Tag Archive | "chicago"

Orioles agree to one-year deal with lefty reliever Wright

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with lefty reliever Wright

Posted on 16 December 2014 by Luke Jones

Searching to fill the void left behind by the departure of Andrew Miller, the Orioles agreed to terms on a one-year deal with left-handed relief pitcher Wesley Wright on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old went 0-3 with a 3.17 ERA in 48 1/3 innings with the Chicago Cubs last season. In seven major league seasons, Wright sports a 10-18 record with a 4.17 ERA, but the lefty has posted a 3.25 ERA in his last four seasons split among Chicago, Tampa Bay, and Houston.

In 2014, left-handed hitters posted a .273 batting average and a .594 on-base plus slugging percentage and didn’t record an extra-base hit while right-handed bats sported a .255 mark with a .719 OPS. Wright wasn’t tendered a contract with the Cubs and is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2015 season.

Wright’s addition gives manager Buck Showalter another left-hander to throw into the mix with closer Zach Britton, lefty specialist Brian Matusz, and long reliever T.J. McFarland. Matusz has been discussed in trade talks, but he remains with the organization for now.

A seventh-round pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2003 draft, Wright made two appearances with the Rays in the 2013 American League Division Series, allowing a hit and a walk in two-thirds of an inning against Boston.

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All aboard New Year’s Day Caps Puck Bus to NHL Winter Classic in D.C.

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All aboard New Year’s Day Caps Puck Bus to NHL Winter Classic in D.C.

Posted on 09 December 2014 by WNST Trips

We’re trying to get more aggressive and do even more WNST Baltimore “Rocks The Red” buses down to D.C. than usual this season but can only do these trips based on demand. If you love the Caps and don’t like the drive before and after games, our trips have an eight-year track record of being easy, fun and affordable. We appreciate you supporting all that we’re doing to grow the hockey community in Baltimore. If you know of other Capitals/Skipjacks/Clippers/Bandits hockey fans in Baltimore, please help us spread the word and fill some buses with Baltimore “Rock The Red” fans.

All aboard another WNST Rocks The Red Puck Bus to D.C. as the Washington Capitals take on the Chicago Blackhawks in the fabled NHL Winter Classic at Nationals Park at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2015. Our Gunther Motorcoach will depart from the White Marsh Mall at 9 a.m. with a pickup from Catonsville/UMBC I-95 Park N Ride (at Rt. 166) at 9:30 a.m. All tickets are lower level in the stadium and include a limited supply of cold beer (for those 21-and-over) en route and snacks, soft drinks and fun videos and giveaways.

We will be able to accommodate larger groups upon request and always keep groups together.

We hope you join us for a day of hockey and fun aboard the WNST Rocks The Red Puck Bus to D.C. Families are welcomed and encouraged to join us!

It’s a great night out!

Your PayPal receipt is your ticket and we always throw you an email 48 hours before the game to confirm everything. All you need to do is purchase and we’ll see you at the bus. We bring the game tickets with us. Nice and easy!

If you have any questions, throw me a note: nasty@wnst.net

COST: $275 per person

Pickup Location
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Orioles acquire outfielder De Aza, infielder Kelly Johnson in separate trades

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Orioles acquire outfielder De Aza, infielder Kelly Johnson in separate trades

Posted on 30 August 2014 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Looking to augment their roster in their final push for the American League East title, the Orioles acquired outfielder Alejandro De Aza from the Chicago White Sox and infielder Kelly Johnson from the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night.

Unheralded minor-league pitchers Miguel Chalas and Mark Blackmar were sent to Chicago to complete the deal for De Aza, who will provide a much-needed left-handed bat and speed, two areas in which the Orioles could stand to improve despite a comfortable seven-game lead in the division entering Saturday. The 30-year-old is hitting .246 with five home runs, 31 runs batted in, and 15 stolen bases while seeing time at all three outfield positions this season.

“We have been looking to get a little bit better balance to our lineup with the addition of a left-handed hitter,” executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said. “De Aza is a left-handed hitter that can help balance out the lineup and contribute to the team. We thought it was important to continue to add major league players who can help us in September and also be eligible for the post-season when we advance.

De Aza is a career .268 hitter with a .331 on-base percentage and 77 stolen bases in seven major league seasons. In 2013, he hit .264 with 17 homers, 62 RBIs, and 20 stolen bases in 153 games.

The Orioles hope De Aza can provide what they hoped they were getting when they acquired David Lough from the Kansas City Royals last winter, but the latter is hitting just .213 in his first season in Baltimore and has largely been relegated to late-inning defensive replacement duties and pinch-running in the second half.

He is expected to report to the Orioles for Sunday’s game, meaning the organization will need to make a 25-man roster move to activate him. De Aza is eligible for arbitration and not scheduled to become a free agent until after the 2015 season.

In a separate trade, Duquette acquired Johnson and minor-league infielder Michael Almanzar from Boston in exchange for Triple-A Norfolk infielders Jemile Weeks and Ivan De Jesus. Johnson will give the Orioles a veteran option at third base in the wake of the season-ending injury to Manny Machado and is hitting .212 with six homers and 23 RBIs in 87 games split between the New York Yankees and the Red Sox.

Johnson has a career .250 average with a .332 on-base percentage in nine major league seasons spent with Atlanta, Arizona, Toronto, Tampa Bay, the Yankees, and Boston. Johnson has played games at first, second, third base, and left and right field this season.

“Kelly Johnson can play a couple of different positions,” Duquette said, “He’s familiar with the American League East, he’s played for all the other teams but ours, and now he’ll get a chance to play for ours. He’s got some power and he can get on base and he can hit right-handed pitching, and that gives us some more options to help our ball club. ”

Manager Buck Showalter said Johnson is not expected to report to the Orioles until Monday when rosters can expand to 40.

Almanzar was selected by the Orioles in the Rule 5 draft this past winter, but the organization elected to return him to Boston in early July. He is a career .251 hitter with 55 home runs and 333 RBIs in seven minor-league seasons.

Acquired in the Jim Johnson trade last offseason, the 27-year-old Weeks batted .278 in 62 games for the Tides while dealing with injuries this season. De Jesus was a .282 hitter in 113 games with the Tides.

The 22-year-old Chalas was 3-4 with a 4.48 ERA in 30 relief appearances between Triple-A Norfolk and Single-A Frederick this season. Over five minor league seasons in the organization, Chalas sported a 24-21 record with a 3.73 ERA.

Blackmar, 22, was 10-1 with a 3.18 ERA in 26 games (18 starts) for Frederick this season. In four years in the Baltimore organization, Blackmar went 21-13 with a 3.75 ERA.

Earlier Saturday, the Orioles outrighted pitcher Suk-min Yoon and infielder Cord Phelps to Norfolk, creating two open spots on the 25-man roster.

 

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markakis-game saver 8-20-14

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JUMP ON THE ROLLER COASTER

Posted on 26 August 2014 by Tom Federline

Thursday, August 21st – Birds up by 9 on the Spankee’s and 9 on the Boo Jays. Four (4) days later, August 25th – Birds up by 6 on the Spankee’s and 8 on the Boo Jays. Just when you start thinking - the Orioles (73 wins), might just be able to coast into the playoffs - BANG – O’s get  swept/outplayed by the Chicago…….Cubs (58 wins). That downer coming right after riding high sweeping the Chicago……….White Sox (59 wins).  Then to add salt into the wound, the Cubs sweep came at the hands of former Orioles, i.e. Jake “I’m on juice”" Arietta, Pedro “Strope Me Strope Me” and finally the guy who never pitched one inning for the O’s but collected a heckuva paycheck – “One hit” Wada. Up/down/hold on - roller coaster is at turn 1.

On top of being swept, lets add some more salt, O’s fans get the official news – Machado is gone for the rest of the year. Not that you didn’t know that already, especially if you had seen the knee buckle (live) that night. But you go, Orioles front office and media relations. You go, with your weak attempt to fill our minds with hope that it was only a “strained” ACL. The knee bent at almost a 45 degree angle and “it’s just a strain?” SO, during this past year we have learned Manny is not so “Mucho” Machado with week knees, week/slippery hands and bad aim. It’s a shame, Machado was just getting into playing shape, after missing preseason and over a month of the regular season. Machado threat gone joining the Wieters threat that was gone.  Down and further down – keep holding on through turn 2.

When the O’s are hitting, there are moments of, “Man - the Orioles may actually have a shot, they got this.” Unfortunately, those moments are to few and far between. But……….. those moments…… are there. The Orioles are still in first place of the American League East. They didn’t get there by luck. They don’t give up, they show sporadic confidence and even with the injuries they are fairly solid in the field. At least CC Sabathia is out for the year, so he can’t sabotage the O’s by taking Markakis out for this years playoff run. Up/Up and Up - getting ready for turn 3.

The dilemma is, they are probably going to need more game saving catches (Nick). They are going to need late inning wins and walk off home runs. They are going to need someone to pick up the offensive slack (Steve Pearce). They are going to need some serious staring pitching (Chen?Tillman). They are going to need some “lights out” relief pitching (O’Day/Britton). They are going to need some Orioles Magic (Buck-Buck). Down/Up/Down/Up - through turn 4.

Can the pitching save the Orioles? It’s going to have to. I’m feeling better about Cruuuuuuuuuz. If any team had a decent pitching coach, Jones would be out 90% of the time. Feed him down and away and he’s toast. Davis needs a shot of “juicy juice”. Brady – where are you? Isn’t that your job - ”Juice” without getting caught? Davis whiffs and the whole stadium feels a breeze, consistently. Can we get Mark Reynolds back? Whoops weak moment there – forget that one. When the opposing team gets  Markakis out - their odds of winning the game quadruple. There is minimal threat left in the line-up. Wieters gone. Machado gone. Davis – no threat. I’m a big fan of Delmon Young – we need to see more of him. At least he is a major league hitter. Coast/Down/Coast/Up - getting set up for the final stretch.

Then there’s the secret weapon – the manager. The O’s have a shot with Buck-Buck. Buck-Buck is going to keep these boys focused. One of the few criticisms I have on Buck-Buck is, I wish he would get tossed more. Yes, I was and always will be an Earl Weaver fan. It’s going to take the leadership of Buck-Buck, Markakis, Jones and Hardy. If the O’ lose another key player – we are not going to be on any roller coaster ride. So you have your choice – The O’s Rollercoaster or the “Love Rollercoaster” – (Ohio Players). Both rides affect the blood pressure and adrenaline levels. I recommend jumping on both. Go O’s!

D.I.Y.

Fedman

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Orioles drop another at Wrigley in rain

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Orioles drop another at Wrigley in rain

Posted on 23 August 2014 by WNST Staff

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 28 July 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: WNBA-Washington Mystics @ New York Mystics (Tuesday 7pm from New York live on WNBA Live Access), Washington Mystics @ Chicago Sky (Sunday 6pm from Chicago live on NBA TV); MLL: Denver Outlaws @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Thursday 7:30pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on CBS Sports Network); Boxing: Brandon Rios vs. Diego Chaves (Saturday 9:45pm from Las Vegas live on HBO)

10. Baltimore Summer Restaurant Week (Friday-Monday throughout Charm City); Shore Leave 36 (Friday-Sunday Marriott Hunt Valley); Mickey Cucchiella (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory), Steve Byrne (Friday-Sunday DC Improv); Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Get On Up” out in theaters (Friday); The Other Woman” and “Noah” available (Tuesday)

I’m REALLY excited about Guardians. But I also wouldn’t mind just watching Chris Pratt in P&R for an entire weekend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YF6jADQ4ozY

9. The Offspring/Bad Religion/Pennywise (Wednesday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion), Jurassic 5 (Friday 7:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); Mad Decent Block Party feat. Sleigh Bells/Diplo (Friday 2pm Merriweather Post Pavilion), Summer Spirit Festival feat. Ms. Lauryn Hill/Janelle Monae/Talib Kweli (Saturday 3pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); James Taylor (Thursday 8pm Jiffy Lube Live), Rascal Flatts/Sheryl Crow (Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live), Mayhem Festival feat. Avenged Sevenfold/Korn/Asking Alexandria (Sunday 1pm Jiffy Lube Live), Nine Inch Nails/Soundgarden (Monday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live); Taking Back Sunday (Friday 8pm Power Plant Live); Umphrey’s McGee (Friday 9pm Rams Head Live), Black Stone Cherry (Sunday 8pm Rams Head Live); Cris Jacobs and Friends (Friday 9pm 8×10 Club), Cara Kelly and the Tall Tale (Saturday 8pm 8×10 Club); Dick Dale (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Keyshia Cole (Sunday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Ashanti (Friday 8pm Howard Theatre); The Disco Biscuits (Thursday & Friday 8pm 9:30 Club); Marc Cohn (Sunday 7:30pm Birchmere); Heart (Tuesday 8pm Wolf Trap); Smash Mouth (Thursday 8pm State Theatre), Ed Kowalczyk (Friday 8pm State Theatre); Eric Clapton & Friends “The Breeze”, Theory of a Deadman “Savages”, Marc Broussard “A Life Worth Living” and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers “Hypnotic Eye” available (Tuesday)

God I miss Jurassic 5.

Mock me all you want-this clip IS MUSIC.

I would go see Soundgarden, but I’d rather see Chris Cornell play on his own.

Listener Joe F turned me on to Cara Kelly. I’m grateful he did.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 21 July 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Geale (Saturday 9:30pm from New York live on HBO); MLL: Chesapeake Bayhawks @ New York Lizards (Sunday 3pm from Hempstead, NY live on CBS Sports Network); WNBA: Connecticut Sun @ Washington Mystics (Wednesday 11:30am from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet/NBA TV), Tulsa Shock @ Washington Mystics (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet/NBA TV), Atlanta Dream @ Washington Mystics (Sunday 4pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet/NBA TV)

10. Finesse Mitchell (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); German Festival (Saturday & Sunday Timonium Fairgrounds); Carroll County Fair (Saturday-Monday Carroll County Agricultural Center); Hercules” and “Lucy” out in theaters (Friday); Transcendence” and “Sabotage” available (Tuesday)

There is not a single damn thing wrong with a good German festival.

The Rock as Hercules is fine and all, but this version of The Rock is obviously still better.

9. Dirty Heads/Pepper (Sunday 7:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); Warped Tour feat. Anberlin/Yellowcard/Less Than Jake (Tuesday 11am Merriweather Post Pavilion), Beck (Thursday 6pm Merriweather Post Pavilion), Neutral Milk Hotel (Friday 6:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion), Phish (Saturday & Sunday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); KISS/Def Leppard (Friday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live), Dave Matthews Band (Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live), Wiz Khalifa/Young Jeezy (Sunday 6pm Jiffy Lube Live); Lionel Richie/Cee-Lo Green (Tuesday 8pm Wolf Trap), Sarah McLachlan (Saturday 8pm Wolf Trap), Darius Rucker (Sunday 7:30pm Wolf Trap); Kelly Bell Band/All Mighty Senators (Friday 8pm 8×10 Club); The Dan Band (Friday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Mint Condition (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Ziggy Marley (Saturday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Jason Aldean/Florida Georgia Line (Friday 8pm Nationals Park), Billy Joel (Saturday 8pm Nationals Park); Believe in Music Festival feat. Thievery Corporation, Jimmy Cliff, Lake Street Dive, The Bridge (Saturday 12pm Oregon Ridge); Anberlin “Lowborn” available (Tuesday)

This Beck is fine and all, but I kinda miss THIS Beck…

Attention Phish fans: Decriminalization does not go into effect until later this year.

Among the Top 25 most played Dave Matthews Band songs of all time, this one doesn’t get enough appreciation.

Support our partners Living Classroom Foundation at Oregon Ridge. Also, Lake Street Dive is WONDERFUL.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Bovada says Bulls favorite to land Towson Catholic alum Anthony

Posted on 27 June 2014 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV).

 

Odds to Win 2014-15 Rookie of the Year

Jabari Parker                             5/1

Andrew Wiggins                        11/2

Julius Randle                            9/1

Nerlens Noel                             9/1

Dante Exum                              10/1

Doug McDermott                      10/1

Elfrid Payton                             10/1

Marcus Smart                            12/1

Nik Stauskas                             12/1

Shabazz Napier                         12/1

Noah Vonleh                             15/1

PJ Hairston                               15/1

Aaron Gordon                           20/1

Adreian Payne                           20/1

Gary Harris                                20/1

Jordan Adams                          25/1

Kyle Anderson                          25/1

TJ Warren                                 25/1

James Young                            33/1

Joel Embiid                              33/1

Mitch McGrary                           33/1

 

Player Props (Note: The rest of the rookie numbers will come out before the regular season starts)

Average Points per game in the 2014-2015 NBA Regular Season – Andrew Wiggins

Over/Under                   14.5

 

Average Points per game in the 2014-2015 NBA Regular Season – Jabari Parker

Over/Under                   15.5

 

Average Rebounds per game in the 2014-2015 NBA Regular Season – Jabari Parker

Over/Under                   7

 

Average Points per game in the 2014-2015 NBA Regular Season – Doug McDermott

Over/Under                   11.5

 

Games played in the 2014-2015 NBA Regular Season – Joel Embiid

Over/Under                   41.5

 

Where will Carmelo Anthony Play his first game of the 2014-2015 NBA Season?

Chicago Bulls                            1/1

New York Knicks                       2/1

Miami Heat                                5/1

Houston Rockets                      11/2

Dallas Mavericks                       10/1

Los Angeles Lakers                   15/1

Atlanta Hawks                           30/1

 

Where will Lebron James Play his first game of the 2014-2015 NBA Season?

Miami Heat                                1/6

Cleveland Cavaliers                   5/1

Los Angeles Clippers                10/1

Houston Rockets                      12/1

Los Angeles Lakers                   12/1

Chicago Bulls                            20/1

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Maryland pitcher Stinnett drafted in second round by Cubs

Posted on 06 June 2014 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md.  University of Maryland right hander Jake Stinnett has been selected in the second round (45th overall) of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Chicago Cubs.

Stinnett is the 15th Terrapin to be drafted over the last four years and is the highest-selected Maryland player since Brett Cecil was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the first round (38th overall pick) of the 2007 draft.

A second team All-ACC selection as a senior, Stinnett has served as Maryland’s Friday night ace throughout the 2014 campaign leading the Terps to their first NCAA Super Regional appearance in program history this weekend against Virginia.

The Vista, Calif., native has compiled a 7-6 record in 15 starts (2.65 ERA), striking out a program-record and ACC-best 130 batters in 112.0 innings this season. Opponents are hitting just .192 against the righty hurler, which ranks third in the ACC.

This season, Stinnett accomplished a feat not seen in the ACC since 2006 winning weekly player of the week honors four times.

Stinnett was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 29th round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft, but chose to remain at Maryland for his senior season.

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Buying high on Samardzija unlikely to bring desired payoff

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Buying high on Samardzija unlikely to bring desired payoff

Posted on 28 May 2014 by Luke Jones

The Orioles need better starting pitching and they need an ace if they truly want to compete for a World Series title.

That cry has been uttered by fans and media alike for the better part of two years — even longer if you prefer going back to the free-agent departure of Mike Mussina after the 2000 season — as the rotation has mostly been comprised of arms with the ability of No. 3, No. 4, and No. 5 starters who have often struggled to pitch deep into games, leaving the bullpen overworked and eventually worn out.

It comes as no surprise to see the reaction to a CBS Chicago report suggesting the Orioles are the “leading team of interest” in Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija, who currently sports a miniscule 1.68 earned run average through his first 11 starts of the 2014 season. That mark is second in the majors despite the 29-year-old being limited to a 1-4 record pitching for the woeful Cubs.

There’s no disputing Samardzija being a talented pitcher as he would be a clear upgrade in the starting rotation, but he’s also expected to be one of the top commodities available on the open market this summer. And that’s why it’s a dangerous proposition to bid on a solid pitcher who’s having a career season if you’re the Orioles or any club hot after his services.

As desperate as the Orioles should be for better starting pitching with their best competitive window closing after the 2015 season when Matt Wieters and Chris Davis are both scheduled to become free agents, Samardzija needs to be viewed for who he really is and not what the Orioles want him to be. The right-hander is off to an unbelievable start, but his 3.90 career ERA and 4.34 ERA pitching in the National League Central only last year suggest he isn’t much more than a solid upgrade and is not someone worth gutting a top-heavy minor-league system to acquire.

In other words, the Orioles wouldn’t be getting a David Price or a Cliff Lee in adding the 6-foot-5 right-hander to the starting rotation. And pitching in the American League East is a different story than the National League.

The Cubs are undoubtedly looking for a king’s ransom in exchange for Samardzija’s services, and there will be plenty of clubs looking to acquire him, which will further drive up the price. Should the Orioles be willing to part with some combination of top pitching prospects Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy, Hunter Harvey, and Eduardo Rodriguez in order to land him?

It’s true that the Orioles have far too often been disappointed in waiting for a slew of top prospects to realize their potential in recent years, but that doesn’t mean executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette should willingly fork over what few minor-league pieces he has for what history suggests is an improvement but not a dynamic difference-maker to put the Orioles over the top. It will ultimately come down to Chicago’s asking price and how many teams are sold on Samardzija’s start in 2014 and the idea of him truly being an ace.

Is Samardzija — who is eligible for free agency after the 2015 season — worth the combination of Rodriguez and 21-year-old second baseman Jonathan Schoop or the package of one of Gausman, Bundy, or Harvey and a lower-level prospect? Perhaps, but if other clubs are willing to exceed that kind of a deal, the Orioles must remember that Samardzija’s 66 career starts prior to 2014 suggest he’s not even as good as Ubaldo Jimenez.

Despite his tiny ERA, Samardzija is averaging 7.7 strikeouts per nine innings in 2014 — actually down from his career average of 8.5 — and a .269 batting average on balls in play against him provides statistical evidence suggesting he won’t sustain his incredible start, which even the layman would predict anyway.

It’s a difficult call as the Orioles appeared to signal during spring training that they’re finally “going for it” after investing $50 million in Jimenez and signing slugger Nelson Cruz to a one-year, $8 million contract. Throwing money at free-agent commodities is one thing, but giving up young and cheap talent in a farm system needing more depth is a dangerous proposition if you’re not overwhelmed with what you’re getting in return.

The Orioles know their best window for competing is closing with Cruz, J.J. Hardy, and Nick Markakis set to become free agents after this season and Davis and Wieters the year after. If there were ever a time for the Orioles to pull the trigger on a blockbuster deal, it’s now, particularly with the AL East looking very average.

But is the Chicago pitcher the right target?

Samardzija would improve the rotation, but whether the Orioles would be so much better with him that Duquette should pony up a couple of his top pitching prospects is open for debate.

And the history before the first two months of 2014 suggests the answer is probably not.

 

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