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Cruz turns down Orioles qualifying offer

As expected, Nelson Cruz has declined the Orioles qualifying offer.

All 12 eligible players in baseball declined their offers today, and it basically means that Cruz will officially test the free agent market and that the O’s get a draft pick as compensation should he sign somewhere else.

Hunter to play in Japan

Right-handed reliever Tommy Hunter will represent the Orioles later this month at the Japan All-Star series, which is made up five games between Major League players and Japan’s national team, the Samurai Japan.

Hunter is one of 14 pitchers on the roster, managed by Boston’s skipper John Farrell, with outfielder Adam Jones originally selected but unable to make it due to other commitments.

The All-Star Series will be preceded by an exhibition game on Tuesday and another one following the five-game series on Nov. 20. In between, the marquee matchup will take place from Wednesday through Nov. 18. 

MLB Network will televise every game of the Japan All-Star Series live starting with Tuesday’s exhibition game at 4:00 a.m. (ET).  MLB.TV subscribers also will be able to watch every game live and on-demand across any of its supported devices. Each game will re-air later the same day at 9:00 p.m. (ET).

Hunter, 28, went 3-2 with a 2.97 ERA in 60 games for the Orioles. He allowed 20 earned runs over 60 2/3 innings with 11 saves.

The 29-man Major League roster includes 14 pitchers, three catchers, seven infielders, two outfielders and three infielders-outfielders. Here’s the full roster:

Jeff Beliveau, Rays
Jerry Blevins, Nationals
Chris Capuano, free agent
Randy Choate, Cardinals
Jeremy Guthrie, Royals
Tommy Hunter, Orioles
Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners
Mark Melancon, Pirates
Franklin Morales, free agent
Hector Santiago, Angels
Matt Shoemaker, Angels
Jose Veras, Astros
Tsuyoshi Wada, Cubs
Rob Wooten, Brewers

Drew Butera, Dodgers
Erik Kratz, Royals
Salvador Perez, Royals

Jose Altuve, Astros
Robinson Cano, Mariners
Alcides Escobar, Royals
Evan Longoria, Rays
Justin Morneau, Rockies
Eduardo Nunez, Twins
Carlos Santana, Indians

Dexter Fowler, Astros
Yasiel Puig, Dodgers

Chris Carter, Astros
Lucas Duda, Mets
Ben Zobrist, Rays

Markakis, Hardy and Jones win Gold Gloves

BALTIMORE— The Orioles went a perfect 3-for-3 in Tuesday’s Rawlings Gold Glove awards with J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis each winning in their respective positions to tie Baltimore with Kansas City for most in the Majors.

Hardy, Markakis and Jones —who was interviewed live on the ESPN2 award show—will be presented with the award later this week in New York.

Hardy won the American League shortstop Gold Glove for the third consecutive year, edging out Chicago’s Alexei Ramirez and the Royals Alcides Escobar. Hardy is the first Oriole to win Gold Gloves in three straight years since pitcher Mike Mussina did it with four from 1996-2000.

Hardy led AL shortstops in Total Zone Runs (14), was second in range factor per game and double plays turned, third in fielding percentage (.978) and assists (394), and fifth in putouts (187).  Hardy’s three career Gold Gloves are second-most among active shortstops, trailing only Jimmy Rollins (four).

“This is a special award for me because of the fact that the opposing managers and coaches are the voters,and obviously I have a lot of respect for them and their knowledge of the game,” Hardy said in a statement released by the team. “A lot of the credit goes to Bobby Dickerson, who puts in a lot of time and effort with us and puts us in a position to be successful.”

It is Jones’ fourth career Gold Glove Award, also his third straight, after a 2014 in which he led AL center fielders in games played (155), was fourth in assists (7) and fifth in putouts (374).  Paul Blair (seven straight, 1969-75) is the only O’s outfielder to win a Gold Glove in more consecutive seasons than Jones.

Jones said in a statement he was honored to receive the award and, like Hardy, took pride in the fact that he was recognized by opposing managers and coaches.

“I also want to acknowledge the efforts and dedication of Wayne Kirby and Bobby Dickerson,” Jones said. “Their tireless and diligent efforts to help me and all of our players on the defensive side of the game cannot be overlooked or underestimated.”

It is the second Gold Glove for Markakis, who also won in 2011, and he joins Paul Blair and Jones as the only outfielders to win a Gold Glove in club history.  This season, Markakis led AL right fielders in games (147), putouts (295), and fielding percentage (1.000) while ranking second in assists (11). 

“It is a great honor to win the Gold Glove,” Markakis said in a statement. “It is an individual award, but a lot of people contribute to it. Wayne Kirby is a great influence on the outfielders and does a great job preparing us and putting us in the right position to make plays.”

The Orioles have won a total of 70 Gold Glove awards, most of any AL team and second in the majors to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Showalter finalist for AL MOY

BALTIMORE— Orioles manager Buck Showalter has been nominated as a finalist for the BBWA A(Baseball Writers Association of America) American League Manager of the Year Award.

Showalter’s name was unveiled Tuesday night on MLB Network along with Angels’ skipper Mike Scioscia and the Royals Ned Yost. He won the award with the Yankees in 1994 and the Rangers in 2004.

In 2014, Showalter helped lead the Orioles to their first American League East pennant since 1997 and the O’s advanced to the AL Championship Series where they lost to the Royals. Ballots were submitted before the postseason.

Showalter was last nominated for the award in 2012, and he finished second to Oakland’s Bob Melvin that year.

The BBWAA winners in both Leagues will be announced on Tuesday. The National League finalists are Bruce Bochy, Clint Hurdle and Matt Williams.

Orioles pick up 2015 options on Chen and O’Day

As expected, the Orioles have exercised their 2015 club options on pitchers Wei-Yin Chen and Darren O’Day and declined the options of right fielder Nick Markakis and catcher Nick Hundley.

Chen, 29, set career-highs with 16 wins and a 3.54 ERA in 31 starts for the Orioles last season. The lefty will make $4.75 million in 2015

The 32-year-old O’Day went 5-2 with four saves and ranked seventh among American League relievers with a career-best 1.70 ERA over 68 appearances. He was a critical part of the backend of the O’s ‘pen, allowing just 13 earned runs over 68 2/3 innings and will make $4.25 million next season.

Markakis, who will now become a free agent along with Hundley, had his $17.5 million declined but both sides remain hopeful that he can remain an Oriole. The longest-tenured active player on the O’s, Markakis will get a $2 million buyout per the terms of his contract. Hundley, who had a $5 million club option, will not get a buyout. Both players now join the list of O’s free agents, which also includes Nelson Cruz, Andrew Miller, Delmon Young, Kelly Johnson, Johan Santana, Alexi Casilla and Joe Saunders.

Os get three Gold Glove finalists

The Orioles have three finalists for the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards announced on Thursday morning, with shortstop J.J. Hardy, center fielder Adam Jones and right fielder Nick Markakis all honored in their respective American League categories.

The awards, created in 1957, are determined by a survey a player and managers —which make up 75 percent— and the Society for Sabermetric Reasearch accounts for the other 25 percent. The winners will be revealed during special award show on ESPN 2 on November 4 at 7 p.m ET.

Baltimore, which has won an AL-best 67 Gold Gloves since the award’s inception, had six finalists last season and is well represented once again. Hardy is vying for his third consecutive Gold Glove win, while Jones is trying for his fourth career award. Markakis won a Gold Glove in 2011.

Hardy is up against Kansas City’s Alcides Escobar and Chicago’s Alexei Ramirez. Boston’s Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Chicago’s Adam Eaton were nominated along with Jones among centerfielders, while Markakis will go head-to-head with Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier and Angels’ outfielder Kole Calhoun.

Davis still suspended

KANSAS CITY— Chris Davis will finish out his 25-game suspension by missing the Orioles 2015 Opening Day.

Davis, who was with the team in Kansas City, declined to speak to a group of reporters following Baltimore’s season-ending 2-1 loss to the Royals.

“I don’t think so guys,” Davis said as he walked past several media members. “I still got one game left.”

The suspension, which was for testing positive for amphetamines associated with the drug Adderall, caused Davis to miss the final 17 regular-season games and the O’s sweep in the American League Division Series and Championship Series means the All-Star has one more game to serve.

Davis, who was working out at the team’s spring facility in Sarasota, Fla. in the event the Orioles made it to the World Series, has not spoke since issuing a statement through the MLB Players Association shortly after the initial news broke.

“I apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Orioles organization and especially the fans,” the statement said “I made a mistake by taking Adderall. I had permission to use it in the past, but do not have a therapeutic-use exemption (TUE) this year. I accept my punishment and will begin serving my suspension immediately.”

Davis, who lead the Majors in home runs a season ago, hit 26 homers with 72 RBIs in 127 games, but he batted just .196 with a Major League-leading 173 strikeouts in 2014.

Guthrie apologizes for Tuesday’s t-shirt

Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie apologized on Wednesday afternoon for the t-shirt he won on Tuesday night that stated, “These O’s Ain’t Royal” following Kansas City’s 2-1 win. Guthrie said the shirt, a play on a song lyric from Chris Brown’s “Loyal’ song, was given to him on Tuesday and he showed a “lack of judgement” in wearing it in his post-game press conference.

An Oriole for five years, Guthrie said several players reached out to tell him they thought it was a low blow and, while didn’t see how it was disrespecting the city of Baltimore and organization, apologized and said the shirt was going to be thrown away.

“Apologies to everyone who was offended,” said Guthrie, who also took to his Twitter account this morning to apologize to his former organization.

The Royals are up 3-0 in the ALCS.

ALCS Game 3

Miguel Gonzalez will be in the interview room later, meaning he’s likely the Game 4 starter.

Nick Markakis RF
Alejandro De Aza LF
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz DH
Steve Pearce 1B
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 3B
Nick Hundley C
Jonathan Schoop 2B

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

Dyson’s trash talking

Some interesting comments today from Kansas City’s Jarrod Dyson, who made headlines last night for saying that the ALCS is not going back to Baltimore.

Here is what Dyson said this afternoon from the Royals workout:

“I’ll just tell you this, man. If we win Game 3, it’s going to be hard for them to look themselves in the mirror and say, ‘We can win the next four.’ That’s tough to do, man. … Everything must click. I’m just being honest. If we take Game 3, I guarantee theere’s going to be multiple people over there saying, ‘Man, ain’t no way we can beat these guys four games in a row.’ It can be done, but not everybody’s going to be on the same page. There’s going to be some people ready to go home. There’s going to be people not cheering in the dugout. Just like if it was vice versa on this side, it might be the same way. But we’re in a good position, we’re enjoying it, and we’re going to take advantage of it.

We came in as an underdog. All the hype was about them hitting homers, and we have the speed. But we showed pop over there, and I think it shocked them. WE hit good in their park every time we come there. But I just don’t think they expected us to come in there and win two. I just really don’t. I could tell the way Buck was making his moves, he wanted to win bad. He was taking his starters out in the fourth, both starters, and it was just matchup after matchup after that. That’s how you play the game. You’re trying to get that win at home. At least one. And if you don’t get that win, it’s pretty frustrating.”


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