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Orioles know they still need to add a starter


Orioles know they still need to add a starter

While the Orioles appear ready to finally move on from Chris Davis and onto Yoenis Cespedes, there’s another area that needs to be addressed in the five weeks before spring training begins.

Yes, it’s starting pitching.

Two of the Orioles incumbent starters, Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman were at the minicamp, though they didn’t throw. Kevin Gausman, who was present last year and Ubaldo Jimenez weren’t.

They still need a fifth starter.

One of the candidates, Vance Worley, was invited, but he declined.

Unless Worley had some pressing personal business, he missed an opportunity to get some valuable time with pitching coach Dave Wallace.

If Worley can recapture what he had with Philadelphia in 2011 when he won 11 games as a fifth starter in a terrific rotation, he could be a great help.

Tyler Wilson will be given a chance at the job, but he made need more seasoning, and the Orioles bullpen may not have many openings—maybe as few as one if Dylan Bundy is healthy and Brian Matusz isn’t traded.

The Orioles have pursued other starters and continue to be interested in Yovani Gallardo, who is probably the best of the available bunch.

RELATED: Are the Orioles ready to move on from Chris Davis?

They don’t seem terribly eager to give up their first round draft pick for Gallardo and haven’t shown any interest in Ian Kennedy, who the Royals are talking with. Gallardo’s other suitors appear to be Houston, Kansas City and now Toronto, but if the Royals sign Kennedy, they’re probably done for this cycle.

There are still a number of starting pitchers available, but most of them are older and have injury issues. Two that the Orioles have had interest in are Doug Fister and Mat Latos.

Fister will be 32 next month, and struggled to a 5-7 record with the Nationals, but in 2014, he went 16-6 with a 2.41 ERA.

Latos had an awful 2015, with a 4-10 record with a 4.95 ERA for three teams. He was 28-11 for Cincinnati in 2012-13 and at 28, is one of the younger pitchers on the market.

There are some other interesting names on the available starting pitcher list. Three are former Orioles: Jeremy Guthrie, Alfredo Simon and Randy Wolf.

Guthrie started Buck Showalter’s first game as Orioles manager, and it’s a pretty safe bet he’s not on the Orioles wish list now.

Simon was mostly a reliever in his time with the Orioles, and was waived in the spring of 2012. He’s won 28 games as a starter for the Reds and Tigers the last two years, and suddenly, he’s 34.

Wolf pitched briefly for the Orioles in 2012, and after Tommy John surgery, returned to the organization for a time in 2014. He’s a left-hander, but he’s now 39.

Other names of note still available are Bronson Arroyo, who the Orioles showed interest in a few years back, Aaron Harang, Josh Johnson, Cliff Lee, Tim Lincecum, Kyle Lohse and Justin Masterson.

Trivia buffs will remember that Lincecum won three World Series and two Cy Youngs after being selected with the 10th pick of the 2006 draft. He was taken immediately after the Orioles selected Billy Rowell and one pick before Arizona took Max Scherzer.

MORE ORIOLES: Orioles, Brach agree on one-year, $1.25 million deal

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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."