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Orioles notebook: All-Stars had classic experience in Cincinnati

Orioles notebook: All-Stars had classic experience in Cincinnati
Orioles players (l-r) Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Darren O'Day and Zach Britton are honored for their American League All-Star selections before a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Camden Yards on July 12, 2015 in Baltimore. (Mitchell Layton / Getty Images)

Orioles reliever Darren O'Day didn't pitch in Tuesday's All-Star Game, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have an on-field moment worth crowing about.

"I robbed a home run at the wall in batting practice," said O'Day, who said he shagged a would-be homer by Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols. "That was one of my goals."

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O'Day was the only one of the four Orioles All-Stars that did not appear in Tuesday's exhibition. Center fielder Adam Jones started in left, and third baseman Manny Machado and closer Zach Britton each came in as reserves.

"I would have liked to pitch, but it didn't lessen the experience at all," O'Day said. "Just being there and talking to the guys was cool, sitting and watching in the bullpen. … Not too many people in the world can say they did that."

Machado played in his second All-Star Game and had an RBI double. He also appeared in his first Home Run Derby, hitting 12 longballs but losing in the first round to Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson. Machado said if he had to choose, the derby was a bigger thrill.

"It was exciting, got the first one out of the way," Machado said. "Just something I've always dreamed about doing and it became a reality. It was fun. And I had my team there, giving me some salsa [during a hitting break] and participating with me."

All four Orioles All-Stars said what they most enjoyed was interacting with players from around the league, getting to know them as more than just opponents. Britton said that included his interaction with the rival Toronto Blue Jays, with whom the Orioles always seem to be jawing.

"It was funny, talking with the Blue Jays guys, Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin. With everything that kind of went on with them, we're like, 'Hey, we actually get along real well with them,'" Britton said. "It's just funny to see when you put a bunch of baseball players from different organizations in the same room, automatically you just have something in common. But you just get along right away. So that was pretty cool."

Orioles don't sign second-rounder

The amateur-draft signing period ended Friday evening with the club not agreeing to terms with right-hander Jonathan Hughes, their second-rounder — and third pick — in June's draft.

Hughes, who was taken with the 68th overall selection out of Flowery Branch High School in Georgia, decided to enroll at Georgia Tech when the sides failed to reach a financial agreement, Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich said.

"I'm disappointed," Rajsich said. "We liked him. That's why we drafted him. But we wish him well."

Rajsich said the club signed 35 of its 41 picks this year, including 19 of its first 20.

Also not signing was 32nd-round pick Cody Morris, the Fulton resident and ace at Reservoir High who underwent Tommy John elbow reconstruction June 2. He'll honor his commitment to the University of South Carolina.

By not signing Hughes, the Orioles will get a compensatory pick (No. 69) next year. Combine that with a potential Competitive Balance B Pick in the 70s next year and maybe as many as three compensatory picks in the 30s for potentially losing qualifying-offer free agents this offseason, and the Orioles could have up to seven of the top 75 draft picks in 2016.

(The Orioles won't qualify for a Competitive Balance A pick next year because of their increased revenue in 2014, but are among those that will be included in the B lottery.)

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O's sign Eveland and Oliver; Bowden opts out

The Orioles have signed left-handers Dana Eveland and Andy Oliver to minor league deals, and assigned them to Triple-A Norfolk, where they will both pitch out of the bullpen.

Eveland, a 31-year-old who pitched 14 games (two starts) for the Orioles in 2012, posted a 5.40 ERA in 10 relief appearances (3 1/3 innings) with the Atlanta Braves this season. He was released by the Braves earlier this month. Eveland also went 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA in 25 innings over 17 relief appearances at Triple-A in the Atlanta and Boston Red Sox organizations this year.

"Eveland has pitched internationally and has made the transition from starter to left-handed relief specialist with good results," executive vice president Dan Duquette said.

Oliver, 27, last pitched in the majors in 2010 and 2011 with the Detroit Tigers. A former second-round pick, Oliver was 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 25 appearances with Triple-A Durham in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. Oliver opted out of his minor league deal with the Rays earlier this month.

Also, pitcher Michael Bowden, who was at Triple-A Norfolk, has opted out of his minor league deal and is a free agent. Bowden, 28, was 7-2 with a 1.91 ERA in 24 games (nine starts) with the Tides. He pitched 103 games in the majors from 2008-13.

Because of Bowden's departure and an injury to Oliver Drake, the Tides bullpen needed reinforcements.

"I know Dana has done well since he has been in the bullpen," Showalter said. "We have familiarity with him and I know we've always liked Oliver. We've always had good reports on him from his Tigers days. I know we talked about him one time in a trade."

Around the horn

Friday marked the first time the Orioles and Tigers have faced each other since the clubs met in the 2014 American League Division Series. … Showalter has not announced his starting pitcher for Wednesday in New York. Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will pitch Tuesday's opener there. On Wednesday, it's expected to be right-hander Kevin Gausman or possibly right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez with Gausman pitching Thursday. … Right-hander Hunter Harvey (forearm strain) is continuing his throwing program, Showalter said, but there is no set time for him to return to a game. … Low-A Delmarva third baseman Jomar Reyes (sprained thumb) is expected to begin a rehabilitation assignment Monday. He has been out since mid-June.

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