilla. Alex Casilla’s addition makes the retention of Quintanilla all the more unlikely.

5) Troy Patton

I don’t think the Orioles will not offer a contract to Patton, but they seemed to do fine with Brian Matusz as the situational left-hander in Patton’s absence.

It was only because Patton turned his ankle that Matusz was converted into a reliever, and he was superb at it.

Patton has a lot of value, but he could be traded to help fill some of the team’s other needs.

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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."