As this year's winter meetings came to a close Thursday, the Orioles left the Manchester Grand Hyatt with only a couple Rule 5 draft picks as new additions. But Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette's message to fans Thursday was clear: We'll be OK.
Outfielder Nick Markakis, who had been the longest tenured member of the Orioles before signing a free-agent deal with the Atlanta Braves last week, has taken out a two-page advertisement in Wednesday's Baltimore Sun to thank fans, the city and the organization for his nine seasons with the club.
With the sudden loss of three major pieces from a team that won the Orioles' first division title in 17 years and advanced to the American League Championship Series, manager Buck Showalter realizes he has work to do to duplicate this past season's success.
We sports fans let our emotions get the best of us and ignore the well-known realities of professional sports. The players that we deify are all too human. And the teams we love — the Orioles and the Ravens — are businesses that make decisions with a singular goal: profit for their owners.
The Orioles will have much more work to do at next week's Winter Meetings in San Diego than they did at the beginning of this week, one that saw the club lose three key pieces of its 2014 playoff team.
Andrew Miller reached an agreement on a four-year, $36-million deal with the New York Yankees on Friday, capping a week in which the Orioles also lost free-agent outfielders Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz.
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."
Local sports fans already had taken a pair of body blows earlier this week with the departures of two Orioles stars. Now, they have to try and make sense of something that makes absolutely no sense at all.
Orioles fans still are undoubtedly reeling this morning from Wednesday's news that the team's longest-tenured player, right fielder Nick Markakis, is leaving Baltimore after agreeing to terms on a four-year, $44 million deal with the Atlanta Braves.
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.
The Orioles added four players to their 40-man roster last week and are expected to sign infielder Rey Navarro to a major league contract this week, putting their suddenly crowded 40-man at 38 players.
Among several meetings Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette had on Wednesday at the general manager meetings in Phoenix was one with the agent for longest-tenured Oriole and current free-agent Nick Markakis.
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette appeared on MLB Network's "High Heat" with Christopher Russo on Wednesday afternoon from the general managers' meetings in Phoenix and addressed the club's hopes to retain free agents Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz.
Orioles center fielder Adam Jones saw the culmination his second charitable project with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore in as many years on Saturday, but Jones said he¿s just getting started with his philanthropic work with the organization.
No one should be surprised that center fielder Adam Jones, shortstop J.J. Hardy and right fielder Nick Markakis were honored with Rawlings Gold Glove Awards for their defensive excellence during the 2014 season. They all contributed mightily to the strong team defense that helped the Orioles win the American League East title and advance to the American League Championship Series.
Defense has been a key component to the Orioles' resurgence in the last three seasons, and on Tuesday they had three players selected as American League Gold Glove Award winners for the third straight year.
Three Orioles players are finalists for American League Gold Glove Awards, which are scheduled to be announced Tuesday night at 7 p.m. on ESPN2, and they all have a good shot at winning. Here's a closer look at the club's three finalists, including a case for why each player will or won't win the award.
The Orioles didn't fall short of the World Series by much this year, and the obvious case can be made that the return of some key players will make them a stronger team in 2015. But this is no time to take the pedal off the metal.