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It's obvious: Reynolds and Orioles are great fit

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It's obvious: Reynolds and Orioles are great fit

Mark Reynolds wants to come back. The Orioles want him back.

So what’s the problem?

Reynolds’ $11 million option wasn’t going to be picked up. That wasn’t a surprise. It’s not a surprise that the Orioles would want him back.

Now, the negotiating begins.

It’s doubtful the Orioles wouldn’t tender him a contract. Why should they let Reynolds go as a free agent.

They don’t want to go to arbitration with him, either. It’s one thing to go to arbitration with Brad Bergesen, whose agent had the gall to ask for a tripling of his salary after going 2-7. It’s another to argue against a player who moved positions and became a valuable asset at first base.

On Aug. 5, Reynolds was batting .203 with eight home runs. After pleading his way back to third base, Reynolds didn’t play any better there in 2012 than he had in 2011.

During the rest of the season, Reynolds’ play at first base improved markedly and he became a good defensive first baseman.

His bat perked up, too. He had 15 home runs in the last two months of the season to end with 23 and a .221 average.

The Orioles don’t feel those stats are worth $11 million. Some have guessed that Reynolds could yield nearly $9 million in arbitration. That may be too rich for the Orioles, too. Reynolds made $7.5 million in 2012.

Reynolds is in a great spot. He enjoys playing in Baltimore. He likes being close to his family in Virginia Beach, and he fits nicely, playing cards with J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters.

It’s a thin market for first basemen. If the Orioles non-tendered him, he’d have lots of suitors.

The Orioles don’t have many alternatives. They clearly don’t want Chris Davis or Wilson Betemit playing first, though manager Buck Showalter insists Davis has the ability to play there.

If the Orioles retain Nate McLouth or sign another free agent in left field, there’s talk that Nolan Reimold could play there. Reimold has never played a regular season major league game at first.

There aren’t great choices in the minor leagues. The Orioles didn’t call up Norfolk first baseman Joe Mahoney in September. His place on the 40-man roster is in jeopardy. He’s not going to be the regular.

Aaron Baker, who the Orioles got from Pittsburgh for Derrek Lee in 2011, had 22 home runs in 89 games at Frederick, was promoted to Bowie and was hurt after just two games. He lacks experience.

If the Orioles chose the free agent route, there’s Casey Kotchman, Carlos Lee, James Loney, Lyle Overbay, Carlos Pena, Ty Wigginton and Kevin Youkilis.

Reynolds is probably a better and certainly more youthful option.

All roads lead to Reynolds. The betting is that the two sides compromise just before arbitration with a two-year deal. It’s unlikely that the Orioles want to sign him long-term, but with no first baseman on the horizon, it makes sense to avoid haggling a year from now, too.

 

 

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Stroman pitches 7 sharp innings as Blue Jays beat Orioles 4-1

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USA Today Sports

Stroman pitches 7 sharp innings as Blue Jays beat Orioles 4-1

TORONTO (AP) -- Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman gave up hits to the first three Baltimore batters Saturday.

The Orioles got just two more hits the rest of the afternoon.

Stroman pitched seven sharp innings for his second win in three starts and Toronto beat Baltimore 4-1 for its sixth straight victory over the struggling Orioles.

"He started working both sides of the plate with his sinker and I think that threw them off a little bit, especially late in counts," Blue Jays catcher Luke Maile said. "Overall it was just kind of vintage Stroman."

Baltimore right-hander Alex Cobb picked up his major league-worst 13th loss. The Orioles dropped to 1-8 against Toronto this season.

"I absolutely hate seeing that win-loss in parentheses next to my name," Cobb said. "It's sickening."

Stroman (3-7) allowed one run and five hits. He threw a season-high 107 pitches, the first time this season he has topped 100.

Stroman is 3-2 with a 3.03 ERA in five starts since returning from a shoulder injury that caused him to miss more than a month. He went 0-5 in seven starts before the injury.

"Since he's come back from the DL he's been really good," manager John Gibbons said. "I just think he's pitching like he's always pitched."

Stroman said he's focused on forgetting his early season struggles.

"I know I didn't have the first half I wanted but I've always been someone who prides myself on the second half and finishing strong," Stroman said. "That's something I'll look to continue to do this year."

Friend and teammate Devon Travis likes what he's seen from Stroman since the right-hander returned from injury.

"He's got that fire back," Travis said. "He's really under control. I think he's locking in on every single pitch."

Seunghwan Oh worked the eighth and Ryan Tepera finished for his seventh save in 12 opportunities.

Baltimore scored one run or fewer for the 27th time, the most in the majors.

The first three Orioles batters all singled, although Jonathan Schoop was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double. After Adam Jones gave Baltimore a 1-0 lead with an RBI hit to right, Mark Trumbo grounded into an inning-ending double play.

The Blue Jays answered with a three-run fourth against Cobb, taking advantage of a key Orioles error.

Justin Smoak opened the inning with a walk and, following a video review, was ruled safe at second after Cobb's high throw pulled shortstop Tim Beckham off the base on at attempted force play.

"That's not it in a nutshell but I can understand why that's the focus, a play we haven't been making," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Randal Grichuk followed with an RBI double, a second run scored on Diaz's double play grounder, and Maile capped the rally with an RBI single.

Diaz had four hits Friday, including the game-winning single in the 10th. He went 2 for 3 Saturday with a pair of singles.

The Blue Jays made it 4-1 in the fifth when Teoscar Hernandez doubled, advanced on a fly ball and scored on Cobb's balk.

Cobb (2-13) lost his sixth straight decision, allowing four runs, one earned, and four hits in five innings. Showalter said Cobb was removed to avoid worsening a blister on his pitching hand.

"I was only going to have a few more pitches going into the sixth so he felt like the risk-reward was not really worth it," Cobb said.

Grichuk made the defensive play of the game, a running catch on the warning track in left center to retire Trumbo for the first out of the ninth.

GOING DOWN?

Jones and Chris Davis got stuck in an elevator at the team's downtown hotel following Friday night's defeat. Jones documented much of the saga on Instagram. The players and fellow passengers were eventually rescued by Toronto Fire Services staff. The sound system at Rogers Centre played a few bars of Aerosmith's `Love in an Elevator' before Jones batted in the fourth inning Saturday.

NO HOMERS

Toronto won without hitting a home run for just the third time in 26 games this season.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: Baltimore is expected to demote a reliever when RHP Andrew Cashner (neck) is activated off the 10-day disabled list Sunday.

UP NEXT

Cashner (2-9, 4.56) last pitched July 10, when he allowed five runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings against the Yankees. Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ (10-6, 4.29) is 0-3 with a 9.75 ERA in three July starts.

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Manny Machado pens goodbye to O's fans on Instagram

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Manny Machado pens goodbye to O's fans on Instagram

Days after being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a deal that captivated much of Major League Baseball, former Oriole Manny Machado took to Instagram to thank the only organization he's ever known. 

The 26-year-old's contract expires at the end of this season, which the Orioles chose not to renew as the last-place club enters a rebuilding phase. 

Machado put up big numbers in the team's first 97 games totaling career-highs in home runs (24), RBIs (65), OBP (.387) and OPS (.962). 

He is expected to play shortstop for a Dodgers club which finished the first half of the season 10 games above .500 in a competitive, tight NL West. 

The Dodgers will pay Machado $6.3 million. 

To my Baltimore family, I’ve spent the last few days trying to figure out how I would say goodbye but there wasn’t an easy way to do it. I first joined this organization at the age of 17 and these past eight years have far exceeded anything I ever could’ve imagined. Throughout the ups and downs, you embraced me unconditionally and you took a kid from Miami and brought me up as one of your own. I’ve enjoyed my time here and you all have played a big part in that!! Thank you Birdland! You are forever in my heart! To the Baltimore Orioles, it has truly been a blessing to put on that uniform every day. To the Angelos Family & Dan Duquette, thank you for making my dreams come true!!! To Buck and the coaching staff, thank you for your commitment and dedication to making me the best player and teammate I can possibly be…I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of you. To my teammates, we’ve shared some amazing times with lots of memories & friendships that I’ll cherish forever. Schoopy, I love you bro and I know you will carry the torch!!! ! Much love always, Manny #13

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