November 23rd, 2014 at 8:00 AM
By Josh Michael
It's Sunday, and that means it's time once again for another edition of Orioles101 Mailbag and this week the focus continued to center around Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis as well as potential O's targets in free agency.
As we always do, we want to remind you that if we receive multiple questions on the same topic, we answer them with one general answer as opposed to answering each one and repeating ourselves.
Is it time to hit the panic button as Orioles fan regarding the O's re-signing Nick Markakis?
We have stated all offseason that we firmly believe the Orioles and Markakis will get a deal done and we still believe that. It is not time for Orioles fans to hit the panic button. First off, the we have not heard anything regarding Markakis that he is anywhere close to a deal with another team and that is a good thing. Secondly, Orioles fans should be happy that Dan Duquette and the Orioles are negotiating with Markakis and not just giving him any deal he wishes. Keeping Markakis is a priority, but Baltimore is also going to do what it best for the organization as a whole, thus re-signing Markakis to a fair deal is extremely important in regards to payroll flexibility.Read more... Join the Conversation...
November 22nd, 2014 at 8:00 AM
By Josh Michael
Over this past week we reached out to our followers via social media and asked which Baltimore Orioles prospect they would most like us to interview. The results of that impromptu question were plenty, but the overwhelmingly most asked for prospect was catcher Chance Sisco.
Sisco is one of the fastest rising prospects in the Orioles system right now and it is easy to see why.
The 2013 second round draft choice has been outstanding at the plate through his year and a half of professional baseball. Sisco hit .363 with one home run, four doubles, one triple, 11 RBI and drew 18 walks in 33 total games in 2013 after being drafted by the O's that summer. In 2014 he showed that his performance in 2013 was no fluke. Sisco played the entire 2014 season with the Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds as a 19 year old and all he did was win the South Atlantic League batting title. He hit .340 with five home runs, 27 doubles, two triples, 63 RBI, scored 56 runs and boasted a .406 on base percentage.
It is easy to see why Baseball Prospectus' Tucker Blair told us that "Sisco is the best position player in the Orioles' system."Read more... Join the Conversation...
November 21st, 2014 at 11:03 AM
By Josh Michael
The Baltimore Orioles' acquisition of LHP Andrew Miller at the MLB Trade Deadline was one of the best in baseball in 2014. Miller proved to be worth the trade and then some out of the Orioles bullpen, but the downside of the acquisition is that Miller hits free agency this offseason.
It is practically accepted that Baltimore will lose Miller in free agency, as the dominating left hander should get a multi-year deal worth "closer-type" money. Baltimore's mission this offseason is to find someone who can help fill the void Miller leaves in the O's bullpen.
The Orioles do not want to spend a ton of money on a reliever, but they need a left hander that can get both righties and lefties out at a decent rate.
Enter LHP Craig Breslow.
Breslow has been with the Boston Red Sox over the past two-plus seasons and has been a very solid option out of their bullpen. Over his career, Breslow has gone 22-23 with a 3.20 ERA and 1.293 WHIP over 479 appearances spanning 456 1/3 innings pitched. In addition, Breslow has had success against both right and left handers throughout his career. He has held left handers to a .239 average while also holding right handers to a .237 average.Read more... Join the Conversation...
November 21st, 2014 at 8:11 AM
By Josh Michael
Thursday was the deadline for MLB teams to add players that would be eligible for next month's Rule-5 Draft to their 40-man rosters, and the Baltimore Orioles protected two prospects- RHP's Tyler Wilson and Mike Wright.
Neither pitcher was really a surprise to be added to the 40-man roster. Both Wright and Wilson are well liked by the organization and could possibly help the 2015 ball club.
Wilson, 25 years old, was named the Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2014 for the Orioles organization. He combined to go 14-8 with a 3.67 ERA in 166 2/3 innings pitched for AA Bowie and AAA Norfolk. Wilson was 10-5 with a 3.72 ERA in 96 2/3 innings over 16 starts with the Baysox and 4-3 with a 3.60 ERA in 70 innings pitched over 12 starts with the Tides. Tyler led all Orioles minor leaguers in wins (14) and strikeouts (157) and ranked 7th in ERA (3.67). The right hander was named the Organizational Pitcher of the Month for April after going 4-0 with a 2.76 ERA in 29 1/3 innings pitched over five starts with Bowie. He also received Eastern League Pitcher of the Week honors for the week ending on April 27.Read more... Join the Conversation...
November 20th, 2014 at 10:08 AM
By Josh Michael
Another shoe dropped in the DH free agent market on Wednesday when the Oakland A's signed Billy Butler to a three-year, $30 million deal. Both Butler and Victor Martinez have come off the market already this season, which raises the question of whether or not the Baltimore Orioles pursue Kendrys Morales this offseason.
First off, pursuing Morales is only an option if Baltimore fails to re-sign OF/DH Nelson Cruz, who they hope to bring back. If they don't, Morales is a possible fall-back plan, but should it be?
Morales bet on himself last offseason when he turned down the Seattle Mariners qualifying offer in favor of testing the free agent market, but it turned out to be a horrible move. Morales remained unsigned until two months into the season in June when he signed a one-year, prorated $12 million deal with the Minnesota Twins. When you take into account the proration, Morales's deal was essentially for $7.4 million in 2014.
Morales anticipated a multi-year deal last offseason, but was proven wrong because of the draft pick compensation attached to him. It was pretty evident that missing a legitimate spring training hurt the switch-hitting Morales. In 39 games with the Twins, Morales hit .234 with one home run, 18 RBI, and 11 doubles.Read more... Join the Conversation...