On the same day that the Orioles expected Dexter Fowler ¿ a 29-year-old who was projected to become the team's starting right fielder and leadoff hitter ¿ to arrive in Sarasota, he was instead in Arizona finalizing a contract with the Cubs.
It was widely reported that Fowler had agreed to terms on a three-year, $33 million deal with the Orioles pending a club physical ¿ news that was confirmed to The Baltimore Sun by a high-level industry source. But on Thursday, Fowler signed a one-year deal to remain with the Chicago Cubs.
It's pretty clear that the Yovani Gallardo deal has not fallen through, at least not yet. Club officials are still evaluating the results of his diagnostic testing and determining whether to go through with the original deal, attempt to renegotiate it to alter the risk/reward equation or just pull out completely.
There are important moves to be made and the lingering uncertainty of the Chris Davis situation seems — to a certain extent — to be holding the Orioles hostage as baseball front offices prepare to reopen after the holidays. No one in a position of authority is going to come right out and say that, of course. Dan Duquette said Saturday that the club is "maintaining a dialogue with the free agents we are interested in."
Though the Orioles still are at least one experienced starting pitcher short of getting back to even this offseason, the fans who crowded into the Baltimore Convention Center for FanFest on Saturday seemed positively inclined toward the front office's early effort. The Orioles have traded for a possible replacement for Chris Davis, retained Matt Wieters and are a few details away from re-signing Darren O'Day. And it was hard to find any fans who were dissatisfied with the level of proactivity
Agent Scott Boras, who represents Chris Davis, held his annual media scrum with reporters at the winter meetings Wednesday afternoon. Boras said he continues to have a dialogue with the Orioles on getting a deal done with Davis. He said he still has meetings scheduled with other teams regarding Davis.
The Orioles have been uncharacteristically active early in the offseason, trading for slugger Mark Trumbo, retaining catcher Matt Wieters on a one-year qualifying offer and nearing a deal with relief pitcher Darren O'Day.
The Orioles have reached out to several teams for possible trades at the winter meetings here in San Diego, but they have not engaged the Atlanta Braves regarding outfielder Justin Upton, executive vice president Dan Duquette said Monday.
The Orioles haven't given up on re-signing right fielder Nick Markakis, or as executive vice president Dan Duquette puts it: "We're still working on it. It's in process for the Orioles." But there's no question now that the competition is on.
We're a week away from pitchers and catchers reporting to the Orioles' spring training camp in Sarasota, Fla. Here's a look at what some of the national media outlets have been writing about the Orioles in the recent days.
The Orioles opened their three-game interleague series in Atlanta with a 4-2 loss to the Braves in front of an announced crowd of 30,384, snapping Baltimore¿s five-game winning streak and falling 1 ½ games behind the division-leading Yankees.