Up until Saturday, free agents were only able to negotiate with their 2015 clubs, but this morning the market is officially opened up to all teams. Free agents are now free to negotiate and sign with any team.
When David Lough was sent home following the end of Triple-A Norfolk¿s postseason series, he thought his season was over. But after spending a week back home in Akron, Ohio, he received an unexpected call from the Orioles telling him join the major league club Thursday in Washington.
To make room for catcher Steve Clevenger on the big league roster, the Orioles designated outfielder David Lough for assignment Friday ¿ another member of the Opening Day squad, and specifically the outfield - that has been jettisoned during this season.
In Tuesday's series opener at Fenway Park, David Lough capped a four-run second inning with a three-run homer, helping to send the Orioles to a 6-4 win over the Red Sox in front of an announced 36,508.
Buck Showalter was optimistic Adam Jones could return to center field Friday, but after batting practice, the manager made a last-minute change. Jones remained in the lineup, but as the team's designated hitter. David Lough made his fourth straight start in center.
In the Orioles' 18-7 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday afternoon, the Orioles certainly received a much-needed, quality performance from right-hander Bud Norris while Boston's Wade Miley imploded in a six-run third.
In what proved to be one of the strangest nights in Camden Yards¿ 23-year history ¿ a business-as-usual ballgame inside the stadium and a tumultuous environment outside it ¿ the Orioles ultimately broke their five-game losing streak by beating the Boston Red Sox, 5-4, on a walk-off homer by David Lough in the bottom of the 10th inning.
If there is any upside to the departure of long-time right fielder Nick Markakis, it is that the opening in the outfield has turned manager Buck Showalter loose on another versatility quest this spring. On any given day, just about anybody might show up at either of the two corner outfield positions.
¿One day after Orioles reserves orchestrated a late-inning rally that fell just short, they again came back late and this time beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-2, for the club's first Grapefruit League win of the spring on Thursday afternoon at Charlotte Sports Park.
The Orioles will play their first split-squad games of spring training Thursday when they travel to Port Charlotte to face the Tampa Bay Rays at 1:05 p.m. and then play host to the Toronto Blue Jays at Ed Smith Stadium at 7:05 p.m.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter can break down a position to its most esoteric aspects and then put it back together in terms anyone can understand, which is what he did Monday when the talk turned to filling the club's unexpected opening in right field.
Duquette said the Orioles were "fairly close a couple times" to re-signing Markakis, a homegrown player who has spent his entire nine-year major league career in Baltimore, but the club had a "concern that made the terms an issue for us."
Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez said he was somewhat surprised that he was added to the Orioles' American League Division Series roster, but he thought he might have a chance after the way he had pitched down the stretch.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said before Thursday's game that he faced some difficult choices in selecting the team's American League Division Series roster, but he said the decision to add right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez gives his 11-man pitching staff a dynamic that he likes.