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Report: Orioles among five finalists to land Scott Kazmir

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Report: Orioles among five finalists to land Scott Kazmir

While the big offseason storyline thus far for the Orioles has been their attempt to keep slugger Chris Davis, the club is also trying to fill the void in the starting rotation left by Wei-Yin Chen's likely departure.

With Chen as a free agent, the O's need a veteran to help improve the team's 4.53 starter ERA, which ranked 25th in the majors in 2015. In fact, of the eight pitchers who started for Baltimore last season, only the departing Chen had an ERA under 4.00. 

But with the price for front line pitching so expensive, the Orioles will have to pick and choose their spots in the market to find good value. And according to USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale, they along with four other teams have their sights set on left hander Scott Kazmir as Chen's replacement.

  

Kazmir, 31, went 7-10 with a 3.10 ERA between stints with the Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros in 2015, and is one year from his renaissance season where he was named to the AL All-Star team. If signed, he'd be slotted in as the lone lefty in the Orioles' rotation. 

However, with the amount of other teams in the running, the question becomes how much will it take to bring Kazmir to Baltimore. Save for the re-signing of reliever Darren O'Day, the Orioles have not typically won when engaging in bidding wars with other teams for a player's services.

Do the O's have enough payroll flexibility to offer Kazmir a sizable contract? 

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The most unbelievable catch of the Orioles' dismal season came in the team's final game

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The most unbelievable catch of the Orioles' dismal season came in the team's final game

It's not how you start, it's how you finish, and boy did Orioles right fielder Steve Wilkerson make sure the team went out with a bang against the Boston Red Sox.

Bottom of the eighth, game knotted at four, Jackie Bradley Jr. sent what seemed to be a moonshot to right field...

But what happens next is arguably the best catch of the entire MLB season. 

This catch by Wilkerson is nothing less than spectacular. Not only did he possess the focus to track the ball beyond the wall, but the athleticism to make the catch while almost tumbling over backwards into the crowd. 

This year may have been a huge let down for Baltimore, but here's to a bright spot heading into the offseason. 

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Orioles Roundup: Baltimore topples Blue Jays, 11-4

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Orioles Roundup: Baltimore topples Blue Jays, 11-4

The Orioles are now five games better than last season's woeful 47-115 record. While they continue to win meaningless games late in the season, their poor season won't go away. 

Player Notes:

Dylan Bundy gave up only two runs in seven innings pitched against the Blue Jays, bringing his season's ERA down to 4.79. 

Also, Trey Mancini went a perfect 5-5 in the Orioles win Tuesday night. He's now batting .373 against Toronto, hitting 25 of his 94 RBI this season against Toronto. Dwight Smith Jr. also impressed with a 3-4 showing, hitting a homer and three RBI of his own. 

Injuries: 

OF Mason Williams, knee, out indefinitely

RP Hunter Harvey, biceps, sidelined, day-to-day

RP Josh Rogers, elbow, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely 

SP Alex Cobb, back, 60-Day IL, 2020

Coming Up: 

Wednesday, Sept. 25: Orioles at Toronto, 7:07 p.m. at Rogers Centre

Thursday, Sept. 26: Orioles at Boston, 7:10 p.m. at Fenway Park

Friday, Sept. 27: Orioles at Boston, 1:05 p.m. at Fenway Park