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Shields, Swisher likely movers this week

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Shields, Swisher likely movers this week

One of the American League East’s top arms could be on the move during the wheeling and dealing this week at baseball’s winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn.

According to 17 baseball executives surveyed by ESPN’s Jayson Stark, the Rays’ James Shields is the player most likely to be traded during the swap meet at Opryland.

"Just look at the contract," one AL executive told Stark. "He's got this year and next year left. So he's got more value now than he'll have a year from now. They're very analytical about everything they do. It just makes sense that now's the time."

Among the free agents, outfielder Nick Swisher, who’s spent the past four seasons with the Yankees, is expected to sign somewhere this week, Stark’s panel said. Where is that somewhere?  That might be Baltimore, the execs said.

The Orioles "have to add offense," one front-office type said. "They don't have a lot in their system they can plug in. They won last year, and they need to build on that. They're in the AL East, so they can't sit back. I'm sure they'll sign a bat."

Swisher isn’t the only bat out there, but he’ll have a more reasonable price tag than other free agents.

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Orioles add former No. 1 overall pick Adley Rutschman to 60-man player pool

Orioles add former No. 1 overall pick Adley Rutschman to 60-man player pool

Adley Rutschman, the No. 1 pick of the 2018 MLB Draft, was among six players the Orioles added to their 60-man player pool for the 2020 season, manager Brandon Hyde announced Friday.

Keegan Akin, Michael Baumann, Isaac Mattson, Cedric Mullins, Taylor Davis and Rutschman joined the team’s main camp in Baltimore on Friday and will be relegated to the Orioles’ alternative site once it opens. DL Hall, one of the team’s top pitching prospects, is expected to join the secondary group as well.

Rutschman, 22, was named a consensus top-five overall prospect in the minor leagues by MLB Pipeline, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus last winter before spring training began. It was the first time a No. 1 overall pick was already a unanimous top-five prospect in his first year of eligibility since Bryce Harper in 2011.

RELATED: ONE YEAR LATER, ADLEY RUTSCHMAN STILL WARRANTED THE PRE-DRAFT HYPE

Though he only played 37 games across three levels of the minor leagues last season, Rutschman finished the year at Single-A Delmarva with a .254 batting average and .774 OPS across 154 plate appearances. He was invited to the major-league club’s spring training camp, during which he went 1-for-9 with a walk but provided plenty of fireworks during batting practice.

Following Friday’s moves, the Orioles’ player poll now sits at 53 players.

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Orioles name John Means 2020 Opening Day starter

Orioles name John Means 2020 Opening Day starter

The Orioles announced lefty pitcher John Means will start on the mound on Opening Day.

Orioles second-year manager Brandon Hyde made the announcement Friday.

Means is entering his third year in MLB after a breakout year in 2019. After pitching only three innings his rookie season, Means recorded 155.0 last year. In his sophomore season, Means started 27 of his 31 games played, finished with a 12-11 record and a 3.60 ERA. 

Last July, he was the Orioles lone representative in the 2019 MLB All-Star Game.

The Orioles will face the Boston Red Sox on the road on July 24 to open their season. The game will mark the first of a three-game series and five-game road trip before the O's return to Baltimore for their home opener against the Miami Marlins on July 29. 

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