Despite Friday's announcement that the Orioles declined right fielder Nick Markakis' option for next season, discussions to keep team's longest-tenured player in an Orioles uniform on a multiyear deal are progressing.
Major league owners will convene in Baltimore next week for their quarterly meeting, and they are expected to elect a new commissioner to replace Bud Selig, who will retire in January after presiding over the sport in both an interim and permanent capacity for more than 22 years.
As they try to rebound from a 5-4 walk-off loss to the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum, the Orioles will face right-hander Jason Hammel ¿ Baltimore's Opening Day starter in 2013 ¿ for the first time this season.
Caleb Joseph now can admit there were several times during those late-night bus rides through the Eastern League when he considered calling it quits on his lifelong dream of making it to the major leagues. He felt stuck in Double-A, a minor league proving ground for some and a glass ceiling for others, watching younger teammates each year as he grew older.
While growing up in San Diego, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones idolized Tony Gwynn as a player, then later gained greater admiration for him after getting to know the Padres Hall of Famer as a person.
Before Monday's game, the Orioles purchased the contract of right-hander Josh Stinson from Triple-A Norfolk to bolster a bullpen that was depleted after right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez's short outing Sunday against the Oakland Athletics.
Catcher Caleb Joseph started again Wednesday, his fourth start in the Orioles' last five games. This time, Joseph started against a right-hander after making his previous three starts against left-handers.
After a 3-3 week that saw them split a two-game series on the road with the Pittsburgh Pirates and a four-game series at Camden Yards with the Cleveland Indians, the Orioles have tumbled down national power rankings.
The Orioles clawed their way back from the hole dug by Chris Tillman -- thanks in part to rookie Jonathan Schoop's first multihomer game -- and catcher Nick Hundley, in his first game with the club, quickly went from goat to hero in a 7-6 victory in 10 innings.
Right-handed reliever Brad Brach had been in the majors for parts of three seasons with the San Diego Padres, but he admits he might have had some jitters when he made his Orioles debut on May 3, allowing three runs and getting just four outs against Minnesota.
27-year-old Brad Brach recorded a strong spring while competing for a bullpen spot, allowing two runs over 8 1/3 relief innings on six hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. Six of Brach¿s seven spring outings -- including a perfect inning on Tuesday afternoon against the Twins in Fort Myers -- were scoreless.
Just less than three months shy of his 41st birthday, free-agent pitcher Brett Tomko is hoping for one last chance to get back to the big leagues. Tomko will throw for the Orioles on Friday morning in Orange County, Calif.
The Orioles season opener March 31 against the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox will be broadcast on ESPN2 at part of the network's Opening Day coverage. The game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start at Camden Yards.
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.
When Orioles season-ticket holders receive their renewal packages in the mail over the next few days, they will find slightly higher average ticket prices and an expanded version of the variable-pricing plan that the club has used for single-game ticket sales over the past seven years.
The Orioles have received permission to interview several external candidates who are currently committed to other organizations, according to industry sources, and one of the more high profile names will meet with club officials Wednesday.