The front office delivered a three-month storm of spending that vaulted the Orioles from 17th in the league in payroll in 2015 to a projected 11th at $142 million in 2016. And to pay for the spending, the Orioles raised ticket prices across the board. Big contracts often create big expectations and pressure to win.
When the Orioles traveled to Havana in 1999 to play a goodwill game against a team of Cuban All-Stars, it had been nearly 40 years since a major league team had set foot in the tiny island nation. Little did anyone suspect at the time that it would be another 17 years before another big league team would do the same, but the Tampa Bay Rays will arrive in Cuba this week to play the Cuban national team against a much different geopolitical backdrop.
A bill to combine the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore is gathering support, but not everyone backs a provision that could put one president in charge of the two institutions.
At the end of last season, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones made it clear that he wanted to meet with the team's managing partner, Peter G. Angelos, to emphasize how important it would be to retain the club's key free agents during the offseason. "You see the result of that," Jones said Wednesday as he held court with reporters following the Orioles' first full-squad workout of the spring. Since Jones met with Angelos, the Orioles have committed nearly $285 million through free agency.
No one can say the Orioles haven't made an unprecedented effort to field a contending team for 2016, but the competitive future of the franchise figures to hang in the balance whether Dan Duquette completes deals for veteran pitcher Yovani Gallardo and outfielder Dexter Fowler or ends up holding tight to the large number of top-100 picks the club has amassed.
Speaking on a local sports talk radio show Tuesday night, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said he¿s pleased with the team¿s offseason moves to retain Chris Davis, Darren O¿Day and Matt Wieters, but admitted he was among those expecting to see those free agents head elsewhere.
The Orioles managed to bring back Matt Wieters, Darren O'Day and Chris Davis, three of the six players who were in a position to leave for a possibly more lucrative contract with another team. The price tag was staggering — $207.8 million — and that number figures to rise before the club is through upgrading the pitching staff.
Fans thought the Orioles shouldn't hesitate to open their checkbooks to keep their fan favorite in Baltimore long-term. And while it took time — like most big-money deals do — the Orioles finally completed their seven-year, $161 million deal with Davis on Thursday afternoon.
Keeping Chris Davis certainly is a huge step in the right direction, but they are not a measurably better team than they were last season and won't be unless they can find a way to upgrade the starting rotation.
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
The Orioles aren't likely to win the bidding war that is sure to develop for Chris Davis, and the only hope of them doing so is if agent Scott Boras can convince Peter Angelos that Davis is so valuable to the team that the Orioles can't afford not to sign him to a contract far outside the normal economic parameters that govern their payroll.
Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette sought to quiet concerns among the fan base that the coming free-agent exodus would eviscerate the team, but couldn't say for sure that they would be able to prevent that.
The Center Club, the members-only business and dining club, is opening a new sports pub in its otherwise formal space, paid for by Orioles owner Peter Angelos and part of a movement by such institutions to attract younger members.
Fannie Angelos, who became an attorney at a time when female lawyers were a rarity and was committed to expanding the ranks of women and minorities in the field, died April 9 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore due to complications from myelodysplastic syndrome. She was 88.
If the new relationship between the United States and Cuba allows for an ongoing relationship between Major League Baseball and the baseball-crazy island nation, the Orioles should be the team that breaks the ice. They earned it.
Here's a brief recap to catch you up on how the storyline involving Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and the Toronto Blue Jays has evolved since the winter meetings last month.
The simmering controversy - and the appearance of both conflict of interest and organizational dysfunction that has come with it - is the last thing the Orioles needed coming off their most successful season in 17 years.