Tag Archive | "Orioles"

Orioles acquire outfielder Snider from Pittsburgh

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Orioles acquire outfielder Snider from Pittsburgh

Posted on 28 January 2015 by WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

The Orioles announced Tuesday that they have acquired outfielder Travis Snider from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for minor league left-handed pitcher Stephen Tarpley and a player to be named later. To make room on the 40-man roster, catcher Michael Ohlman has been designated for assignment.

Snider, 26, hit .264/.338/.438 with 13 home runs and a career-high 38 RBI in 140 games with the Pirates in 2014. He saw action at both left and right field last season. Originally selected in the first round of the 2006 First Year Player Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays, Snider is a career .246/.310/.406 hitter with 50 home runs and 184 RBI in 543 career major league games with the Pirates and Blue Jays.

Tarpley, 21, was 3-5 with a 3.68 ERA (66.0IP, 27ER) in 13 games (12 starts) with Class-A Aberdeen in 2014. Originally selected by the Orioles in the third round of the 2013 First Year Player Draft, he is 3-6 with a 3.31 ERA (87.0IP, 32ER) in 20 games (19 starts) in two minor league seasons.

Ohlman, 24, hit .236/.310/.318 with two home runs and 33 RBI in 113 games with Double-A Bowie in 2014.

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Is Duquette now a lame duck for 2015 season?

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Is Duquette now a lame duck for 2015 season?

Posted on 27 January 2015 by Luke Jones

The story has apparently ended with both sides pretending there’s nothing to see here.

The Toronto Blue Jays announced they’re keeping president and chief executive officer Paul Beeston before he retires at the end of the 2015 season while Dan Duquette remains under contract with the Orioles through 2018. We’re to believe everything is fine after a seven-week saga of rumors, reports, and deafening silence involving both American League East foes.

Blue Jays chairman Edward Rogers broke his silence Monday without addressing why he reportedly pursued Beeston’s replacement without alerting the longtime executive of his intentions. Meanwhile, we’ve yet to hear from Duquette or Orioles owner Peter Angelos since Toronto announced a one-year contract extension for their current president.

“We have been in discussions with Paul about his future with the team since his contract expired in October,” Rogers said in a release. “There were many rumors flying about, but it would have been inappropriate to comment on such matters publicly. Make no mistake — we are elated to have Paul continue to lead the team for this season.”

In the coming days, we’ll hear Duquette state his commitment to the Orioles — perhaps at Saturday’s FanFest in front of thousands of fans — and how he’s dedicated to bringing another winner to Baltimore, but will anyone believe him after weeks of declining comment on the Toronto situation? Yes, Angelos and the Orioles dug their heels in when it came to compensation and won, but you wonder if it still results in a losing outcome with a man in charge who doesn’t have his heart in Baltimore.

Make no mistake, the Blue Jays handled this poorly in not only disrespecting Beeston — a man who became the first employee of the expansion team in 1976 — but also ignoring the decorum of how to pursue another club’s employee, which doesn’t include trying to poach the executive vice president of baseball operations in the middle of an offseason.

Toronto put the Orioles in a terrible spot and expecting compensation was more than understandable, but asking for a package of three top prospects — an absurd return in relation to similar front office transactions in recent years — with the thought that it would prompt the Blue Jays to back off was shortsighted as it relates to Duquette’s future in Baltimore. His contract suggests he’ll remain with the Orioles for the next four seasons, but the events of the last two months make it look like Duquette could be a lame duck for the 2015 season, especially if the Blue Jays come calling again after the season.

Is the 56-year-old really invested in the Orioles after seeing a sparkling promotion dangled in front of him for weeks?

Are the reports of some in the organization preferring that Duquette be allowed to leave simply forgotten?

Have Duquette’s relationships with Angelos, manager Buck Showalter, and other front office members suffered irreparable harm?

Those questions don’t even address how little the Orioles have done this offseason after losing outfielders Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis and top reliever Andrew Miller in free agency. Duquette’s approach hasn’t exactly been a high-profile or aggressive one in his four-year tenure with the club except for the signings of pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez and Cruz during last year’s spring training, but his lack of activity casts doubt as the Orioles try to build on last season’s AL Championship Series appearance.

One of the reasons why the Orioles have experienced three straight winning seasons has been Angelos’ trust in Duquette and Showalter in recent years. With the 85-year-old owner mentioning Duquette’s contract and commitment on more than one occasion over the last two months, you wonder how much Angelos now trusts the man he rescued out of baseball purgatory a few years ago.

Even with the losses suffered this offseason, the Orioles remain serious contenders in the AL East and are led by one of the best managers in baseball.

But it’s difficult not to feel like Duquette has one foot out the door — even if his current title and contract suggests otherwise.

And that’s not a good place to be for a club and a fan base with championship aspirations.

 

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Orioles, starting pitcher Norris reach agreement to avoid arbitration

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Orioles, starting pitcher Norris reach agreement to avoid arbitration

Posted on 26 January 2015 by Luke Jones

The Orioles continued to chip away at their list of pending arbitration cases Monday by agreeing to a one-year contract with starting pitcher Bud Norris.

The right-hander will reportedly make $8.8 million this season after he originally submitted a $10.25 million salary figure and the Orioles countered at $7.5 million. Norris, 29, is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2015 season.

Norris was in line for a substantial raise after a career year that included a 15-8 record with a 3.65 ERA in 28 starts spanning 165 1/3 innings. He pitched 6 1/3 shutout innings in Game 3 of the American League Division Series as the Orioles beat Detroit 1-0 to advance to the AL Championship Series.

Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette will now turn his attention toward pitchers Miguel Gonzalez and Zach Britton and outfielders Steve Pearce and Alejandro De Aza as the club’s only remaining arbitration-eligible players yet to be signed.

The Orioles also officially announced the one-year agreement with infielder Ryan Flaherty reached Sunday night as well as minor-league deals with pitchers Steve Johnson and Dane De La Rosa and outfielder Chris Parmelee. Johnson, De La Rosa, and Parmelee will also receive invitations to major league spring training.

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Flaherty comes to agreement with Orioles

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Flaherty comes to agreement with Orioles

Posted on 26 January 2015 by Luke Jones

The Orioles have come to an agreement on a one-year contract with infielder Ryan Flaherty.

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the sides agreed to a deal worth $1.075 million that includes a $25,000 bonus for reaching 400 plate appearances. The Orioles have five remaining arbitration cases to address: starting pitchers Bud Norris and Miguel Gonzalez, closer Zach Britton, and outfielders Steve Pearce and Alejandro De Aza.

Serving as the primary replacement for Manny Machado after the Gold Glove third baseman suffered a season-ending knee injury in August, Flaherty hit .221 with seven home runs and 32 runs batted in in a career-high 312 plate appearances in 2014. The 28-year-old hit .286 with a home run and four RBIs in the postseason.

When the Orioles and arbitration-eligible players exchanged figures earlier this month, Flaherty was asking for a $1.5 million salary while the organization came back with a $900,000 offer.

Serving as the primary utility infielder over the last couple years, Flaherty played six positions for the Orioles during the 2014 season.

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Toronto reportedly ends pursuit of Duquette

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Toronto reportedly ends pursuit of Duquette

Posted on 25 January 2015 by Luke Jones

Has the Dan Duquette saga finally reached its end?

According to a report from Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca, the Toronto Blue Jays have ended their pursuit of the executive vice president of baseball operations after the Orioles wouldn’t budge on their demand for 2014 first-round pitcher Jeff Hoffman and two other top prospects as compensation in a deal. News first broke of Toronto’s interest in Duquette becoming their chief executive officer and president seven weeks ago, but owner Peter Angelos had repeatedly stated that he expected his top front office man to fulfill his contractual obligation with the Orioles.

There had been conflicting reports in recent days that the sides were moving closer to an agreement, but the Orioles’ demands were quite lucrative in comparison to the modest deals involving executives in recent history. Of course, the organization didn’t take too kindly to a division rival attempting to poach Duquette in the middle of a critical offseason in which the Orioles are attempting to build on their 2014 American League East title.

Duquette remains under contract with the Orioles through the 2018 season, but his silence over the last several weeks made it clear that he was interested in accepting the promotion with the Blue Jays. With the story having stretched out for so long, it’s fair to question if Duquette remaining with the Orioles is really what’s best for the organization at this point if his heart is in another job.

Of course, nothing would appear to be stopping the Blue Jays from re-engaging in talks, at least until we hear from any of the involved parties publicly.

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Ripken issues statement on passing of Hall of Famer Ernie Banks

Posted on 24 January 2015 by WNST Staff

Hall of Fame shortstop and third baseman Cal Ripken issued the following statement Saturday on the death of Hall of Famer Ernie Banks:

“He was Mr. Cub and that spoke to both his play on the field and how beloved he was to the people of Chicago. Ernie was the first to make people view shortstop as a position of power and he was one of the all-time greats but what I will remember is his happiness and his love of the game. He will be missed by baseball fans everywhere.”

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Duquette story moving closer to its conclusion?

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Duquette story moving closer to its conclusion?

Posted on 24 January 2015 by Luke Jones

Opinions and reports vary on the future of Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, but this much has become abundantly clear about the story that’s now seven weeks old.

It needs to end.

There appears to be growing optimism about a deal being consummated with the Toronto Blue Jays that would allow Duquette to become their new president and chief executive officer. But we’ve heard this before and reports in recent days have painted different pictures of how imminent an agreement might be.

Of course, a deal won’t be official until we see Duquette formally introduced as the new boss in Toronto as compensation continues to be the biggest obstacle. According to ESPN, Toronto’s 2014 first-round pick and right-handed pitcher Jeff Hoffman has been discussed and would be a lucrative return in exchange for an executive compared to similar transactions completed in recent years.

But would one top prospect be enough for the Orioles and owner Peter Angelos? And are the Blue Jays willing to part with premium talent simply to hire a front office man, albeit a successful one?

There is some speculation that the Blue Jays could — and should — walk away from Duquette, but you wonder if that would be the best outcome for the Orioles at this point as the 56-year-old’s silence on the situation speaks volumes about his desire to go to Toronto. Trust will undoubtedly be a concern should Duquette remain with the Orioles.

Whatever the outcome, the Orioles would be wise to have a resolution in time for next Saturday’s FanFest in which Duquette has annually participated in fan forums. The saga has been disruptive for an organization trying to build on its 2014 American League East title this offseason, but it would be embarrassing for Duquette’s uncertain future to be out in the open for fans to see — and question.

It isn’t over until it’s over, but the developments of the last few days create hope that this matter will be closed sooner rather than later.

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Orioles reach agreement with pitcher Steve Johnson on minor-league deal

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Orioles reach agreement with pitcher Steve Johnson on minor-league deal

Posted on 22 January 2015 by Luke Jones

The Orioles reached a minor-league agreement with right-handed pitcher Steve Johnson that keeps the Baltimore native home in addition to giving him an invitation to spring training.

The 27-year-old had surgery in September to remove a bone spur from his shoulder that limited him to just 13 appearances at Triple-A Norfolk during the 2014 season. The St. Paul’s product also had four combined appearances for Single-A Aberdeen and the Gulf Coast Orioles as he worked his way back from shoulder problems.

Johnson went 0-3 with a 6.23 ERA in 47 2/3 innings that included 40 strikeouts and 38 walks in 2014 as he did not appear in the major leagues after separate stints with the Orioles in 2012 and 2013.

He appeared on the verge of gaining a bullpen role for the Orioles in 2013 before injuries caught up to him the last two years. Not blessed with overwhelming stuff, Johnson hides the ball well in his delivery, leading to more strikeouts than you’d expect. However, he’s had control problems at various times throughout his career.

In 21 career major league appearances including five starts, Johnson owns a 5-1 record with a 3.67 ERA in 54 innings. He’s struck out 66 while walking 31.

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Orioles spring training tickets on sale Saturday

Posted on 21 January 2015 by WNST Staff

Individual tickets for all 16 of the Orioles’ spring training games at Ed Smith Stadium will go on sale this Saturday, January 24 at 10:00 a.m. It is recommended that fans purchase tickets online or by phone.

Fans interested in season tickets, five-game flex-plans, or group tickets, or those wishing to receive additional spring training ticket information may call the Orioles spring training office at 941-893-6300.

Spring training tickets for Orioles home games at Ed Smith Stadium may be purchased in the following ways:

INTERNET: Tickets can be purchased at the Orioles’ official website, www.orioles.com/spring.

PHONE: Individual game tickets can be purchased by phone by calling 877-222-2802. Season, five-game flex-plans, group tickets, suites, and other specialty areas are available by calling 941-893-6300.

AT THE PARK: Individual game tickets can be purchased in person at Ed Smith Stadium in the Left Field Ticket Office, located at 12th Street and Tuttle Avenue. The box office will be open on January 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and will then be open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., from January 26 until February 13. From February 16 to April 3, the box office will be open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Parking is available in the East Lot, located on 12th Street and Tuttle Avenue.

TRAVEL PACKAGE: The Orioles are offering the official Spring Training Travel Package that includes hotel accommodations, rental car, game tickets, an exclusive pregame brunch with select Orioles team personnel, and a custom Orioles Spring Training merchandise package. For more information or to order travel packages, fans should visit www.orioles.com/springtravel or call 1-800-892-7687.

The Orioles will play their first of 16 home spring training games in 2015 at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota on Wednesday, March 4 at 1:05 p.m. against the Detroit Tigers. 2015 marks the sixth consecutive spring training for the Orioles in Sarasota, and the fifth in the renovated ballpark.

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Duquette’s silence on status remains deafening for Orioles

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Duquette’s silence on status remains deafening for Orioles

Posted on 19 January 2015 by Luke Jones

It just wouldn’t be a new week without another tidbit or two on the uncertain future of Dan Duquette in Baltimore.

Despite last week’s comments from Orioles owner Peter Angelos stating a transaction won’t take place, the Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations continues to be pursued by the Toronto Blue Jays, who are apparently receiving assistance in their efforts, according to a FOX Sports report:

 

There are a couple different ways to look at this latest development. Baseball could simply be trying to facilitate a deal in hopes of preserving the industry courtesy — but hardly a rule — of allowing an executive to accept a promotion elsewhere. One way or the other, a resolution is in order to remedy what appears to be an unhealthy situation in the Orioles’ front office, and maybe new commissioner Rob Manfred sees that like virtually anyone else.

The other more cynical view would be to wonder why MLB feels compelled to get involved in one team’s pursuit of an executive who still has four years remaining on his contract with his current club. On the heels of the 2016 All-Star Game being awarded to San Diego instead of Baltimore, baseball attempting to get involved in the Duquette saga makes some wonder if this is the latest example of fallout from the ongoing MASN dispute.

An update from FOX Sports later on Monday suggested the league isn’t actively involved in discussing any terms of a potential deal and is unlikely to force Angelos to release Duquette from his contract.

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the league’s involvement has left other clubs confused as well:

 

As has been the case since early December, Duquette continues to add to the uncertainty as he declined to address the situation when reached by The Sun on Monday. His silence is deafening as it relates to his true intentions as he would have shot down the rumors of wanting to leave the Orioles weeks ago if they weren’t true.

“At this point, there really is nothing to say on the issue,” Duquette told The Sun. “I don’t have a comment on the issue you want to talk about.

“I will talk about it when the time is appropriate.”

When that time comes is anyone’s guess, but this stalemate can’t be considered healthy for a club that’s failed to make a significant offseason acquisition with less than a month remaining until the start of spring training.

Wanting an executive to honor his contract or at least demanding proper compensation from the Blue Jays is understandable, but continuing on much longer with a man entrusted to run the organization who isn’t committed to the job is a recipe for significant trouble.

At what point does it stop being about what’s best for the Orioles and simply become a matter of winning the fight?

Or has it already gotten to that point?

 

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