As baseball is swept up in the Shohei Otani sweepstakes, there are less expensive players in Japan and South Korea who could be fits for the Orioles, including Miles Mikolas, Ah-seop Son and Yang Hyeon-jong.
Now that the Orioles have agreed to terms with right-hander Yovani Gallardo on a three-year, $35 million deal, giving them the established starting pitcher they needed this offseason, it's just a matter of a few details before we see Gallardo in orange and black.
With the player they called their priority, slugging first baseman Chris Davis, now officially locked up, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said the team is still in the market to bolster a pitching staff that many blame for the step backwards in 2015.
Orioles fans would love to live in a world where their team was willing to spend a guaranteed $230 million for Chris Davis and Wei-Yin Chen on top of $15.8 million next season for Matt Wieters and a record $31 million deal for setup man Darren O'Day. That would certainly show they are committed to fielding a competitive team after last year's .500 finish. What it would not have done, however, was make the Orioles a better team than they were last year.
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
Agent Scott Boras, who represents Chris Davis, held his annual media scrum with reporters at the winter meetings Wednesday afternoon. Boras said he continues to have a dialogue with the Orioles on getting a deal done with Davis. He said he still has meetings scheduled with other teams regarding Davis.
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.
The Orioles will find out by 5 p.m. today whether three of their free agents ¿ left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, first baseman Chris Davis and catcher Matt Wieters ¿ will accept or decline the qualifying offers made to them last week.
As of 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning, free agents could begin signing with clubs besides the ones they played for in 2015. That means the Orioles' six free agents — Wei-Yin Chen, Chris Davis, Gerardo Parra, Steve Pearce, Darren O'Day and Matt Wieters — can all begin testing their free-agent value elsewhere. Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette has said the club will have the resources to add players via free agency.
The Orioles have until Friday night at midnight to make Wieters a qualifying offer, and while they are leaning towards doing so, according to club sources, the Orioles brass is still discussing it in the Warehouse.
On Monday, Orioles manager Buck Showalter and executive vice president Dan Duquette laughed at the idea that there was "intense friction" between them or that they were at all concerned about their futures. Both are signed through 2018 and are one season removed from winning the top national awards
After homering in both games of Saturday¿s doubleheader, Orioles third baseman Manny Machado has now homered in four straight games, hitting five homers in that span to increase his career-high total to 35.
Last season, the Orioles rotation posted a remarkable 2.98 ERA after the All-Star break, emerging as the biggest strength down the stretch as the club won its first division title in 17 years. But as the Orioles failed to meet high expectations this season, the dramatic decline of the team's starting pitchers might be the biggest disappointment in 2015.
Second baseman Jonathan Schoop's right hand was still swollen Friday, one day after he was hit with a pitch in the first inning of Thursday's 6-4 win over Toronto. But Schoop is still hoping that he can get back in the starting lineup.
An Orioles team muddling below .500 with just 20 games left in the regular season -- still six games back of the second American League wild-card spot -- took two of three from a Royals team with the best record in the AL this weekend at Camden Yards.