BALTIMORE -- The Orioles are continuing their fight against hunger with several notable events this holiday season.
Earlier this month, members of the front office volunteered at the Maryland Food Bank's annual "Pack to Give Back" event, where they helped pack more than 15,000 holiday boxes for distribution to families in need. The organization also teamed up with the Mayors' Feed the Hungry Program in Sarasota, Fla. -- home of the O's Spring Training -- to benefit families in that area. In addition, the Orioles collected non-perishable food items over a period of several weeks and hosted a Thanksgiving Sorting Day at Ed Smith Stadium.
Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Angelos horse named Showalter wins his first race
By Ben Cosman |
Peter Angelos, majority owner and CEO of the Orioles, is personally invested in the success of two Showalters. There's Buck, the Orioles manager, who's gone 458-409 in six seasons. And there's Showalter, a horse, who won his very first race on Sunday.
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles signed first baseman Ji-Man Choi to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training, one of eight Minors signings the club announced Tuesday.
The news originated from an online report out of South Korea's Ilgan Sports on Saturday. Choi, 24, is the O's first outside-the-organization signing this offseason, and he will make $650,000 should he make the team. There are also several incentives that could push that initial figure up.
BALTIMORE -- Outfield, pitching and the continued pursuit of Chris Davis was how executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette described the Orioles' offseason priorities. Manager Buck Showalter, speaking on MLB Network on Monday morning, affirmed that Baltimore's interest in re-signing Davis is high.
"We're going to be competitive with it and, at the end of the day, he and his people will have a decision to make," Showalter said over the phone on the Network's Hot Stove program. "I try to leave those guys alone; believe me, their agents want us to leave them alone. ... Chris is a grown man. We talked many times. We had plenty of chances to talk [during the season], and he knows how much we like him and would like to have him stay. We are going to make an attempt to stay competitive with it."
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles have selected the contracts of right-handed pitchers Parker Bridwell and Andrew Triggs and lefty Chris Lee, setting their 40-man roster for Friday's deadline.
The moves protect the young trio from being taken in next month's Rule 5 Draft by another club. The 40-man roster is now full, though the O's could drop a player to make room to select someone in the Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn. Baltimore has been incredibly active in the Rule 5 Draft in recent years and has been able to keep infielder Ryan Flaherty and pitcher T.J. McFarland as a result.
Not many young men have the great Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski as their high school hitting coach. Mike Yastrzemski did. Mike, the son of former Florida State and Triple-A Chicago White Sox player Michael Yastrzemski (who went by his middle name) and grandson of the Boston Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski, is trying to become a big league outfielder in the Baltimore Orioles organization. Not because of his name, because of his skills.
Mike went to St. John's Prep High School in Danvers, Mass. His grandfather's Red Sox selected him in the 36th round of the 2009 Draft, but he chose to attend Vanderbilt University on a baseball scholarship. After his junior year, the Mariners picked Yastrzemski in the 30th round of the 2012 Draft. Instead of signing, Yastrzemski went back to Vanderbilt for his senior year. After being named to the All-Southeastern Conference team, the Orioles signed the left-handed-hitting and throwing Yastrzemski after picking him in the 14th round of the 2013 Draft.
Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Orioles targeting second-tier starters
Duquette says club's priority is filling out rotation
BALTIMORE -- If the Orioles have enough payroll flexibility to re-sign Chris Davis and add a top-of-the-rotation starter, as executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said over the weekend, who might be in play?
Duquette told MLB Network Radio the O's priority is filling out a rotation by obtaining a No. 1, 2 or 3 starter, adding that there's not "that many No. 1 starters, but there's some twos and threes in there that we could be very competitive on."
BALTIMORE -- All-Star catcher Matt Wieters has accepted the Orioles' $15.8 million qualifying offer, forgoing free agency to remain in Baltimore for 2016. As expected, slugger Chris Davis and pitcher Wei-Yin Chen declined their qualifying offers, as they are both expected to get serious pay raises on the open market. The O's will get two compensatory Draft picks as a result.
"I prayed a lot," said Wieters of the decision, which became public Friday afternoon but has not been confirmed by the club. "One of the options that kept coming up was going back to Baltimore, where I can be comfortable with the [coaching] staff, with the pitching staff and the locker room, which has such a great feel, and the city. My wife and son, they both love Baltimore. … We decided to take a little bit of a different approach as far as not taking a multiyear deal [and entering free agency]."
Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said Sunday on MLB Network Radio's "The Front Office" that the team would be active in the free-agent market for starting pitchers and outfielders.
"We would like to sign a top-of-the-rotation starter," said Duquette.
BALTIMORE -- Orioles No. 2 prospectDylan Bundy will not make another start in the Arizona Fall League, executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said Wednesday at the General Managers Meetings in Boca Raton, Fla.
Bundy, who was scratched from Monday's start, had been considered day to day with right forearm tightness.
BALTIMORE -- Manny Machado was named the 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner for American League third basemen on Tuesday night.
It is the second Gold Glove for Machado, who also won in 2013 and is coming off a career season on both sides of the diamond for the Orioles. He becomes the second third baseman in club history to win the award multiple times, joining Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson, who won 16 Gold Glove Awards.
Jones honored for community service at MLBPAA dinner
Jones, Valentine, Erskine among night's other honorees
By Mark Newman
NEW YORK -- This time, the Heart & Hustle Award was accepted with a heavy heart.
"Baseball lost a player today, Tommy Hanson," Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo told a hushed audience at the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association's 16th annual Legends for Youth Dinner on Tuesday night at Capitale. "I didn't know him personally, but I know a lot of people did. He was family. Losing anyone at 29, losing anyone in general, but 29 years of age ... I want to wish him to rest in peace and gratitude for his family."
BALTIMORE -- Orioles center fielder Adam Jones was honored Monday night as the recipient of the 2015 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award as part of the Players Choice Awards on MLB Network.
"I'm more than humbled by the Players Association," said Jones, who will donate $50,000, as part of the award, to the Boys & Girls Club in his hometown of San Diego. "An award like this isn't something you go out to win, this shows we're human outside of the game, and we try to impact where we can."
Free agents who receive a qualifying offer have one week to either accept a $15.8 million salary for 2016 or decline it and enter the open market. If the player declines and signs with a new team, his old club receives a compensatory Draft pick. In the three-year history of the system, all 34 players who have received a qualifying offer -- which has slowly climbed from $13.3 million in 2013 -- have turned it down.
NEW YORK -- Under new voting rules established this summer by the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the annual Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot was released Monday on the earliest date in recent history.
Ken Griffey Jr. and his 630 homers and Trevor Hoffman and his National League-record 601 saves are the top candidates among a bevy of first-time qualifiers for the Class of 2016. Billy Wagner, who had 422 saves in 16 seasons for five teams, is another significant new name on the ballot.
BALTIMORE -- Baseball's offseason officially started on Monday, and the Orioles will face some tough decisions in a pivotal winter.
What the club is trying to accomplish is simple: Get back to the postseason after a disappointing finish to 2015. But how Baltimore, a mid-market team with several high-profile free agents, goes about that will be much more compelling. Here's a look at where they are and what they stand to lose as the Hot Stove season gets going.
BALTIMORE -- To say it's a big winter for the Orioles would be a massive understatement.
Baltimore, which followed up an American League East title and a trip to the ALCS last year by missing the postseason in 2015, finds itself at a serious crossroads this winter. First, there is the free-agent situation with a slew of players -- including Chris Davis, Matt Wieters, Darren O'Day and Wei-Yin Chen -- who could sign elsewhere. Coming off an offseason in which the team did not retain Andrew Miller, Nelson Cruz or Nick Markakis, there's pressure on executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and his staff to make some moves and bring the O's back to contention.
Bundy hurls perfect inning in return in AFL action
Orioles No. 2 prospect throws seven pitches in his first start since May
By William Boor
MESA, Ariz. -- Dylan Bundy's return to the mound went about as well as anyone could have hoped.
The right-hander, making his first start since May 21, threw one perfect inning for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League on Monday afternoon. He needed just seven pitches, five strikes, to retire the side in order -- two flyouts and a strikeout -- in his lone inning. Bundy's fastball sat between 92 and 94 mph.
The Orioles on Tuesday announced their 2016 Spring Training schedule, which opens March 1 at the Atlanta Braves.
Baltimore will open its home schedule the following day, March 2, with a 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Braves at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla. Their Grapefruit League season will run through March 31's home finale against the Braves.
Now in AFL, grandson of Hall of Famer struggled in Minors this season, giving him perspective
By Spencer Fordin
SCOTTSDALE, AZ -- Mike Yastrzemski didn't ask for adversity, but he's absolutely willing to learn from it. Yastrzemski, the grandson of Hall-of-Famer Carl Yastrzemski, played through his second tour in the Double-A Eastern League this season and finished with a career-worst batting average (.246).
The younger Yastrzemski is an outfielder in the Baltimore Orioles' organization, and he's currently getting in some extra work with the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League. And when the 25-year-old evaluates his season, he admits that it wasn't necessarily a bad thing for him to run into a roadblock.
Baseball's annual preview of coming attractions, better known as the Arizona Fall League, recently raised the curtain on its 24th season.
The Glendale Desert Dogs' roster features the highest-rated prospect in the league, Phillies shortstop J.P. Crawford (No. 5 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 list), and Minor League home run leader A.J. Reed (Astros). The Mesa Solar Sox have a top shortstop prospect of its own in Daniel Robertson (Rays), who batted .301 for the Solar Sox last fall.
Roughly 12 months after capturing their first American League East title since 1997, the Orioles found themselves on the other end of things in late September: eliminated from postseason play. This year -- unlike the previous three -- Baltimore also came up short of a winning record in a disappointing and oftentimes maddeningly inconsistent second half.
BALTIMORE -- Asked about his future in 2016, Orioles manager Buck Showalter made it crystal clear.
"It's a great honor managing the Baltimore Orioles and I don't plan on doing anything else," said Showalter, who like executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette is signed through 2018. "This is my last rodeo."