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Orioles sign Cuban left-hander


Orioles sign Cuban left-hander

BALTIMORE –- The Orioles officially announced the signing of Cuban left-handed pitcher Ariel Miranda to a minor league contract.

Miranda who was 22-25 with a 3.78 ERA in 80 appearances over seven years in Cuba, will report to Sarasota, Fla., and be evaluated.

Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said Miranda would probably start in Frederick or Bowie.

Duquette wouldn’t reveal a signing bonus, but did say it wasn’t the most paid to a Cuban player. Dariel Alvarez, an outfielder now at Norfolk signed for $800,000.

“He has good experience. He has good pitches. Hopefully he can help us, maybe later this year or sometime next year,” Duquette said.

Miranda and his agent, Jose Estrada, left before the start of Wednesday’s game to return to Florida.

“It’s a dream come true for any Cuban baseball player to sign a professional contract with a major league organization like the Orioles,” Miranda said through Estrada.

Miranda left Cuba for the Dominican Republic last year and has been in the U.S. since March.

“The Orioles have one of the best pitching coaches in the business and a great minor system. For him, it would be a great opportunity to help the major league team as soon as possible,” Estrada said.

Miranda spoke with Alvarez and Henry Urrutia, who signed with the Orioles in July 2012 before agreeing to terms. They both recommended the Orioles.

NOTES: Duquette said Dylan Bundy received an MRI on his right shoulder and it showed tendinitis. “He’s been instructed to rest and anti-inflammatories were prescribed,” Duquette said.
-Duquette said that there were “a couple of clubs” who were interested in Alejandro De Aza. The Orioles designated him for assignment earlier on Wednesday.

-The Orioles haven’t heard about a hearing date on an appeal of Brian Matusz’s eight-game suspension.

MORE ORIOLES: Matt Wieters knows recovery is a long one

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Orioles finally hire Brandon Hyde as new manager

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Orioles finally hire Brandon Hyde as new manager

The Orioles have finally found their man.

After entering the Winter Meetings without having yet hired their new manager, a rarity in this era of baseball, the Orioles announced Friday that they had hired Brandon Hyde to fill the role.

Hyde joins the organization after spending half a decade in Chicago under Joe Maddon, and many years prior with the Marlins. He has a long background in player development, something that was important to new Orioles GM Mike Elias, which makes sense considering the state of the organization and their upcoming rebuilding process.

Hyde is 45, so he’ll have the opportunity to stick in Baltimore for a long time if he finds success, however, Elias defines it, in the next few seasons. Many times, the manager leading a team as it embarks on an organizational rebuild is not the same one who leads them back into contention, but the Orioles front office will certainly hope Hyde is up to both tasks.
“After conducting an intensive search, I believe that we have found the ideal leader for the next era of Orioles baseball,” said Mike Elias, Orioles Executive Vice President and General Manager, in a statement released Friday.

“Brandon’s deep background in player development and Major League coaching, most recently helping to shape the Cubs into a World Champion, has thoroughly prepared him for this job and distinguished him throughout our interview process. I look forward to introducing him to our fans next week and to working together with him to build the next great Orioles team.”

Elias was thought to have preferred someone with Major League experience, so as to avoid saddling an up-and-coming manager with multiple 90-plus loss seasons inevitably on the horizon in Baltimore. Hyde technically has experience coaching in the big leagues, though it comes in the form of a single game. The Marlins lost his one game as acting manager 2-1 to the Rays, and Jack McKeon was named interim manager the next day.

Maddon has developed a reputation as a stellar communicator and somebody open to analytics, and it stands to reason that Hyde would follow a similar style of leadership, especially considering how critical those traits are in the eyes of Elias.

Hyde replaces Buck Showalter, a beloved figure in Baltimore after his 8 ½ seasons at the helm brought winning baseball back to a city desperate for relevancy. Showalter’s contract was not renewed at the end of this past season, an understandable decision given his age and how long it will be until the franchise is ready to compete again.

Reports swirled about Hyde being named the 20th manager in franchise history as early as Tuesday at the Winter Meetings, though Elias and the front office were quick to emphasize that nothing was official at the time. In the end, Hyde does end up accepting the job, and he’ll be introduced at a press conference Monday.

Nationals bench coach Chip Hale was, along with Hyde, one of six finalists who interviewed for the position, so the Nats won’t be losing a valuable piece of their staff.

The Orioles are in the honeymoon phase of the rebuild, where hope springs eternal and the losses to come haven’t set in yet. Hyde checks all the boxes for what Elias was looking for, and despite his relative inexperience, he’s someone who should excite, if not necessarily inspire, the fanbase in Charm City.

Orioles fans won’t have many exciting acquisitions to cheer on in the near future, but they may have just made one of their most impactful. The O’s finally have their GM-Manager combination set for the foreseeable future, and they’ll hope to experience as much success and more as the previous regime.

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Orioles GM Elias calls reports of Brandon Hyde being next manager "premature"

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Orioles GM Elias calls reports of Brandon Hyde being next manager "premature"

Orioles new general manager Mike Elias is a busy man out in Las Vegas. Not only is he looking to add much needed talent to Baltimore's roster but he is also searching for a new manager. Elias interviewed six candidates, including Nationals bench coach Chip Hale, for the vacancy. On Monday, Elias said they were “pretty far along in the process.”

Then the reports surfaced on Tuesday that the Orioles had found their man. 

For a second straight year, Joe Maddon's bench coach has landed a managerial job (Davey Martinez). 

But, in the words of College Gameday's Lee Corso "Not so fast my friend!"

Does that mean Hyde is not the manager? Not necessarily. It likely means Elias wants the news to come out on his terms.