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Orioles free agent Gerardo Parra drawing interest from other teams


Orioles free agent Gerardo Parra drawing interest from other teams

The Orioles need a leadoff hitter. They also need a right fielder. Their right fielder for the last two months of 2015, Gerardo Parra, is a free agent, but they don’t seem to have interest in him.

As the end of the 2015 season approached, conventional wisdom was that Parra had a decent chance of re-signing with the Orioles, but the Orioles certainly didn’t want to look at a three or four-year commitment to a player who had been merely decent for them.

The Orioles outbid the Nationals for Parra, and now the Nats are eagerly pursuing him. Parra reportedly has a number of teams including Colorado and Kansas City after him.

On July 31, the Orioles traded a promising young pitcher, Zach Davies to Milwaukee for Parra. At the time of the trade, Parra was having the best season of his career, batting .328 for the Brewers. He’d never been a .300 hitter in his previous six seasons.

In his first go-around in the American League, Parra hit just .237 in 55 games. He’d never hit lower than .261 in the majors.

Who can blame the Orioles for thinking they could improve on Parra?

Parra won two Gold Gloves in the National League, but some of his throws were questionable, and manager Buck Showalter was looking for someone with better than a .268 on-base percentage from a batter hitting second.

Right field in Oriole Park is a challenging position. That’s why Hyun Soo Kim is slated for left field.

Mark Trumbo could always play there. He started 70 games for Arizona and Seattle in right last year, but the Orioles would prefer to have him play first if Chris Davis doesn’t re-sign. He could also be the primary designated hitter.

Another free agent signing, big name or otherwise, is always possible.

Dariel Alvarez, L.J. Hoes, Nolan Reimold, Rule 5 draft pick Joey Rickard and Henry Urrutia are the other candidates on the 40-man roster. Alfredo Marte, who was signed to a minor league contract, will also get a look in spring training.

Then, there’s Jimmy Paredes, who played some right field in the Dominican Republic in November, though they may not be very pretty.

Parra is one of four remaining Orioles free agents, and he could now be the first of last year’s group to officially leave the team.

MORE ORIOLES: Why Bastardo could be key pickup for Orioles

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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."