PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic -- Perhaps because Adam Jones considers Buck Showalter one of his best friends in baseball, the Orioles' center fielder felt he could be candid about the manager's much-scrutinized decision not to deploy Zach Britton in the American League Wild Card Game against the Blue Jays this past October.
Nearly two months after the fact, Jones remains perplexed that Britton remained in the bullpen while Baltimore's season was lost on an 11th-inning, walk-off home run by Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion.
BALTIMORE -- If recent history is any indication, the Winter Meetings will come and go without the Orioles doing much of consequence. Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has made his living waiting out the market, not setting it in early December, and the expectation is this year won't be much different.
Baltimore, coming off a record-spending offseason, has voids to fill and things to accomplish at the Meetings. But a lot of what the O's have done at these Meetings -- save for their routine Rule 5 Draft activity -- has been to lay the groundwork for later in the offseason.
New agreement includes change to home-field advantage in World Series
By Richard Justice
IRVING, Texas -- Major League Baseball's players and owners reached a tentative five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement through the 2021 season on Wednesday night. The parties will follow up today with a formal document, which then must be ratified by representatives of both sides.
At 8:40 p.m. ET, an assortment of happy players, owners, lawyers and staffers poured from meeting rooms to exchange handshakes and hugs. That's how quickly 36 hours of round-the-clock negotiations ended, nearly four hours before today's deadline of 12:01 a.m. ET to reach a deal. Short of an agreement, the sport was faced with the best-case scenario of an extension or owners could have imposed a lockout.
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles brought back a familiar face Wednesday, acquiring right-hander Logan Verrett from the Mets in exchange for cash considerations.
"He's a really good, dependable pitcher. And he can do a variety of roles on a pitching staff -- starting, long relief, short relief," Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said of Verrett, the O's Rule 5 Draft pick before the 2015 season. "We liked him when he was here before; wish we had kept him here. Should've held on to him, but we are glad he's back."
The Arizona Fall League always is loaded with talent, and it was stronger than usual in 2016. In the initial installment of MLBPipeline.com's "The Next Big Leaguers," which premieres Tuesday, we focused on five prospects: Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger, Twins shortstop Nick Gordon, Cubs outfielder Eloy Jimenez, Red Sox infielder Yoan Moncada and Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres.
We could have spotlighted many more promising prospects if not limited by time constraints, and below we'll do exactly that.
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles head to next week's Winter Meetings in quite an interesting position. On the heels of an offseason in which they spent very, very big -- namely for first baseman Chris Davis -- Baltimore has some sizable holes on its roster heading into 2017.
MLB.com and MLB Network will have wall-to-wall coverage of the 2016 Winter Meetings from the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center outside Washington, D.C. The Meetings begin next Monday. Fans can watch live streaming of all news conferences and manager availability on MLB.com, including the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 8 at 9 a.m. ET.
Johnson, Baines to learn Hall of Fame fate on Sunday
16-member committee to decide on Selig, Steinbrenner among 10 hopefuls
By Manny Randhawa
The Today's Game Era ballot for induction to the National Baseball Hall of Fame will be voted upon this Sunday at the Winter Meetings in National Harbor, Md. Five former Major League players, three executives and two managers will be considered, and the results of the voting will be announced on MLB Network's "MLB Tonight" and streamed live on MLB.com at 6 p.m. ET.
The players named on the ballot are Harold Baines, Albert Belle, Will Clark, Orel Hershiser and Mark McGwire. The three executives are John Schuerholz, Allan H. "Bud" Selig and George M. Steinbrenner. The two former managers are Davey Johnson and Lou Piniella.
BALTIMORE -- Adam Jones is well known for his #StayHungry hashtag, and the Orioles center fielder put his love of food and football to good use earlier this month in the fourth annual #StayHungry Purple Tailgate.
The charitable event, which raised $50,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of Baltimore, took place on Nov. 6 and exceeded the earnings of the previous three years combined. Jones' tailgate, featuring food from some of the best restaurants around Baltimore, also had a special musical appearance from the country band LoCash and raffle prizes that included Jones pieing fans.
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles named Roger McDowell as Major League pitching coach and Alan Mills as bullpen coach Tuesday afternoon, replacing the departed duo of Dave Wallace and Dom Chiti.
McDowell and Mills, who will join manager Buck Showalter's staff along with returnees Bobby Dickerson, John Russell and Wayne Kirby, were teammates on the 1996 Orioles club that advanced to the American League Championship Series.
Now this was interesting heading into Thanksgiving weekend for those who enjoy stories of irony: The Orioles continued their rise in the American League East by hiring Roger McDowell as their pitching coach for an improving rotation and an already efficient bullpen.
Well, that, and this is about the Braves edging closer to reviving at least the promises of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz.
BALTIMORE -- Could Zach Britton be a potential rotation candidate next spring?
"That's something we've discussed internally, but I'm not sure it's something we are really interested in pursuing," Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said earlier this month at the General Managers Meetings.
Posada, Magglio, Wakefield among those seeking enshrinement in 2017
By Andrew Simon
Soon, members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America will cast their ballots for the Hall of Fame's Class of 2017.
Among their choices will be returners who fell just shy of the 75-percent threshold in last year's voting, a group that includes Jeff Bagwell (71.6 percent), Tim Raines (69.8) and Trevor Hoffman (67.3). There also are a few high-profile newcomers. Vladimir Guerrero was a feared hitter with 449 homers and a National League MVP Award, Ivan Rodriguez is third all-time among catchers in wins above replacement (WAR), and Manny Ramirez hit 555 homers but also was suspended twice for his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles selected the contracts of right-handed pitchers Joe Gunkel and Jesus Liranzo on Friday, adding the pair to the 40-man roster prior to the Rule 5 Draft.
Gunkel is ranked as No. 26 among Orioles prospects by MLBPipeline.com, while Lirizano was not ranked. Notable players who were left off include Double-A Bowie pitchers Stefan Crichton and Jimmy Yacabonis, No. 17 Mike Yastrzemski and No. 30 Branden Kline, who is coming off Tommy John surgery and missed all of 2016.
BALTIMORE -- Orioles third baseman Manny Machado finished fifth in American League Most Valuable Player Award voting, which was revealed on MLB Network on Thursday night by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA).
The award, which went to Angels center fielder Mike Trout, also saw Orioles closer Zach Britton finish 11th. It marked the highest ranking in AL MVP voting this season for a pitcher.
O's Bridwell stingy in hunt for AFL division title
By Jim Callis
PEORIA, Ariz. -- After seven seasons in the Minor Leagues, Parker Bridwell reached the big leagues with the Orioles in August. Two months later, he joined the Arizona Fall League's Peoria Javelinas as a midseason replacement. He said he took both assignments equally seriously, and as a result, the Javelinas remain in the hunt for the AFL postseason.
Bridwell, the O's No. 27 prospect, threw three scoreless innings Wednesday afternoon against the Surprise Saguaros, maintaining a 2-1 lead that became a 5-2 Peoria victory. He said he knew the Saguaros had an opportunity to wrap up a playoff berth and eliminate the Javelinas, and he relished denying them.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Trumbo rejects qualifying offer in favor of FA
By Manny Randhawa
Mark Trumbo, who led the Majors with 47 home runs in 2016, has rejected the $17.2 million qualifying offer made to him by the Orioles.
Teams that extended qualifying offers to eligible players this offseason are guaranteed a compensatory 2017 Draft pick in return should that player sign with another team as a free agent. Players had until 5 p.m. ET Monday to accept or reject a qualifying offer.
Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyRsports This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Gold Glover for life: 3B Robinson honored
Best defensive third baseman of all time earns lifetime achievement award
By Joe Trezza
NEW YORK -- The way they'd planned it, Brooks Robinson wasn't supposed to play the hot corner. But this weekend, the first-ballot Hall of Fame third baseman was honored once again for his legendary glovework.
"I've always had the good hand-eye coordination," Robinson said before the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards ceremony, where he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award. "I was signed as a second baseman. They figured well, that kid is going to get killed over there. Let's move him to third, so he doesn't have to move around that much."
Slugger wins Players Choice Award for AL Comeback Player of the Year
By David Adler
Free-agent slugger Mark Trumbo, who hit a Major League-leading 47 home runs for the Orioles last season, is the MLBPA Players Choice American League Comeback Player of the Year. The honor was revealed on MLB Network Wednesday night.
Trumbo, in his first season in Baltimore, drove in 108 runs (tied for sixth in the AL) and posted an .850 OPS. He was also named to the AL All-Star team.
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Kim named to Korea's World Baseball Classic roster
By Joe Trezza
The Korea Baseball Organization released South Korea's 28-man roster for the 2017 World Baseball Classic on Thursday. Four Major Leaguers headline a squad many consider among the favorites in the 16-team field.
Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, Orioles outfielder Hyun Soo Kim, Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang and Mariners first baseman/designated hitter Dae-Ho Lee will participate for Korea, which is one of the four host countries. Pool play begins March 6, 2017, in Seoul's Gocheok Sky Dome -- an 18,000-seat stadium that is the home of the KBO's Nexen Heroes.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Though early November isn't exactly a time for bustling baseball moves, Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette was encouraged with how this year's General Managers Meetings turned out.
"We had a couple trade conversations," Duquette said Wednesday afternoon of the team's search for corner-outfield help. "We are trying to see if we match up with somebody. We've got a couple more scheduled later today."
Jones will play for Team USA, while Schoop, Machado and Kim will represent the Netherlands, Dominican Republic and South Korea, respectively. This will be the third straight Classic for Kim, and both Schoop and Jones competed in the last World Baseball Classic in 2013, but this will mark Machado's first appearance. The 24-year-old third baseman, who has played for Team USA before, was born in Miami but his parents are both Dominican, allowing him the option of playing for either the U.S. or the Dominican team.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Orioles enter the offseason with a list of needs heading into 2017. Starting pitching is not on that list.
"I think we have a little bit more stable pitching staff this year going into the offseason," executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette told MLB.com Tuesday at the General Managers Meetings. "Our infield defense is strong. We need to address the depth of our outfield -- that's what we are going to be working on in the winter."
Former shortstop, center fielder would likely be corner outfielder for Baltimore
By Cash Kruth
The Orioles are interested in adding versatile free agent Ian Desmond as a corner outfielder, a source told MLB.com's Jon Morosi on Tuesday.
Desmond, 31, is coming off an All-Star season in which he hit .285/.335/.446 with 22 home runs and 86 RBIs while transitioning to the outfield after spending the majority of his professional career as a shortstop.
BALTIMORE -- This offseason will be an interesting one for the Orioles, an expensive 2016 team that will have some big decisions to make regarding the team's future.
On Monday, Baltimore made a one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offer to Mark Trumbo, who hit an MLB-best 47 homers in 2016, which means Baltimore will receive a compensation Draft pick if Trumbo signs with another club. The O's didn't extend a qualifying offer to longtime catcher Matt Wieters.