O's agree with closer Britton, avoid arbitration

One-year deal reportedly worth $6.75 million

O's agree with closer Britton, avoid arbitration

The Orioles and left-hander Zach Britton have agreed to a one-year, $6.75 million contract to avoid arbitration.

The club has not confirmed the deal.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Orioles get Despaigne from Padres for Minor Leaguer

Right-hander has made 34 starts in two big league seasons

Orioles get Despaigne from Padres for Minor Leaguer

BALTIMORE -- Seeking to add pitching depth, the Orioles acquired right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne from the Padres in exchange for Minor League pitcher Jean Cosme on Thursday.

Despaigne gives Baltimore an attractive flexible piece. He has three Minor League options remaining and can be a long reliever or a fifth starter. The move opened up a 40-man roster spot for San Diego, which was needed to add veteran closer Fernando Rodney, whose free-agent deal was finalized.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Orioles avoid arbitration with Matusz

Orioles avoid arbitration with Matusz

The Orioles and left-hander Brian Matusz have agreed to one-year deal to avoid arbitration.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Orioles trucks head south for Spring Training

Orioles trucks head south for Spring Training

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles inched a little closer to Spring Training on Thursday.

Hours before Baltimore's trade for pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne from San Diego became official, the team got ready to head south by packing up its trucks to send equipment to Sarasota, Fla.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: Outfield

O's searching for everyday solution in the corners to complement Jones

Around the Horn: Outfield

With the start of Spring Training just weeks away, anticipation is building for the 2016 season. MLB.com is going around the horn to break down each area of the Orioles, continuing with the outfield.

BALTIMORE -- In 2015, the Orioles employed a platoon in both left and right field, constantly shuffling the players around All-Star center fielder Adam Jones, hoping someone would emerge in an everyday role. That never happened, and corner outfield production was a sore spot for manager Buck Showalter all season, forcing Baltimore to carry several outfielders on the roster at any given time and to designate -- and lose -- multiple players during the season.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Vlad connects at Caribbean HR derby

Guerrero takes field with family, excited for 2017 Hall of Fame ballot

Vlad connects at Caribbean HR derby

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Five men wearing authentic baseball jerseys and the name Guerrero stitched across their backs emerged from the visiting dugout at Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal on Wednesday night, but only one of them had the familiar stride and head bob that could bring fans to their feet.

Vladimir Guerrero, who will be 41 next Tuesday, tugged on his white jersey with Dominican Republic written across his chest and adjusted his white baseball pants. He pulled up his blue socks to his knees and tipped his black hat to the crowd as he walked to his seat near the first-base line.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lefty Okajima signs Minors deal with Orioles

Lefty Okajima signs Minors deal with Orioles

Hideki Okajima, once a workhorse lefty in the Boston Red Sox's bullpen, picked a good day to sign a Minor League deal with the Orioles and attempt a comeback: Throwback Thursday.

Okajima, who turned 40 last month and has pitched a total of 12 1/3 Major League innings since 2010 -- none since 2013 with Oakland -- accepted a deal with the O's that does not include an invitation to the big club's Spring Training camp.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: Rotation

Orioles leaning on quartet of Tillman, Gonzalez, Jimenez, Gausman

Around the Horn: Rotation

With the start of Spring Training just weeks away, anticipation is building for the 2016 season. MLB.com is going around the horn to break down each area of the Orioles, continuing with the rotation.

BALTIMORE -- When asked at his introductory news conference what moves he thought the Orioles still needed to make, Chris Davis didn't hesitate: a pitcher to replace Wei-Yin Chen.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harvey makes Top 100 Prospects list

Despite missing 2015 season due to injuries, righty ranked No. 85

Harvey makes Top 100 Prospects list

BALTIMORE -- Orioles pitcher Hunter Harvey has made MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list again heading into 2016, with the right-hander coming in at No. 85 overall despite dealing with some injuries.

Harvey is Baltimore's lone representative on the list, and the 21-year-old is hopeful his reoccurring elbow issues -- which caused him to be shut down several times in 2015 -- are behind him. Harvey told reporters at the team's recent minicamp that he's been throwing for more than a month without an issue and that he is confident he will not require surgery. The expectation is Harvey will be a full-go at Spring Training, and this will be a big year to get the young hurler back on track starting for one of the O's affiliates.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: Catchers

Wieters healthy to start year, Joseph returns as backup

Around the Horn: Catchers

With the start of Spring Training three weeks away, anticipation is building for the 2016 season. MLB.com is going around the horn to break down each area of the Orioles, continuing today with catcher.

While there should be plenty of position battles to watch in Spring Training, the Orioles shouldn't have much intrigue at catcher.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Orioles mourn death of Minor Leaguer Ramirez

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles organization lost a member of its baseball family on Saturday night, when Minor League infielder Ramon Ramirez was killed in a motorcycle accident in the Dominican Republic.

"Our entire organization is deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic death of Ramon Ramirez," executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said Sunday in a statement. "As a member of the Orioles organization, Ramon worked tirelessly to make the most of his opportunity to play professional baseball. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, teammates and coaches as we mourn this unimaginable loss."

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Any big deals on horizon after Davis?

Beat reporter Brittany Ghiroli answers Orioles fans' questions

Inbox: Any big deals on horizon after Davis?

There is still a lot of help needed, especially in the rotation. Do you get the feeling the Orioles are done spending?
-- Kevin K., Greensboro, N.C.

I think there's still funds available to upgrade the 2016 team, and if the report that the Orioles were still pursuing Yoenis Cespedes after signing Chris Davis is true, it's further proof that ownership is willing to spend this offseason. MLB Network's Jon Heyman tweeted Wednesday that, according to sources, Baltimore had put a five-year offer on the table to Cespedes (who agreed to the Mets' three-year, $75 million pact with an opt-out instead).

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Let Buck Showalter help you live your best life

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Let Buck Showalter help you live your best life

Life can be hard, no one denies that. We all have dreams and goals, like finally finishing that novel or somehow founding a 12-month baseball league in a magical land of endless summer.

But don't forget that MLB is here to help. We've given you motivational posters based on quotes by Zack Greinke   and Marcus Stroman   … but what if you want your inspiration to be less about amazing hair and more about a granite-faced gravitas that only Mount Rushmore and a certain Beltway manager can provide?

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O's add Navarro for depth; designate Hoes

O's add Navarro for depth; designate Hoes

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles acquired outfielder Efren Navarro from the Angels on Tuesday in exchange for cash considerations.

To make room on the 40-man roster, outfielder L.J. Hoes has been designated for assignment.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O's boy! Davis' club-record $161M deal official

Slugger welcomes expectations, pressure that come with large contract

O's boy! Davis' club-record $161M deal official

BALTIMORE -- Chris Davis looked at the brand-new jersey he was about to put one arm through -- orange and white with Orioles scrawled on the front -- and flashed an ear-to-ear grin.

"This feels familiar," Davis joked.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reyes makes MLB Pipeline's Top 10 3B Prospects list

Rangers' Gallo grabs top spot, Boston's Devers leaps to No. 2

Reyes makes MLB Pipeline's Top 10 3B Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2016 Top 100 Prospects list on Friday on MLB.com. The Top 50 will be revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

Kris Bryant, Joey Gallo, Miguel Sano and Maikel Franco claimed four of the top five spots on last year's list of the top third-base prospects, and together they combined to hit 64 big league home runs in 2015. Gallo retained rookie eligibility and headlines this year's crop of top prospects at the hot corner, which, as a whole, stand out more for overall hitting ability than power. And as it's so often the case with young third basemen, only time will tell how many of these guys will be able to remain at the position long term.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

What's next for Orioles' rotation?

What's next for Orioles' rotation?

BALTIMORE -- While the Orioles crossed a major item off their to-do list over the weekend, in agreeing to terms on a seven-year deal to bring back Chris Davis, the rotation is still a priority.

Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has said all offseason that the club is interested in upgrading its pitching staff. While the bullpen again looks to be a strength, Baltimore has yet to add a starter with less than a month until camp begins. The O's ranked 25th in the Majors in starting ERA last season, pitching to a 4.53 mark.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

For this year only, Trade Deadline to be Aug. 1

Adjustment made because July 31 falls on a Sunday

For this year only, Trade Deadline to be Aug. 1

This is a leap year, and for Major League Baseball, it will mean a one-day leap in the annual non-waiver Trade Deadline.

The non-waiver Trade Deadline this season will be moved to Aug. 1 from the traditional July 31 -- which in 2016 falls on a Sunday. The deadline is 4 p.m. ET, and on July 31, there are seven games scheduled to begin between 1-1:30, five between 2-3:30 and three at 4. There are only eight games on Aug. 1, all of which are night games.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Balance rules in up-for-grabs AL East

Balance rules in up-for-grabs AL East

There's no consensus favorite to win the American League East this year, and nothing is likely to happen between now and Opening Day that would change that. Go down every roster, and you'll come up with some very good reasons that team can win. You'll also come up with a string of large questions.

That's the striking thing about the AL East in 2016. It's not just that all five teams have a couple of unknowns. It's that those unknowns are significant enough to make or break a season. They involve big names and/or critical areas.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O's lefty Dodson suspended 100 games

O's lefty Dodson suspended 100 games

BALTIMORE -- Orioles Minor League pitcher Zack Dodson has received a 100-game suspension without pay after a third positive test for a drug of abuse, MLB announced on Tuesday afternoon.

Dodson's suspension will begin at the start of the 2016 season. He's currently on the roster of the Orioles' Double-A Bowie affiliate. Dodson, a left-hander, was signed to a Minor League deal in December. A former fourth-round pick in the 2009 Draft, he spent the past seven seasons in the Pirates' organization.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Davis deal makes perfect sense for O's

Free-agent slugger's return solidifies Baltimore's lineup

Davis deal makes perfect sense for O's

Chris Davis loves Baltimore. Baltimore loves Chris Davis. So doesn't this feel like a smart, sensible conclusion?

Davis is returning to the Orioles for a deal reported to be worth $161 million over seven years -- a contract finalized Saturday morning after both sides had pushed the envelope to its logical end game.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O's strike deal with Machado, 3 others

Britton, Matusz exchange arbitration figures with club as deadline passes

O's strike deal with Machado, 3 others

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles avoided arbitration with Manny Machado, Chris Tillman, Ryan Flaherty and Miguel Gonzalez by agreeing to 2016 contracts on Friday, an industry source confirmed.

Flaherty will make $1.5 million after making $1.075 million last year. Tillman will get a raise from $4.315 million to $6.225 million, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, which also includes awards and incentives.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O's, Trumbo avoid arbitration

O's, Trumbo avoid arbitration

The Orioles and Mark Trumbo avoided arbitration Thursday, settling on a one-year deal worth $9.15 million, a source told MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli. The club has not confirmed the news, first reported by ESPN.

Trumbo, who will become a free agent after the 2016 season, came to Baltimore via a trade with the Mariners earlier this offseason, along with lefty reliever C.J. Riefenhauser. The O's sent catcher Steve Clevenger to Seattle.

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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Throwback: Brooks Robinson blew bubbles as well as he played 3B

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Throwback: Brooks Robinson blew bubbles as well as he played 3B

Brooks Robinson is widely regarded as one of -- if not the -- best fielding third basemen of all time. The Hall of Famer won 16 straight Gold Glove Awards for manning the hot corner, accumulated more putouts than any third baseman in baseball history (his record still stands) and earned himself the nickname "The Human Vacuum Cleaner."

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Source: Brach, Orioles agree to salary terms

Reliable reliever avoids arbitration with $1.25M contract

Source: Brach, Orioles agree to salary terms

The Orioles and reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year, $1.25 million contract to avoid salary arbitration, a source told MLB.com on Thursday.

The deal, which was first reported by FOX Sports and has not been confirmed by the club, settles the second of Baltimore's eight arbitration-eligible cases this offseason. The club also reached a deal with Mark Trumbo earlier Thursday.

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Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Givens a Bird on the rise

Reliever looking to continue quick journey upward

Givens a Bird on the rise

BALTIMORE -- Mychal Givens has had quite a quick ascent. A year ago, he impressed at the Orioles' January minicamp -- despite having just two seasons of pitching experience. In June, Givens made his Major League debut.

Now Givens is aiming to build on his success from 2015, and he could take on a bigger role in the O's bullpen this season.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Garcia aims to crack O's Opening Day roster

Garcia aims to crack O's Opening Day roster

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Last year, Jason Garcia reported to the Orioles' annual offseason minicamp as a recent Rule 5 Draft pick, and he thoroughly impressed manager Buck Showalter with his smooth delivery.

A year later, Garcia is back at the Ed Smith Stadium complex for another minicamp, once again preparing to compete for a spot on the Opening Day roster -- but this time with a far different feeling. He is no longer a Rule 5 pick, no longer bound by the restrictions or uncertainty that comes along with that distinction. Garcia is confident, more comfortable and eager to get back to the big leagues.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bridwell healthy as Spring Training nears

Bridwell healthy as Spring Training nears

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Right-hander Parker Bridwell's season with Double-A Bowie came to an early end last year, as he was shut down after July 26 with tightness in his elbow. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection from Dr. James Andrews, went through a brief rehabilitation program and stopped throwing until late last month.

Bridwell -- the Orioles' 20th-ranked prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com -- has been playing catch since then and ha reported no soreness or lingering effects of last year's injury.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.