Tag Archive | "Orioles"

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Orioles running out of time, excuses while waiting on Davis

Posted on 13 January 2016 by Luke Jones

The Orioles never expected to keep Wei-Yin Chen.

Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that the starting pitcher was overrated or wasn’t worth the five-year, $80 million contract — opt-out clause and vesting option included — he was awarded by the Miami Marlins on Tuesday. The Taiwanese lefty isn’t a bona fide ace, but the Orioles were more than happy having him in the top half of their rotation over the last four years and the price was in line with what others of similar age and value have fetched on the open market.

Entering the offseason, you knew that Chen was replaceable, but not easily replaceable for an organization lacking quality arms in the minor leagues. You can either pay for quality arms or develop them, but being in between is a dangerous place.

As the curtain fell on the 2015 season, Dan Duquette said he wanted to acquire a starting pitcher for the front half of the rotation — to presumably replace Chen — but he’s yet to address the Achilles heel of the 2015 team unless you consider yourself the president of the Vance Worley fan club. Spring training is a month away, and the available free-agent options are dwindling with Yovani Gallardo, Mat Latos, Ian Kennedy, and Doug Fister topping the list.

Signing Gallardo or Kennedy would require the Orioles to forfeit their first-round pick, which should be a deterrent for an organization needing to rebuild its farm system. Neither provides the kind of upside you’d like to have before surrendering a draft choice.

The Orioles always figured they would have to depend on bounce-back seasons from Chris Tillman and Miguel Gonzalez as well as a big step forward from Kevin Gausman to contend in 2016, but the No. 5 spot in the rotation remains wide open while the rest of the group — which also includes the enigmatic Ubaldo Jimenez — already faces questions.

That’s less than ideal if you’re trying to compete.

Shortly after the news broke about Chen, outfielder Gerardo Parra agreed to a three-year, $27.5 million contract with the Colorado Rockies. Again, the departure wasn’t surprising as the 2015 trade deadline acquisition was a flop in his two months with Baltimore, but the Orioles still have a gaping hole in right field — and that’s with left field already being occupied by the difficult-to-project newcomer Hyun Soo Kim.

With Colorado now having a surplus of outfielders that includes two-time All-Star Carlos Gonzalez, the reports of the Orioles engaging in trade discussions with the Rockies have resurfaced, but they’ve been down this road before. Short of trading Gausman and opening another hole in a thin rotation, what exactly does Duquette have to offer for Gonzalez — whose career is trending in a concerning direction — or one of the other Colorado outfielders who have benefited from hitting at Coors Field?

Meanwhile, All-Star outfielders Justin Upton and Yoenis Cespedes are jumping up and down in the free-agent corner, waiting for someone — anyone — to notice them.

Alas, the Orioles seem content waiting on first baseman Chris Davis, even though they said more than a month ago that they’d pulled their offer. Owner Peter Angelos is willing to give Davis $150 million over seven years, but that money doesn’t appear to be in play for anyone else — even options that could be more desirable in the long run — or won’t be until it’s likely too late. You can’t tell people you’ve moved on if you’re not truly willing to pony up comparable funds for other high-quality players.

It’s easy to understand the allure of the home run and that Davis has become a fan favorite over the last few seasons, but when did he become Mike Trout or Cal Ripken? Why will Angelos give lucrative money to a player who two years ago hit .196 and was suspended 25 games for testing positive for Adderall but not to a younger and steadier player like Upton, who also addresses a clear need?

The 28-year-old Upton may have never developed into the superstar many anticipated, but he is also less likely to turn into present-day Ryan Howard over the course of a long-term contract.

Signing next-tier players such as the combination of outfielder Alex Gordon and starting pitcher Scott Kazmir would have been cheaper in the long run and, arguably, more valuable than Davis in the short term, but the Orioles continue to play the waiting game with agent Scott Boras. They’ve allowed the slugging first baseman to take their offseason hostage while other commodities gradually disappear from the free-agent market.

How much longer can they afford to wait if they have real interest in competing in 2016?

The willingness to offer Davis nine figures — an amount some already feel is a bad investment — and to wait out the entire offseason to do so makes it all the more baffling why the Orioles weren’t willing to give Nelson Cruz a fourth year on a more reasonable contract last winter.

And what will the excuse be if they don’t land Davis and other viable options are gone? The Orioles stood on the returns of Davis, Matt Wieters, and Manny Machado as reasons why they’d be able to overcome last year’s free-agent exodus, but there is no such crutch this time around.

They can say they tried, but attempting to sign a high-priced free agent and actually doing it are different things entirely. Continuously underestimating market prices and complaining about opt-out clauses don’t make you any better on the field.

Despite Wieters’ acceptance of the $15.8 million qualifying offer — a development that shouldn’t cripple a club’s long-term plan — the Orioles made some solid moves early in the offseason in trading for first baseman/designated hitter Mark Trumbo, re-signing All-Star reliever Darren O’Day, and taking a two-year, $7 million flier on Kim. But the offseason has come to a screeching halt since then with major holes still needing to be addressed.

Baltimore continues to wait on Davis as if he were the Holy Grail, the only direction they can possibly go this offseason.

But a month after saying they’ve moved on, the Orioles appear stuck on plan A and have apparently forgotten what comes next in the alphabet.

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Orioles free agents Chen, Parra find new teams

Posted on 12 January 2016 by Luke Jones

After months of waiting, the Orioles have finally lost their first free agents of the offseason.

Though his departure was always expected, starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen agreed to a five-year, $80 million contract with Miami, according to multiple reports. Represented by Scott Boras, the Taiwanese lefty will have an opt-out clause after two years and a vesting sixth-year option worth an additional $16 million.

Outfielder Gerardo Parra also agreed to a three-year deal, $27.5 million deal with the Colorado Rockies, per MLB Network.

The loss of Chen is clearly the more damaging blow after the 30-year-old served as the steadiest member of the Baltimore starting rotation over the last four years. Originally signed to a three-year contract with a club option prior to the 2012 season, Chen went 46-32 with a 3.72 ERA over 117 starts while earning a total of $15.466 million, less than the average annual value of his new contract with the Marlins.

Though the Orioles saw their starter ERA fall to 14th in the American League at 4.53, Chen remained the bright spot in 2015 as he posted a career-best 3.34 ERA in 191 1/3 innings. Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette never expressed optimism at the prospects of re-signing Chen, but he did say at the start of the offseason that he wanted to acquire a starter for the top half of the rotation, something he has yet to accomplish with spring training roughly a month away.

Because they made Chen a qualifying offer at the beginning of the offseason, the Orioles will receive a compensatory pick at the conclusion of the first round of June’s amateur draft.

The Orioles currently have a starting rotation consisting of Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman, Miguel Gonzalez, and Ubaldo Jimenez with the fifth spot appearing wide open. Veteran newcomer Vance Worley, Mike Wright, and Tyler Wilson would appear to be the top candidates for the No. 5 job if no additions are made.

Acquired from Milwaukee at last July’s trade deadline in exchange for minor-league pitcher Zach Davies, Parra was a disappointment in his two months with the Orioles, batting just .237 with five home runs, 20 RBIs, and a .625 on-base plus slugging percentage and struggling in the field. The 28-year-old was worth -1.1 wins above replacement with the Orioles, according to Baseball Reference.

With the Parra signing, the Rockies immediately appeared to have a surplus of outfielders and the Orioles have been linked to two-time All-Star Carlos Gonzalez in past trade talks. However, a limited farm system would appear to make a high-impact trade a difficult chore.

According to FOX Sports, the Orioles were having “ongoing trade talks” with the Rockies immediately after news of the Parra signing broke.

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MASN Money For Dummies (Part 2): Understanding MASN, Orioles history and big money for Chris Davis

Posted on 07 January 2016 by Nestor Aparicio

“When we bought this team we paid $173 million for it and we owe approximately $75 or $80 million on it. In other words, we put up about $90 million in cash and the rest of it was mortgaged – like you get a mortgage on a business or a home or property you might own. We have to pay roughly $9 or $10 million a year in principal and interest on this franchise. And that hasn’t stopped us from being one of the top-spending clubs in the American League or for that matter Major League Baseball. The reason we are is because, basically, it’s the support of the fans that come to see the Orioles. Now in a way, it’s self-perpetuating. If you give the fans, particularly Orioles fans, a winning team, a team that’s competitive you’re going to get supported completely. I believe in that. Along with that ballpark that’s the gem of all ballparks, I believe that if we put a potential winner on that field every year, which is what we intend to do, we will be successful. And eventually we’ll make some money, and also we’ll pay off the mortgage which is also an important proposition.”

Peter G. Angelos

The Barn

March 1997

 

 

SOMETIMES, THE MISINFORMATION AND PROPAGANDA that Peter G. Angelos and his minions at the Baltimore Orioles spin regarding money, affordability and profit seems inconceivable to anyone who has been paying attention for almost a quarter of a century and doing the math.

It’s been a generation of mostly awful baseball and an extremely poor commitment to a winning product on the field for the fans of the Orioles.

Meanwhile, it’s been an absolute goldmine of riches for the Angelos family.

The results, the actions, the promises, the facts, the lies – it all speaks for itself.

The team’s record on the field since 1994 is 1665-1829. That’s four playoff appearances in 22 seasons. The team spent the first decade of the century finishing more than 20 games out of first place in the AL East race every season – and more than 30 games back in five of those 10.

Peter G. Angelos contributed $29 million toward the purchase of the Baltimore Orioles in the summer of 1993. Now, almost 23 years later, the empire has totaled up nearly $3 billion in total value – recent earnings totaling nearly $1 billion plus the current value of the properties.

But it’s almost like following the Donald Trump campaign with a fact checker. For many with a clear view, the “truths” are self-evident. But in the local media, no amount of promises or lies is ever held to accountability. The sports journalism done here is softer than the bottom of the current Orioles 2016 rotation – or maybe even the batting order, for that matter.

In this six-part series, “MASN Money For Dummies,” I’m here to fact check for Orioles and Nationals fans. This is Chapter 2 outlining the history of the local television network and its purpose and links to creating revenue for the local baseball franchises.

Chapter 1 outlines the goal of the series and is available here.

Last month at the team’s Fan Fest, former 50-home run king and current high-ranking Orioles executive Brady Anderson continued to spread the fallacy through the local media that the franchise is a “small to mid-market” team.

That is – very simply – a lie. It’s a myth from another era.

All of the numbers and profits will bear that out.

And if you judge the history of spending, winning, litigating and profiteering – it’s very clear the owner isn’t sincerely committed to winning and competing with other Major League Baseball teams for the best talent available and putting the best players possible into an Orioles uniform each spring.

And why should Angelos spend money or raise the payroll when the real money arrives via the MASN television network long before any commitment to winning is necessary?

In the old days, MLB teams needed to sell tickets and put asses in the seats to make money. Winning and having star players doing it was the formula to making money – or at least the prayer of turning an annual profit on a baseball team.

Angelos is now making between $75 and $100 million in profit per year with the current system of a low baseball payroll for the Orioles and a quiet, widely misunderstood cable television annuity that last year grossed MASN – and Angelos currently owns 83% of that entity – over $200 million from your living room according to SNL Kagan.

It guarantees this to be – by far – the most profitable investment in local sports franchise history.

I’ve done the math. Per Forbes, the Orioles made $197 million in profit between 2005 and 2014. The Angelos portion of MASN has made $397 million in profit since 2009. There was another undocumented chunk between 2005 and 2008 that was at least $100 million in total profit plus the $75 million in cash that MLB gifted him in two payments at the start of the deal.

His initial $29 million personal investment in the Orioles during the summer of …

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Orioles reportedly agree to deal with Korean outfielder Kim

Posted on 16 December 2015 by Luke Jones

After repeatedly stating their desire to add left-handed outfield help for the 2016 season, the Orioles have reportedly agreed to a two-year contract with Korean outfielder Hyun-soo Kim.

According to multiple outlets, Baltimore will pay Kim a total of $7 million over two years to make the jump from the Korean Baseball Organization to the majors, pending a physical.

The 27-year-old Kim has been praised for his ability to make contact and get on base, two attributes the Orioles have wanted to improve for a club that finished 81-81 in 2015. This past season, he hit .326 with 28 home runs, 128 RBIs, and a .438 on-base percentage in 141 games in the KBO.

After spending nine seasons with the Doosan Bears, Kim was finally eligible for free agency and had reportedly drawn interest from several major league clubs. Of course, questions will remain over how his ability will translate to the majors, but the impressive performance of Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang this past season creates reason for optimism.

Kim would most likely project to be a left fielder in the majors and is considered to be a solid but unspectacular defensive player.

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Next steps all that matter after Orioles pull Davis offer

Posted on 12 December 2015 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Amid the praise being heaped upon the Orioles for offering free-agent Chris Davis a reported $150 million deal, Matt Wieters made the truest statement of all at Saturday’s FanFest.

Asked if the pursuit of the slugging first baseman was a message to future free agents that the organization will spend the necessary money to keep great players, Wieters was complimentary of Davis’ talents and of Baltimore as a place to play while stating the truth about any offseason activity.

“Ultimately, you’ve got to get it done,” Wieter said, “and you’ve got to be able to sign the final contract to say you’ve gone out there and spent that money.”

Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette confirmed Saturday that the Orioles had pulled their offer to the 29-year-old who led the major leagues in home runs in both 2013 and 2015.

It’s become apparent that the Orioles aren’t willing to wait around. Whether that means talks will resume with agent Scott Boras remains to be seen, but Duquette made it clear that the organization is exploring alternatives, particularly in the outfield after Mark Trumbo was acquired earlier this month as a viable option to play first base.

The door may not be locked shut for Davis to return, but it appears that Boras may need to use the doorbell to regain the Orioles’ attention if no other club makes a higher offer in the coming days and weeks.

“I’m not exactly sure where that’s going to end up,” Duquette said. “We’ve been very aggressive on that front and that didn’t yield a deal. At some point, we’re going to have to look at some other options. I can tell you this, we’re going to have a good ball club, either way.”

Determining that they’ve reached their spending limit with the first baseman is fine, but walking away from the negotiating table without any alternative already in place feels like a risky proposition. Asked during a fan forum on Saturday whether the $150 million allocated by owner Peter Angelos for a Davis deal is available for other free-agent targets, Duquette said that it was, but the money may not all be spent this winter.

And this is where the Orioles must prove themselves to be serious about doing what it takes to improve their club for 2016 and beyond. To praise the fact that they tried to re-sign Davis is well and good, but it’s meaningless if Duquette and the Orioles do not make any other high-impact acquisitions in the aftermath of Boras and Davis passing on their offer.

If Davis is ultimately deemed too expensive, the organization can’t then say the likes of Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, and Scott Kazmir are too costly as well. Otherwise, it’s just the same old unwillingness to spend for premium talent on the open market after allowing the likes of Davis, Nelson Cruz, and Andrew Miller to depart in recent offseasons.

Did the Orioles make a fair offer to Davis? Yes, but Boras is notorious for waiting as long as he can for the best deal. Duquette had to know this was a distinct possibility and has no excuse not to be prepared.

If the Orioles want to be praised for offering $150 million to Davis, they will turn his rejection into other high-impact additions to help their cause for 2016.

Anything less will make the Davis pursuit feel like it was all for show before ultimately throwing up their hands and saying, “Hey, at least we tried.”

Talking about spending money is one thing.

Actually doing it is another, especially when there are plenty of attractive options remaining on the market not named Chris Davis.

They’ve got to get it done.

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Orioles should only close door on Davis with real alternative in place

Posted on 09 December 2015 by Luke Jones

The Orioles need to make improvements for the 2016 season.

Contrary to popular belief, they don’t need to re-sign slugger Chris Davis in order to accomplish that.

Of course, it’s exciting to know that the organization has made a reported seven-year, $150 million offer, which would obliterate the previous franchise-record contract of $85.5 million awarded to Adam Jones in 2012. And keeping Davis would make life easier for manager Buck Showalter and the Orioles in trying to compete in the American League East in 2016 and beyond.

But it’s not the only means of building a winner. Re-signing Davis alone isn’t enough as the Orioles finished only 81-81 with him clubbing 47 home runs. They would still have needs in the starting rotation and outfield to address.

Let’s also not forget a 96-66 mark that netted a division championship came during Davis’ worst season in Baltimore.

It isn’t all about home runs as the Orioles have had the major league leader in each of the last three seasons and have just one playoff appearance over that time to show for it. The point is there are numerous ways to construct a winner if you’re willing to put in the work and spend wisely.

According to CBSSports.com, Davis is seeking an eight-year, $200 million contract, which has drawn the ire of many fans believing he’s not worth such lucrative money. It’s an uncomfortable reminder that the market alone dictates what a player is ultimately worth, and as of late Wednesday night, no other club was known to have a better offer on the table, which was good news for the Orioles.

Neither Davis nor the Orioles should take the negotiations personally.

Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette shouldn’t bid against himself, but super agent Scott Boras knows it’s barely mid-December and the market has been slower to develop for premier position players than top-shelf starting pitchers. It’s well within the interest of his client to wait if he’s looking for the best possible deal — Boras has done this countless times over the years — but the Orioles have no obligation to be the ones on standby for an extended time while alternatives dissipate and Davis continues to seek a more attractive offer.

They just can’t be surprised by this.

Yes, this is where it gets tricky for the Orioles. This is where fans can judge whether the organization is really deserving of praise for their efforts to re-sign the hulking first baseman.

Duquette and Showalter continue to point to the possibility of moving on from Davis if a deal isn’t struck sooner rather than later. It’s sound negotiating, but only if they have a real alternative ready to agree to a contract on the spot. And, no, that doesn’t mean a cheap deal with former Pittsburgh Pirate Pedro Alvarez before making a few other bargain-basement signings and calling it a winter.

The only reason the Orioles should walk away from Davis at this point is if they already have a high-impact agreement with someone like Justin Upton or Alex Gordon or Scott Kazmir or — better yet — with more than one of those names. Otherwise, the act of “closing the door” on Davis while merely talking about alternatives is not only a hollow tactic that burns a bridge, but it wouldn’t help negotiations with other free agents who would then know Davis is no longer an option.

Worst of all, it could become an empty promise to an anxious fan base. Understanding how Boras operates, the Orioles had to know this was a distinct possibility, making cynics doubt their true intentions if they’re to swiftly walk away from negotiations without something else significant already in place.

It means nothing for the Orioles to say they gave it the “old college try” to keep Davis if it’s followed by a return to the operating procedure we witnessed last offseason. A special $150 million investment from owner Peter Angelos allocated for Davis and no one else would make little sense with there being countless other ways — perhaps better ones — to augment the club with that kind of money.

In truth, it may not be wise to give Davis $150 million, let alone to consider offering him an amount even closer to what he wants. Just ask the folks in Philadelphia how the Ryan Howard deal has worked out, and he was a former league MVP who had twice led the majors in home runs. And then there’s that matter of trying to sign Manny Machado to a long-term contract in the not-too-distant future, something that will take even more money to do.

The current scenario with Davis would have been preposterous a year ago with him coming off a season in which he hit .196 and was suspended 25 games for Adderall use. But here the sides are with the Orioles saying they’re willing to give the biggest contract in club history if Davis wants to sign it.

Most fans are applauding the club’s effort, but it won’t mean a thing unless the Orioles succeed in either getting it done or walking away because they’ve made another high-impact move instead. To hastily cut off negotiations without a substantial plan B firmly in place would be questionable strategy and will only lead fans to wonder if they were ever fully serious about signing Davis considering Boras’ normal tactics of waiting it out for other clubs to jump into the mix.

Make no mistake, it’s good to see the Orioles pursuing a high-priced free agent. If a deal gets done, it’s a significant step for an organization with a long track record of being unwilling to spend big dollars. If the Orioles don’t sign Davis, they should be judged based on what happens after that — not praised simply because they tried to keep him.

One can only hope it’s not an all-or-nothing proposition that’s more for show than anything else.

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Orioles reportedly agree to four-year deal with O’Day

Posted on 06 December 2015 by Luke Jones

After watching him serve as the backbone of the bullpen over the last four years, the Orioles couldn’t afford to let Darren O’Day get away.

According to CBS Sports, Baltimore has agreed to a four-year, $31 million contract with the right-handed relief pitcher. The race for the 33-year-old’s services was believed to be down to Baltimore and Washington, but the Orioles’ willingness to offer a fourth year and his familiarity with the organization appeared to be the difference. O’Day’s wife, Elizabeth Prann, is also a TV reporter based out of Washington, further reinforcing his preference to remain in the area.

However, O’Day himself made it clear on Sunday afternoon that the deal has not been finalized as he still needs to take a physical, something that isn’t always a formality given the Orioles’ history with free agents.

O’Day has been the leader of a bullpen that’s been a major factor in the Orioles’ resurgence over the last four seasons. Averaging just over 68 appearances per year since his first season in Baltimore in 2012, O’Day has pitched to a 1.92 ERA and 0.939 WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched) in 263 innings with the Orioles.

Manager Buck Showalter has received much credit for his handling of O’Day with the right-hander appearing in 68 games in three straight seasons and pitching no more than 68 2/3 innings. Though his age creates some cause for concern, O’Day has steadily decreased his ERA every season since joining the Orioles and has improved his strikeout rate in each of the last two years.

A four-year contract for a non-closer reliever is a rarity, but O’Day has been worth 9.7 wins above replacement over the last four seasons, which helps to justify a long-term investment. He has also been considered one of the strongest leaders in a clubhouse that lost veterans Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz last season.

Named to his first All-Star team in 2015, O’Day posted a career-best 1.52 ERA and averaged an impressive 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings pitched in 65 1/3 innings this past season. The submariner also collected a career-high six saves, four coming while filling in for an ailing Zach Britton in September.

While questions about the starting rotation, first base, and the outfield remain, the Orioles have now solidified a superb bullpen that features O’Day, Britton, Brad Brach, and Mychal Givens.

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Orioles tender arbitration-eligible players, acquire catcher

Posted on 02 December 2015 by Luke Jones

Dan Duquette had a busy Wednesday, and that’s not even counting finalizing the acquisition of slugger Mark Trumbo and relief pitcher C.J. Riefenhauser from Seattle in exchange for catcher Steve Clevenger.

The Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations also acquired catcher Francisco Pena from Kansas City for cash considerations. The 26-year-old batted .251 with 13 home runs and 48 RBIs in 95 games with Triple-A Omaha this past season and appeared in nine major league games for the Royals over the last two years.

To make room for Pena on the 40-man roster, the Orioles designated infielder Paul Janish for assignment. The slick-fielding 33-year-old hit .286 in 14 games with Baltimore this past season.

The biggest event of the day was the deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players, and the Orioles did exactly that with infielders Manny Machado and Ryan Flaherty, right-handed pitchers Brad Brach, Miguel Gonzalez, and Chris Tillman, lefties Brian Matusz and Zach Britton, and Trumbo. Baltimore agreed to one-year contracts with outfielder Nolan Reimold and right-hander Vance Worley to avoid arbitration with both.

The club and tendered players will exchange salary figures in January with arbitration hearings then scheduled for February. In most cases, the parties settle terms before ever going to arbitration.

The Orioles did not tender a contract to outfielder David Lough, making him a free agent. Last season, the 29-year-old was designated for assignment and outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk before having his contract selected in late September, but a .201 average in 84 games made him expendable.

Janish and right-handed pitcher Steve Johnson were also non-tendered after both had been designated for assignment earlier in the day.

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Orioles acquire Trumbo from Seattle for Clevenger

Posted on 01 December 2015 by Luke Jones

After three-time All-Star catcher Matt Wieters accepted their $15.8 million qualifying offer last month to remain in Baltimore, the Orioles have made their second-biggest move so far this offseason.

Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has acquired first baseman and outfielder Mark Trumbo from Seattle in exchange for backup catcher Steve Clevenger. The Mariners also included left-handed relief pitcher C.J. Riefenhauser in the deal.

With 2015 home run king Chris Davis now a free agent and the Orioles also looking to upgrade both corner outfield spots as well as at designated hitter, Trumbo provides another home-run hitting option to add to the mix. After averaging just under 32 homers per year with the Los Angeles Angels from 2011-2013, Trumbo battled injuries with Arizona in 2014 and hit .262 with 22 homers, 64 RBIs, and a .759 on-base plus slugging percentage in 545 plate appearances split between the Diamondbacks and Seattle this past season.

Trumbo’s best asset is his power, but the 29-year-old owns a career .300 on-base percentage and doesn’t walk as much as you’d like from a power hitter who strikes out frequently. The right-handed hitter has averaged 161 strikeouts and only 42 walks per 162 games in his career.

A solid defensive first baseman and a below-average corner outfielder, Trumbo would best be served to split time between the DH spot and first base if you’re trying to optimize your team defense.

Trumbo is projected to make roughly $9 million in arbitration for the 2016 season.

Riefenhauser, 25, went 4-2 with a 2.86 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 29 games with Triple-A Durham in 2015 and has a 2.77 ERA over 191 career minor league games. In 24 career games in the majors, Riefenhauser has gone 1-0 with a 6.30 ERA in 20 innings of work.

Out of options next season and stuck behind Matt Wieters and Caleb Joseph, Clevenger figured to have a difficult job making the Orioles’ 25-man roster this spring. The 29-year-old Pigtown native hit .287 with two homers, 15 RBIs, and a .740 OPS in 105 plate appearances for Baltimore last season.

In isolation, the Orioles are receiving good value in exchange for a backup catcher, but Trumbo should not be viewed as the centerpiece acquisition of the winter and certainly can’t be seen as a straight-up replacement for Davis unless significant upgrades were to be made elsewhere in an effort to improve an 81-81 club. Several reports indicate the Orioles aren’t backing down on their efforts to re-sign Davis, but that is still considered a tall order with the 29-year-old first baseman expected to fetch a nine-figure multiyear contract this winter.

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Orioles reacquire outfielder L.J. Hoes from Houston

Posted on 25 November 2015 by Luke Jones

Two years after sending outfielder L.J. Hoes to Houston as part of the trade for pitcher Bud Norris, the Orioles have reacquired their former prospect for cash considerations.

To make room on the 40-man roster, Baltimore designated infielder Andy Wilkins for assignment on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old Hoes batted .295 with 24 doubles, three triples, three home runs, and 53 RBIs in 99 games with Triple-A Fresno last season. He only received 16 plate appearances for the Astros in 2015 after 317 plate appearances for Houston over the previous two seasons.

After originally being selected by the Orioles in the third round of the 2008 draft, Hoes was traded along with pitching prospect Josh Hader and a draft pick to the Astros in exchange for Norris on July 31, 2013. Norris won 15 games as part of the Orioles’ American League East championship club in 2014 before struggling mightily and eventually being released this past season.

Having played 112 career games in the majors, Hoes has hit .237 with 12 doubles, two triples, four homers, and 22 RBIs in 337 plate appearances. Over 777 career minor-league games, the right-handed hitter has a .288 average with 29 home runs and a .369 on-base percentage over eight seasons.

The 27-year-old Wilkins had been claimed off waivers by the Orioles from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 6.

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