With all due respect to Dan Duquette and his willingness to look for talent in every corner of the baseball universe, it's time to get real. The deadline for free agents to accept qualifying offers from their original clubs arrived Friday and Orioles fans can only hope it removes the last obstacle standing in the way of the team embarking aggressively on its offseason rebuilding project.
Standing at his locker Friday afternoon after learning he had won the Most Valuable Oriole Award for the second time in three seasons, Orioles slugger Chris Davis admitted that he wanted the honor badly, given the uncertainty of his future with the organization. Davis has said repeatedly that he wants to return to the Orioles for the right deal. But according to one industry source, there's been no tangible negotiations between the club, Davis and his agent, Scott Boras, in that time.
When the dust settled following Friday afternoon's nonwaiver trade deadline, the Orioles had filled their most glaring need by dealing for an established, hot-hitting outfielder while dealing away one of the core members of their bullpen in a separate move. On Friday morning, the Orioles acquired 28-year-old outfielder Gerardo Parra from the Milwaukee Brewers for minor league pitcher Zach Davies. Then, at the 4 p.m. deadline, the Orioles sent right-handed reliever Tommy Hunter to the Chicago
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.
Buck Showalter has been frustrated by the ambiguity of baseball's new replay review system, so when a call was overturned against the Orioles in the seventh inning of the club's 8-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday afternoon, the manager wanted some answers.
When Ubaldo Jimenez walked off the mound in the fourth inning in the nightcap of the Orioles' split doubleheader Saturday night, a split of their twin bill against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park seemed unlikely.
Despite two rain delays and an uneven but effective performance by starter Chris Tillman, the Orioles had a chance against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night. But they turned in their weakest offensive performance of the season in a 1-0 loss.
While there have been some international hiccups during executive vice president Dan Duquette's time in Baltimore, there's no question that the overall impact of the Orioles' recent effort to expand their global reach has been positive.
The possibility of the Orioles opening spring training with Tommy Hunter as the team's closer is becoming more real by the day. Once the team dealt 50-save closer Jim Johnson to Oakland, the club saw Hunter as a fallback option. But now he's turning into much more of a possibility.
A pitcher who could have possibly replaced Jim Johnson as the Orioles' closer came off the board on Thursday when the Boston Red Sox signed former St. Louis Cardinals reliever Edward Mujica to a two-year, $9.5-million deal.
Leading by two runs in the seventh, the Orioles bullpen allowed the Red Sox to tie it and then Tommy Hunter gave up a go-ahead bloop single to Mike Carp in the bottom of the eight as Boston rallied for a 4-3 win.
Two years ago Tuesday, Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis received a set of phone calls in a Toronto hotel room: They were traded from the pennant-chasing Texas Rangers to the last-place Orioles in a move that would help alter the course of a franchise and their careers.
The Orioles made what could be considered a classic trade deadline move Tuesday, dealing promising prospect Nick Delmonico to the Milwaukee Brewers for right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez, a piece that could be critical to a postseason run.
The prodigious power has always been there for Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis. Now with a more patient approach at the plate, he is making the baseball world aware of it on a nightly basis.
Chris Davis' astonishing start to this season hasn't occurred by accident. Through 12 games, he's putting up numbers that are only fit for video games. But it's the result of the 27-year-old Orioles first baseman realizing that he can truly get more with less.