Tag:Orioles
Posted on: January 20, 2012 6:30 pm
 

Report: A's interested in Manny Ramirez

Manny Ramirez

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Billy Beane's Home for Wayward Designated Hitters may have found its next resident. The A's are "very interested" in bringing in Manny Ramirez, ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com reports.

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Ramirez, 39, will have to serve a 50-game suspension at the beginning of the season, but then would be free to DH for whatever team will have him. According ot the report, the Orioles and Blue Jays watched Ramirez at a batting cage and liked what they saw.

Last season Hideki Matsui was the celebrity guest star in the A's lineup, but the team has decided not to bring him back.

Ramirez had one hit in 17 plate appearances in five games for the Rays before he was suspended for 100 games for his second positive drug test and subsequently retired. Ramirez applied for reinstatement in December. His suspension was reduced to 50 games after missing the entire 2011 season.

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Posted on: January 13, 2012 12:40 pm
 

Cespedes says 6 teams showing 'a lot' of interest

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes told Dominican reporter Dionisio Soldevilia (via Twitter) that the Marlins, Cubs, White Sox, Orioles, Tigers and Indians have "a lot of interest" in signing him.

Cespedes made his Dominican Winter League debut on Thursday night, going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and was hit by a pitch for Aguilas. Cespedes served as the team's DH and batted fifth in the team's 6-4 loss. Aguilas plays again Friday night.

It was Cespedes' first competitive game since last April when he played in Cuba's Serie Nacional. While the performance couldn't help Cespedes' bargaining power, it shouldn't hurt it too much. It is, as they say, a small sample size.

H/T Hardball Talk.

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Posted on: January 12, 2012 1:39 pm
 

Interminable Prince-to-Nationals rumors live on



By Matt Snyder


If it's starting to feel like an inevitability that top remaining free agent Prince Fielder will end up with the Washington Nationals, that's because nearly all of the chatter is focused on a Nats-Prince marriage. The funny thing is, some of the local beat writers continue to report that the Nationals won't bid on Fielder -- along with a big caveat.

Take Wednesday's report from MLB.com's Nationals beat writer Bill Ladson. The first line of the report says "there is a '99 percent' chance that the Nationals will not sign" Fielder. Of course, it later says the Nationals aren't willing to "give Fielder anything close" to the contract that the Angels gave Pujols.

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Step back and think about it for a second, though. The teams most connected to Fielder at this point are the Nationals, Mariners, Rangers and Orioles. The Blue Jays have been mentioned and Wednesday ESPN.com's Buster Olney even said the Dodgers "should" try to ink Fielder. The one thing we know about all of those teams is that -- while some of them could afford to do so -- they aren't willing to pay Pujols money for Fielder. If we can gather anything from the reports of the past six weeks, it's that Fielder isn't going to get a mega-deal.

So it's easy to say the Nationals won't sign Fielder "at his current asking price," but that doesn't mean they won't sign him. In fact, as Nationals Journal reported Thursday morning, Fielder's agent Scott Boras met with Nationals owners Ted and Mark Lerner Wednesday night.

It's going to be interesting to see what happens with the robust slugger, who will sign before spring training begins (MLB.com) -- just don't start counting teams out when you see a caveat like "at his current price." Asking prices fall. Just ask Ryan Madson -- another Boras client, by the way -- and the Cincinnati Reds.

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Posted on: January 11, 2012 1:37 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 12:40 pm
 

Luke Scott signs with Rays

By Matt Snyder

Free agent Luke Scott has agreed to sign a one-year contract with an option for 2013 with the Tampa Bay Rays, the club announced Thursday. The deal will pay Scott $5 million in '12 and the option for '13 is worth $6 million with a $1 million buyout.

Scott, 33, played in just 64 games last season as he was battling a torn labrum in his shoulder. He's undergone surgery to fix the issue and should be ready to go come spring training. If he's not, this deal won't happen, as it is still pending a physical.

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Scott was actually a pretty underrated power hitter prior to injury. In 2010, he hit .284/.368/.535 -- good for a 144 OPS-plus -- with 27 homers, 72 RBI and 29 doubles in just 131 games in 2010. He hit 75 total home runs from 2008-10 for the Orioles after going to Baltimore in the Miguel Tejada trade.

Where Scott fits on the Rays remains to be seen. He can play left field, first base or serve as the designated hitter. The Rays are set in the outfield with Desmond Jennings, B.J. Upton and Matt Joyce, but still appear to have possible holes at first and DH. Scott can fill either of those voids, with DH being much more likely.

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Posted on: January 9, 2012 12:46 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 2:49 pm
 

Orioles agree to sign Wei-Ying Chen

By Matt Snyder

The Orioles have reached a three-year agreement to sign Taiwanese left-handed pitcher Wei-Ying Chen. The deal is for three years and $11.338 million.

Chen gets a $250,000 signing bonus and salaries of $3,072,000 this year, $3,572,000 in 2013 and $4,072,000 in 2014. The Orioles have a $4.75 million option for 2015 with a $372,000 buyout.

He is 26 years old and Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette says Chen has "exceptional command" with a 92 to 94 mph fastball and a hard breaking ball as his "out pitch."

Chen went 8-10 with a 2.68 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 94 strikeouts in 164 2/3 innings pitched last season for the Chunichi Dragons. In his career, he's 36-30 with a 2.48 ERA and 1.06 WHIP.

Here's a video with Chen in action.



As far as how Chen fits in the Orioles' starting rotation, it's a tough call. The O's have Jeremy Guthrie, Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter and Brian Matusz coming back. They've also signed Tsuyoshi Wada this offseason and there's even been talk of Jim Johnson moving into the rotation. The guess is he doesn't, but it's still awfully crowded in terms of possible starters.

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Posted on: January 7, 2012 4:13 pm
 

Report: Orioles, Jays to look at Manny Ramirez

By Matt Snyder

Could Manny Ramirez be headed back to the AL East? According to a report from ESPN Deportes (via Hardball Talk), the controversial slugger will soon hit in a batting cage for scouts from the Blue Jays and Orioles in Miami. He will be having a workout later this month for any interested clubs, so this might be a sign the Jays and O's are more serious than others.

Ramirez will have to serve a 50-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance last season -- before he retired it was set to be 100 games, but since he sat out basically all of last season it's been reduced to 50 -- before hitting the diamond.

Also, Ramirez isn't exactly young. He'll turn 40 before his 50-game suspension is completed.

When he's motivated and not suspended, Ramirez can probably still hit the ball. He was one of the best right-handed hitters of all-time for a long stretch. His career line of .312/.411/.585 with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBI would certainly be a lock to get him into the Hall of Fame had he not tested positive for PEDs twice.

He does have a history of "Manny Being Manny," well, everywhere, but one of his best moments of tomfoolery came in Camden Yards. See below.



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Posted on: January 6, 2012 1:25 pm
 

Reports: Markakis underwent abdominal surgery

By Matt Snyder

Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis had surgery Thursday to repair a muscle tear in his abdomen, according to multiple reports from the Baltimore area (MASNsports.com).

Markakis is reportedly "confident" he'll be in the Orioles opening-day lineup April 6, and it's worth noting that Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman missed six weeks last season after having the same procedure. Six weeks from right now is February 17, which gives Markakis another seven weeks until opening day, assuming he heals similarly to how Zimmerman did. Thus, he certainly should be ready to go when the season begins, barring serious setbacks.

Markakis, 28, hit .284/.351/.406 with 15 homers, 73 RBI, 72 runs and 12 steals last season for the Orioles, also winning a Gold Glove. He currently figures to sit in the middle of the Orioles lineup along with Adam Jones. If Markakis somehow did suffer a big setback and was forced to open the season on the disabled list -- which really seems like a longshot -- newly-signed Endy Chavez could open the season as the right fielder with Nolan Reimold playing left.

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Posted on: December 30, 2011 4:00 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2011 4:02 pm
 

Andruw Jones agrees to deal with Yankees

Andruw JonesBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Andruw Jones is coming back to the Bronx, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $2 million and up to $1.4 more with incentives, with the Yankees, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman reports. The deal is pending a physical.

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Jones hit .247/.356/.495 with 13 home runs and 33 RBI as the team's fourth outfielder in 2011, his first with the Yankees.

Jones impressed the Yankees both on and off the field, accepting his role as a reserve and excelling. The Red Sox and Orioles, among other teams, were interested in Jones, according to Heyman.

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