Quick Links

Orioles fans dreaming of Andrew Miller are not realistic

Orioles fans dreaming of Andrew Miller are not realistic

As some Orioles fans watched the Cleveland Indians take a 2-0 lead over the Toronto Blue Jays, there were a number who wondered about Andrew Miller. 

The Orioles showed little interest in re-signing Miller after the 2014 season, but were all about Darren O’Day a year later, they said. 

Miller signed for four years and $36 million, and a year later, O’Day for four years and $31 million. 

The situations were very different. 


Everyone around the Orioles loved Miller. There was nothing not to love. In 20 innings, he struck out 34 and walked just four and had a Britton-like WHIP of 0.600. 

In the postseason Miller was even better, giving up just one hit in 7 1/3 innings, striking out eight and walking one. 

Miller has been nearly unhittable in this year’s postseason, allowing three hits in 7 2/3 innings to the fearsome Red Sox and Blue Jays lineups, and recording 17 strikeouts in 23 outs. 

Why couldn’t the Orioles have kept him? 

Miller liked his 10 weeks in Baltimore, and was popular among his teammates, and the Orioles didn’t make an effort to sign him, telling his agent they didn’t feel they could compete with a team like the Yankees, who signed him. He also may have had more lucrative offers from others. 

After 2014, the Orioles lost not only Miller, but Nelson Cruz, who many fans still miss and Nick Markakis, and that offseason has generally been considered an awful one. 

While the Orioles’ bullpen has continued to shine in the last two seasons, the production of Cruz and Markakis is still missed. 

The Orioles tried to re-sign Cruz, but the Seattle Mariners were willing to give him a fourth year.
Two seasons into the four-year, $57 million contract, Cruz has continued to play well. He’s hit 87 home runs and driven in 198 runs while hitting .287.

Perhaps the primary reason the Orioles refused to give Cruz a fourth year was his age, but at 36, he had a better offensive season than his excellent one with the Orioles in 2014. 

Last year, the Orioles made an organizational change. They decided that in order to compete they had to be more aggressive with free agents. 

A year ago, no one would have dreamed a seven-year, $161 million contract for Chris Davis was possible, or that they’d pay that much for a relief pitcher. 

The Orioles still probably won’t win many bidding wars over free agents. The biggest ones they’ve signed during the Dan Duquette era have been their own (Davis, O’Day Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy, Matt Wieters) or those at a deep discount because there wasn’t a great market for them (Cruz, Ubaldo Jimenez, Yovani Gallardo and Pedro Alvarez). 

In Feb. 2014, it was a stretch for the Orioles to sign Jimenez for four years, and after his poor initial season, the team was reluctant to offer four years to another free agent pitcher, and that’s why they weren’t going after Miller. 

Even now, the four-year barrier could be difficult to overcome if they’re trying to extend Chris Tillman. 

The money for Miller and O’Day isn’t quite as comparable as it looks, either. 

Miller’s contract is for four years at $9 million a season while $4 million of O’Day’s $31 million is deferred. 

The Orioles are hoping that O’Day rebounds smartly from his painful 2016 season when he missed more than the year with hamstring and shoulder injuries. 

His 2016 production lagged. In 34 games, O’Day was 3-1 with a 3.77 ERA. The ERA was more than half again as much as his previous high with the Orioles (2.28 in 2012). 

The Orioles thought they were taking a good risk with O’Day, who hadn’t suffered any disabling injuries in his first four seasons with the team. 

They were heartened by his last three regular season outings (2 2/3 perfect innings), and the sharp five-out performance in the wild-card game. 

Miller would have been wonderful to have, and it’s great to see the inventive way Terry Francona has been using him, but the bullpen is hardly the Orioles’ weakness. 

With O’Day, Brad Brach, Zach Britton and Mychal Givens, it’s one of the game’s best. 

While having Miller as part of that bullpen would be great, but it just wasn’t possible—or realistic. 


Quick Links

Machado homers as Orioles beat Rangers 6-5


Machado homers as Orioles beat Rangers 6-5

For well over six seasons, Manny Machado's value to the Baltimore Orioles has been solely his ability to hit and play the field.

All that has changed, now that the Orioles are looking to receive a huge return for their All-Star shortstop in a blockbuster trade.

Machado homered before being removed on a wet day, Adam Jones hit a three-run double and Baltimore rallied past the Texas Rangers 6-5 Sunday.

Machado was taken out of the game in the fifth inning by manager Buck Showalter after a 26-minute rain delay. The move was designed to get their star player off a sloppy field, because the last-place Orioles are entertaining offers for Machado before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

"Obviously there's a different situation going on with Manny. You all know that," Showalter said. "That had a lot to do with it."

Plain and simple, the Orioles can't afford to have Machado get hurt. Now, more than ever.

"A month ago he wouldn't have come out of the game," Showalter acknowledged. "We know that. You know it."

After being replaced by Jace Peterson, Machado sat in the dugout, wearing a sweatshirt and joking with his teammates.

"I don't know why (Showalter) did it or not," Machado said. "He just told me, `I'm going to take you out. You had a good first half and go represent us well in the All-Star Game.'"

Machado is Baltimore's lone representative for Tuesday's showcase. He has spent his entire career in Baltimore, but his contract expires after this season and the Orioles don't appear interested in locking him up with a long-term deal.

"I'm going to the All-Star Game as an Oriole and as a shortstop. It's just always a blessing," Machado said. "I thank God. I thank my family for always supporting me, my teammates, the fans, the organization. I mean it's just been very incredible."

In a matchup between two teams staggering into the break, Texas got a first-inning grand slam from rookie Ronald Guzman but quickly gave the lead away in losing for the seventh time in nine games.

Machado ignited the comeback with his 24th homer, and Jones' bases-clearing double in the third off Mike Minor (6-6) put Baltimore ahead to stay.

"I'll be fine," said Minor, who yielded five earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. "I'll reflect a little bit and then get back to it."

The game ended when Texas pinch-runner Carlos Tocci was thrown out at the plate on a double by Elvis Andrus. Running from first base, Tocci was tagged out by catcher Caleb Joseph following throws by right fielder Mark Trumbo and second baseman Jonathan Schoop.

"Textbook," Showalter said.

Texas manager Jeff Bannister called it a "situation where they had to throw it on line to throw Tocci out. They executed well."

Tanner Scott (1-1), the first of four Baltimore relievers, earned his first big league win.

Zach Britton, another Oriole supposedly on the trading block, worked the ninth for his fourth save, the second in two days.

Texas broke on top when Miguel Castro issued three straight walks and Guzman sent a one-out drive over the right-field wall for his first career grand slam.

It was 4-1 in the third when Joseph hit an RBI double and Jones doubled down the left-field line following a walk to Machado.

Shin-Soo Choo homered in the seventh to get the Rangers to 6-5.


Choo opened the game with a walk, extending to 51 his single-season club record streak of games reaching base via a hit, walk or HBP. ... Texas' Delino DeShields went 0 for 3, stretching his hitless drought to 28 at-bats. ... Jones snapped a 1-for-16 skid with his third-inning double.


Rangers: RF Nomar Mazara was given the day off after hurting his hand Saturday night in the outfield.

Orioles: RHP Chris Tillman (back) was set to make his final rehab start Sunday for Triple-A Norfolk. ... INF Steve Wilkerson (oblique) and OF Craig Gentry (rib fracture) likely won't come off the DL before August, Showalter said. ... RHP Andrew Cashner (neck strain) will be activated from the DL on Saturday or Sunday to face Toronto, Showalter said.


Rangers: The rotation after the All-Star break, beginning Friday against visiting Cleveland: Martin Perez, Bartolo Colon, Cole Hamels, Yovani Gallardo and Minor.

Orioles: After the All-Star break, Dylan Bundy will start at Toronto on Friday night.

Quick Links

Orioles unable to punch in final run late against Rangers


Orioles unable to punch in final run late against Rangers

BALTIMORE -- Ryan Rua had a tiebreaking, pinch-hit three-run homer in the seventh inning and the Texas Rangers held on to beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 Friday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

Cole Hamels (5-8) won for the first time in almost a month, allowing four runs and five hits with three strikeouts and one walk over 6 1/3 innings in a matchup of last-place teams.

Rua broke a 1-1 deadlock with the first pinch-hit of his career, off rookie Tanner Scott. Nomar Mazara added an RBI double later that inning, which made it 5-1 and boosted Scott's ERA from 5.88 to 6.84 over 26 appearances.

Baltimore pulled within a run on Caleb Joseph's three-run double against reliever Jose Leclerc in the bottom half of the inning. The Orioles loaded the bases in the eighth but Jake Diekman got out of the jam by getting Chris Davis on a short pop out.

Keone Kela got the last three outs for his 23rd save.

The Orioles have lost 17 of 20 and fell to 14-33 at Camden Yards, the second-worst home mark in the majors behind Kansas City.

Joey Gallo gave the Rangers the lead when he led off the fifth with a home run off Alex Cobb (2-12). The Orioles answered in the bottom half when Adam Jones hit a double just inside the left-field foul line and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Danny Valencia.

Cobb left his previous start against the Twins in the sixth inning with a blister on his right index finger. He did not appear hampered by the injury and allowed two runs and six hits with three strikeouts and no walks over 6 1/3 innings.