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With Reynolds' exit, will Orioles pursue big-name free agents?

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With Reynolds' exit, will Orioles pursue big-name free agents?

Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy are scheduled to earn $40.5 million in 2013. That’s more than half the Baltimore Orioles’ 2012 payroll

Had they signed Mark Reynolds, they would have been paying nearly $50 million for five regulars, or four regulars and one who is no longer.

There’s a lot of consternation this morning about the Orioles’ refusal to sign Reynolds—or even make him a concrete offer. Now, he’s a free agent, and the only way he returns to Baltimore is if there’s little interest in him.

There’s likely to be at least tepid interest. At 29 while Reynolds may not be as accomplished as Adam LaRoche, Nick Swisher, Carlos Pena and Kevin Youkilis, he’s also younger and cheaper.

If Reynolds would have gotten $8.9 million from arbitration as the savants in MLBTradeRumors.com estimate, other teams can calculate their offers to reflect that.

It may turn out to be a big win for Reynolds. There’s no Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder on the market, and a converted third baseman who’s averaged 34 home runs, 95 RBIs and well over 200 strikes outs per season can do well. How well? Even a two-year, $20 million deal is better than what Reynolds would have done with the Orioles.

Markakis will make $15 million in 2013, Roberts $10 million, Jones $8.5 million in the first year of a six-year extension and J.J. Hardy $7 million.

Jason Hammel, who made $4.75 million is likely to see more than a modest increase in his take. Add Wei-Yin Chen ($3.57 mil.) and Tsuyoshi Wada ($4.4 mil.), and that could add $15 million more to the payroll.

With about $55 million set aside for seven players and nice raises for Jim Johnson, Matt Wieters, Darren O’Day and Chris coming along, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette was looking to cut corners.

Last year’s payroll placed the Orioles 18th in major league baseball. With their postseason success and an increase in attendance last year and another likely next year, there will be more money to spend. It won’t be enough to put the team in the payroll top 10.

Duquette is likely to continue to keep an eye on the future. In the not-too-distant future, he’d like to be able to extend Johnson and Wieters. While Roberts’ $10 million disappears after this season, Jones has a built-in raise to $13 million in 2014.

That means Duquette’s plan of keeping home-grown players, signing relatively low-priced international free agents and avoiding the Josh Hamiltons and Zack Grienkes will probably stay intact.

The Orioles will cut corners when they can. Using Davis at first base and populating their bench with low-priced players such as Yamaico Navarro, Steve Pearce, Trayvon Robinson, Ryan Flaherty, Danny Valencia and Taylor Teagarden, will keep costs down.

If a higher-profile free agent’s market softens, Duquette will pounce. It’s unlikely that Reynolds’ will soften enough to interest the Orioles.

This also means that the chances for a return of Nate McLouth and Joe Saunders are probably slim, and the only way they’ll come back is if they remain unsigned into January.

It’s on to the winter meetings in Nashville for the Orioles who will probably listen politely to pitches from agents then wait until the post-holiday White Sales.

On the other hand, they’ll listen to offers for Jake Arrieta, Zach Britton, Tommy Hunter and Brian Matusz, but will want major-league ready players whose price tags are in their range.

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Oakland Athletics bench coach addresses celebration that resembled Nazi gesture

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Oakland Athletics bench coach addresses celebration that resembled Nazi gesture

Following a win over the Texas Rangers on Thursday, Oakland Athletics bench coach Ryan Christenson was filmed celebrating the win with a gesture that resembled a Nazi salute.

Christenson had his arm pointed straight out for an elbow bump, and after reliever Liam Hendriks corrected him, Christenson appeared to notice his mistake, laugh and then do it again. 

The clip quickly made waves on social media, and Christenson has since addressed the issue in a statement released by the team. A former MLB outfielder, Christenson claimed that the gesture was not intentional but rather he was just trying to celebrate the win while adhering to COVID-19 guidelines.

"I made a mistake and will not deny it. Today in the dugout I greeted players with a gesture that was offensive. In the world today of Covid, I adapted our elbow bump, which we do after wins, to create some distance with the players," Christenson said. "My gesture unintentionally resulted in a racist and horrible salute that I do not believe in. What I did was unacceptable and I deeply apologize." 

The Athletics also released a statement signifying their disappointment with the actions, especially in a time when the sports world is working to eliminate racism and create an inclusive society.

"A's bench coach Ryan Christenson greeted players with a gesture that looked like a Nazi salute. We do not support or condone this gesture or the racist sentiment behind it. This is incredibly offensive, especially in these times when we as a Club and so many others are working to expose and address racial inequities in our country," the team said. "We are deeply sorry that this happened on our playing field." 

Christenson played four seasons with Oakland from 1998-2001 and was promoted to the MLB coaching staff in 2018 following a short managerial career within their farm system. 

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Marlins announcer trolls Orioles with broom following sweep

Marlins announcer trolls Orioles with broom following sweep

After waiting over a week to play their scheduled games, the Orioles finally got the chance to take on the Miami Marlins for a four-game series from Tuesday to Thursday.

In short, it did not go well.

Despite coming in at a surprising 5-3, Baltimore quickly regressed to the team many expected to see and was promptly swept by the now 6-1 Marlins. Miami was a team considered in the same position as the Orioles for 2020, but for three days at Camden Yards, it didn't really look like it.

RELATED: DAVIS SLUMPING TO START SEASON

After dominating the series, the Marlins piled on with a pretty solid troll job involving reporter Gaby Sanchez holding a broom to signify what they had just done in Baltimore.

This clever piece of social media work came just a day after the account made a joke about wanting to face the Alabama Crimson Tide football team, considering they were putting together a strong stretch of performances. They've since switched the roles of that meme following yet another win.

The past few years have seen Miami become the brunt of most jokes in baseball, and the COVID-19 outbreak in the locker room to begin this season did not help the image of the team. But in a 60 game season where anything can happen, the Marlins are adding to the chaos early on by shaking up the standings, and they're making sure to take advantage of their time on top. 

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