As Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette sat in his office at the Ed Smith Stadium complex on a sunny afternoon earlier this month, overlooking a well-manicured cloverleaf of fields, a bitter winter seemed like an eternity ago in more ways than one.
The Orioles' decision to play hardball and renew the contract of Manny Machado at $519,000 after such a tremendous first full season is not without precedent. In fact, it¿s not even a particularly new concept.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado has agreed to a $519,000 contract renewal for 2014 -- slightly above this year¿s league minimum of $500,000 -- but the 21-year-old is somewhat disappointed with the figure.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado began running through first base and landing on the bag last week. Base running is one of the final drills Machado has to perform before he can be fully cleared and return to games.
The Orioles roughed up right-hander A.J. Burnett ¿ one of the team¿s top offseason free-agent targets ¿ for six runs on seven hits over three innings on their way to a 14-3 Grapefruit League win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
The way Orioles manager Buck Showalter sees it, the addition of Nelson Cruz not only gives the club a middle-of-the-order power bat, but it will also give him the flexibility to keep other players healthy over the course of a 162-game season.
The Orioles continued their spring training spending spree on Tuesday, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal with free-agent outfielder Nelson Cruz, according to an industry source. The deal, which is pending a physical, is worth $8 million with $750,000 in incentives.
If the reports turn out to be true that the Orioles have agreed to terms with outfielder Nelson Cruz on a one-year, $8 million deal -- and that appears to be the case -- there's no question that he will add some more punch to an explosive offensive lineup. He'll also come with baggage.
Right-handed pitcher Alfredo Aceves left Orioles camp following Friday's workout so he could travel back to Mexico to obtain his work visa. Right-hander Liam Hendriks, who was designated for assignment by the Orioles to make 40-man roster space, was claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays.
While fans are waiting for the high-profile signing that Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette has promised, Jones said he'll leave the negotiating to the club's front office for now while he prepares for spring training to start this month.