By Dan Connolly
The Baltimore Sun
8:46 PM EST, December 16, 2013
The Orioles made a significant attempt to bring Gavin Floyd home to Baltimore, according to an industry source, but the free-agent right-hander decided on a lesser, shorter deal with the Atlanta Braves in order to re-enter the open market again next winter.
The 30-year-old Floyd, who grew up in Severna Park and played high school baseball at Mount St. Joseph, signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Braves on Monday that, according to ESPN.com, includes an additional $4.5 million in potential incentives and bonuses.
The deal allows Floyd, a 10-year veteran coming off elbow ligament surgery last May, to be a free agent at the end of 2014.
According to the industry source, the Orioles were highly interested in Floyd and offered a two-year deal that could have been worth as much as $20 million with incentives, but were turned down. The Orioles did not want Floyd on a one-year deal because he is not expected to be ready to pitch until May, and the club coveted his services for more than one season.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter and scout Dean Albany, who managed Floyd as an amateur, met with the pitcher during the winter meetings last week in Orlando. Floyd now lives in Clearwater, Fla., but still has family in Severna Park.
Baltimore is typically not a destination for pitchers seeking one-year, make-good deals because of Camden Yards’ reputation as a hitters’ park and the club’s alignment in the offensive-heavy American League East. The Orioles were hoping that scenario would be different with Floyd, given his ties to the area.
Unlike another Mount St. Joseph grad who was once courted by the Orioles and went elsewhere -- New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira -- Floyd had always contended that he grew up as an Orioles fan and dreamed of pitching at Camden Yards.
When he signed his $180 million deal with the Yankees in December 2008, Teixeira said he had been a Yankees/Don Mattingly fan while growing up in Baltimore – rankling Orioles fans who continue to boo Teixeira whenever he plays at Camden Yards.
The Philadelphia Phillies selected Floyd with the fourth pick overall in the 2001 amateur draft – one spot ahead of Teixeira. In 199 major league games, Floyd is 70-70 with a 4.48 ERA. He was 0-4 with a 5.18 ERA in five starts last year before his season-ending injury. His best year was in 2008, when he was 17-8 with a 3.84 ERA for the Chicago White Sox.
In other Orioles news, the club signed former Washington Nationals prospect Chris Marrero to a minor league deal with a spring training invitation.
Marrero, 25, is a right-handed hitting first baseman who batted .232 with a .256 on-base percentage and .272 slugging percentage in 133 major league plate appearances with the Nationals in 2011 and 2013.
A former first round pick -- 15thoverall in 2006 -- Marrero was once highly regarded in the Nationals system, but struggled in limited action to carry his minor league success to the majors.
Marrero is a career .282 minor league hitter with a .350 on-base percentage in eight seasons. Last year, he batted .270 with 11 homers and 59 RBIs in 450 plate appearances with Triple-A Syracuse.
Primarily a first baseman, he has played 127 games in the outfield as a minor leaguer, including 114 in left field.
Baseball America first reported the signing of Marrero. It is expected to be announced by the club later this week.
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