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Should the Orioles pursue LaRoche?


Should the Orioles pursue LaRoche?

In an expected move the Orioles declined a $11 million option on Mark Reynolds earlier this week, but there seems to be mutual interest for both sides to re-unite. If the Orioles do sign Reynolds, they will return a key player in their first playoff season since 1997. If the two sides cannot agree on a new deal, Baltimore will have to look for an infield replacement.

Sports Illustrated has proposed the idea of Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche joining the Orioles, simply based on it potentially being a good fit. In the event the Nationals go after an outfielder such as Michael Bourn, SI says the Gold Glove-winning LaRoche could be the odd-man out.

“That could lead LaRoche to make the short move to Baltimore. The Orioles declined an $11 million option on Mark Reynolds and need to fill their first base and DH spots.”

LaRoche had a fantastic 2012 season with the Nationals, he hit .271 and posted a career high’s in both homers (33) and RBI (100). He will, however, be 33 on Opening Day and could benefit from a move to the American League, at least in the case of a long-term deal. Because of his age, the Nationals will likely try to sign LaRoche to a relatively short deal in interest of their future.

Maybe the Orioles could offer more years with a move to designated hitter down the road as insurance.

Sports Illustrated ranks LaRoche as the sixth-best free agent of this year’s class and the fifth overall for position players. He is the highest ranked first baseman in the 2013 pool.

Should the Orioles go after LaRoche? It would seem they will be more aggressive than in years past given the window they have in the A.L. East. It could of course serve the Orioles well to stick with what worked in 2012 and hope to improve simply with their younger players being a year older. 

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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."