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Orioles can eye free agents from strong position

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Orioles can eye free agents from strong position

As the Orioles take stock of their team, the front office has to be pleased with the idea of tweaking, rather than overhauling. There are always going to be areas of possible improvement, but looking around the lineup, how many spots should the Orioles be concerned about?

Will Brian Roberts come back to play second base, and, if not, are the Orioles comfortable with the Robert Andino-Ryan Flaherty-Omar Quintanilla combo platter? Does Nate McLouth re-sign to play left field? Do young arms fill out the rotation so that the Orioles don’t spend another season operating a Norfolk-to-Baltimore shuttle?

The Orioles could look to this year’s free-agent class, but Orioles vice president Dan Duquette told The Sun on Saturday: “I’ve said all along the way to build a good ballclub is from the ground up. It’s not from the top down. Having said that, we signed a couple free agents last year that did a good job. …

“But I’m going to tell you this: The core players are going to come from our minor-league system.”

Baseball pundits are calling this off-season’s free-agent class a weak one. So, though the Orioles’ success makes them a more attractive location for free agents, the options, from Baltimore’s standpoint, are more limited. There isn’t a single second baseman listed among Hardball Talk’s top 50 free agents. Outfielders? Sure, but Josh Hamilton, whose big talent comes with big baggage? A large investment in either B.J. Upton or Michael Bourn?

With Dylan Bundy on the horizon to join the rotation, you wouldn’t think the Orioles want to join a big-buck auction for Zack Greinke, who may be targeted by the Rangers. Edwin Jackson? He’s indicated he wants to return to the Nationals and could be too pricey.

Regardless of what significant moves, if any, the Orioles make in the off-season, they have built up a large account of goodwill with their fans. So if they come back from the winter meetings empty-handed, for the first time in a long time, the fans won’t be scorching them on the talk shows and message boards.

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Orioles Roundup: Nunez impresses in loss to Yankees

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Orioles Roundup: Nunez impresses in loss to Yankees

The Orioles lost a nailbiter before falling to the Yankees 6-5 Thursday night.

Here is your latest news on Baltimore and New York:

Player Notes:

ORIOLES:

Dylan Bundy surrendered three runs in 5 2/3 innings Thursday in a no-decision against the Yankees. The bullpen was unable to manage after Bundy pitched a fair performance.

Renato Nunez went 2-for-3 and hit a three-run homer against the Yankees on Thursday. Nunez has improved mighily in year number two with the O's.

YANKEES:

Masahiro Tanaka held the Orioles to one run through six innings in his start Thursday.

Luke Voit homered and doubled Thursday as the Yankees slipped by the Orioles 6-5.

Injuries: 

SP Alex Cobb: Back, 60-Day IL

SP Nate Karns: Arm, 60-Day IL

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, 60-Day IL

Coming Up:

Friday 5/24: Orioles at Rockies, 8:40 p.m., Coors Field
Saturday 5/25: Orioles at Rockies, 9:10 p.m., Coors Field

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Orioles Roundup: O's acquire Keon Broxton from Mets

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Orioles Roundup: O's acquire Keon Broxton from Mets

The Orioles made a flurry of moves before falling to the Yankees 7-5 Wednesday night.

Here is your latest news on Baltimore and New York:

Player Notes:

ORIOLES:

Baltimore acquired OF Keon Broxton from the Mets for international signing bonus slots. Broxton hit .143 in 34 games with New York this season before he was designated for assignment last week. The Orioles designated RHP Yefry Rodriguez for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Broxton. 

The Orioles transferred RHP Alex Cobb from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL, meaning he won't be back until late June at the earliest. Cobb has been out since April 27 with a lumbar strain. Baltimore also claimed RHP Chandler Shepherd off waivers for the Cubs and optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk. 

YANKEES:

Giancarlo Stanton has been pulled away from his rehab assignment with High-A Tampa and placed back on the 10-day injured list with left calf tightness. Per manager Aaron Boone, Stanton will be shut down for the next 7-10 days. 

Boone also told reporters Zach Britton was unavailable for Wednesday's game against his former team, and CC Sabathia could miss his next start due to knee trouble. 

Injuries: 

SP Alex Cobb: Back, 60-Day IL

SP Nate Karns: Arm, 60-Day IL

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, 60-Day IL

Coming Up:

Thursday 5/23: Orioles vs. Yankees, 12:35 p.m., Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Friday 5/24: Orioles at Rockies, 8:40 p.m., Coors Field
Saturday 5/25: Orioles at Rockies, 9:10 p.m., Coors Field