Opening Day starter Chris Tillman, in his go-home start Wednesday before returning to Baltimore to begin the Orioles' season on Monday, finally turned in the type of start that reflects the kind of stuff he says he's had all spring. It came in a 2-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers that halted the Orioles' six-game unbeaten streak, on a night when the offense was uncharacteristically quiet. But all that matters to Tillman and anyone else in white Wednesday was getting this close to the end of spring
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.
Signing Chris Davis to the largest deal in club history won't complete the Orioles' offseason to-do list. They are still seeking to upgrade their rotation and solidify their corner-outfield situation, despite rapidly dissolving markets in both areas.
Orioles fans would love to live in a world where their team was willing to spend a guaranteed $230 million for Chris Davis and Wei-Yin Chen on top of $15.8 million next season for Matt Wieters and a record $31 million deal for setup man Darren O'Day. That would certainly show they are committed to fielding a competitive team after last year's .500 finish. What it would not have done, however, was make the Orioles a better team than they were last year.
According to an industry source, roughly $150 million was earmarked for Davis only. And, with his rejection of that seven-year offer last week, the Orioles are highly unlikely to entertain any deals with a $100-million value or more for the remainder of the offseason. That seemingly takes the Orioles out of consideration for outfielders Justin Upton, Alex Gordon and Yoenis Cespedes, all of whom were predicted by Mlbtraderumors.com to receive at least $100 million deals at the outset of free
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.
Chris Davis has mentioned how much last year's early season oblique injury affected him throughout a disappointing 2014. Though he came into this season healthy, the residual effects of that injury lingered in the early parts of this season, Davis said. Now, that's a thing of the past.
As Friday¿s 4 p.m. nonwaiver trade deadline looms, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette is still attempting to improve the club¿s 25-man roster by adding an outfielder with on-base skills and potentially another pitcher. According to sources in and outside the organization, every indication is that Duquette will make at least one deal by Friday afternoon ¿ though it is not expected to be a blockbuster.
According to sources, dialogue continues between the Orioles and the San Diego Padres. The Padres need to move some outfielders, and left-handed hitters Seth Smith and Will Venable are drawing the most interest from the Orioles.
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.
Uncertainty still exists about Dan Duquette's future in Baltimore as he remains the subject of reports that he is a top candidate to take a higher level position with the division rival Toronto Blue Jays.
The talk about the Orioles' interest in Diamondbacks outfielder Jason Kubel is again gaining steam, and Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette will always inquire about a power bat like Kubel, who hit 30 homers last season and averaged 25 homers his past four full seasons.
The Orioles have shown interest in young slugging outfielder Justin Upton, whom the Arizona Diamondbacks appear willing to move, but like most of the Orioles¿ trade discussions this offseason, the organization seems very unwilling to consummate a deal that would include any of its top young talent.
The Orioles' first-half statistics aren't pretty, but they hold one statistical trump card. The only one that really, truly matters right now: .529. That's the fifth best winning percentage in the American League.
Dylan Bundy¿s stock is rising, and he knows it. Last week the Orioles¿ first-round pick was named the "Baseball America" High School Player of the Year and "USA Today" National Player of the Year. Add those honors to Bundy¿s Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year award, and he is just the fifth player since 1994 to sweep the trio of awards.