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More on the Parra trade

The Orioles acquired outfielder Gerardo Parra from the Brewers for right-handed pitching prospect Zach Davies hours before today’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline. To open a roster spot for Parra, the Oriole designated outfielder Chris Parmelee for for assignment.

“We’re real happy and excited that we were able to pick up Parra. He’s one of the top hitters in the National League this year and he fits the profile of an every day position player for us,” executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said of Parra. “Two-time Gold Glover, he can hit against left- and right-handed pitching and he’s very good at getting on base. He’s got some really good numbers at the top of the order. He’s a good set-up hitter and a good defender to play in the field. That should keep our defense strong, help our pitching, and his presence at the top of the lineup should be real additive. That’s an ingredient that we’ve been missing and we’re glad to have him join us.”

The swap represents a departure from Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin’s high asking price as the Brewers were said to be looking for multiple prospects for Parra in the days leading up to the Deadline. Instead they settled on one higher valued prospect as Davies was on display in this year’s Futures Game.

“I saw during our research on Parra, he’s the leading hitter in the big leagues since May 1 in terms of average. He’s been hitting the ball really well. He’s desirable to a lot of teams, so the cost is significant,” Duquette said. “It’s a credit to our farm system that we have the players available to trade. And again, I think when you’re close and you have a chance to get into the playoffs, you’ve got to do what you can around these deadlines to strengthen your team and keep going toward the goal.”

In 24 games this month, Parra is batting .435 with four home runs and a 1.212 OPS. The 28-year-old is batting .328/.369/.517 in 100 games this season and can be a free agent this winter. Because he’s been traded during the season preceding free agency, the Orioles cannot make a qualifying offer to him and thus will not receive Draft-pick compensation if he signs with another team during the offseason.

Davies, whose name first surfaced on Thursday night, was ranked as the Orioles’ No. 3 prospect by MLBPipeline.com. He is 5-6 with a 2.84 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) with Triple-A Norfolk and has impressed the organization as he’s steadily climbed the ranks.

“That’s one of those [trades] that should work out real well for both clubs,” manager Buck Showalter said. “We got a good player back and gave up a good pitching prospect. I’ve always been a fan of [Parra]. We played him out there last year. I know he won a gold glove in left and right, having a big year offensively, but he plays the game like our fans like to see played. He fits us and kind of who we have to be to be competitive.

Parra landed in Washington DC Friday afternoon and made the drive to Baltimore, arriving just before the game. His presence presents another leadoff option for Showalter, who wasn’t sure if Parra would get the bulk of his time in left or right field just yet.

“You talk to probably 20 people about him in the last week. I got a pretty good grip, but it’s better off to talk to the player,” Showalter said. “[He’s] capable of hitting in a lot of spots in the lineup and he’s handled himself well against left-handed pitching this year. Smart, looking forward to his addition.”

Os DFA Parmelee

To clear a roster spot for Gerardo Parra, who has reported to the Orioles and is available tonight, the O’s have designated Chris Parmelee for assignment. The 27-year-old batted .216/.255/.433 (21-97) with four home runs and nine RBI in 32 games with the Orioles this season.

Hunter on being traded

BALTIMORE— Orioles reliever Tommy Hunter was joking with reporters around Friday’s 4 p.m. Trade Deadline, making a beeline for manager Buck Showalter’s locker only to turn around and burst out laughing at reporters’ reactions.

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Several minutes later, the joke became reality as news broke on social media that Hunter was headed to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for minor league outfielder Junior Lake.

“I told [fellow reliever] Darren O’Day we really can’t play catch ’til 4:05, that four or five-minute grace period. At 4:03 he came in and asked me and I was like, I don’t know, they might have just taken couple guys off their Triple-A roster’,” said Hunter, who had been rumored in trade talks in the days leading up to Friday’s deadline, rumors that persisted Friday afternoon. “And then I saw all of your pretty faces [in the media] again around my locker.”

The always-gregarious Hunter, with the Orioles since mid-2011, said he dropped some jokes in with his teammates when saying farewell and acknowledged that being traded once before —from Texas— helped prepare him for Friday’s news.

“There were some great times. Just look at the last four years. Came over in ’11, the crazy thing that happened in ’11 in September…that was probably one of the coolest months I’ve had in baseball,” Hunter said of the O’s late surge in his first taste of Baltimore baseball. “ [2012 we] shocked the world I guess [in making the postseason] and ’13 missing a little bit. And ’14 having that Delmon Young hit [to seal the American League Division Series win over the Tigers], that was probably the loudest stadium I’ve ever been in. A lot of good times here, a lot of friendships made and hopefully they continue through the years.”

Hunter, who goes back to his Texas days with O’Day and Chris Davis, said the toughest part may be for his wife Ellen, who is 7 1/2 months pregnant with the couple’s first child. He planned on going home Friday to talk with her and wasn’t sure when he’d be traveling to meet the Cubs.

“Tommy never has a bad day,” manager Buck Showalter said. “A very infectious personality and he could pitch….He makes it easier with how upbeat he is about it. He was picking us up in there. I know Dom [Chiti] and Dave [Wallace] and I, it’s tough. You through the battles that you go through together, the ups and down, it’s tough to not have that there. There are some other things that it does for the organization.”

First, it frees up some salary as the Cubs will take on the remainder of Hunter’s salary. It also allows the O’s to gain some bullpen flexibility, with the club adding both Mychal Givens and Mike Wright —who both have Minor League options remaining— to the ‘pen for Friday. Lake will report to Triple-A Norfolk.

Hunter, a free agent at season’s end, also didn’t rule out a return to Baltimore next season.

“It’s all about if they want me back I assume,” he said. “There’s not going to be any shut doors. I’m not trying to run, stomp out of here like I didn’t like it. ‘Cuz I loved it.”

Orioles lineup and more trade tidbits

It’s been an incredibly busy day for the Orioles, who traded for Gerardo Parra from the Brewers (for prospect Zach Davies) and traded Tommy Hunter to the Cubs (for outfielder Junior Lake). The O’s also designated Bud Norris for assignment and added Mychal Givens to the bullpen. Mike Wright is also here.

The O’s are set to make another move before the game to add Parra, who is flying into DC and should arrive by game time. Stay tuned.

Wright is another option for the Orioles should Chris Tillman, who rolled his ankle covering first base, not be able to make his scheduled start. Wright was slated to start for Triple-A Norfolk today.

I’ll have plenty more notes and quotes, including some from Dan Duquette, up shortly on Orioles.com. Here’s the O’s lineup…

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Jimmy Paredes DH
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis RF
Matt Wieters C
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 1B
Jonathan Schoop 2B
David Lough LF

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

Norris on the DFA, his future and why he’ll never forget Baltimore

BALTIMORE— The Orioles designated Bud Norris for assignment on Friday, clearing a roster spot for new outfielder Gerardo Parra and cutting ties with one of their best starters during last year’s American League Championship Series run.

“I never got my mind right, and I’m physically still getting back to where I need to be,” said Norris, who pitched to a 6.79 ERA before being moved to the bullpen.  “I know what I’m capable of. I want to get back to pitching and helping somebody. What happened in 2014 I won’t forget and I will take it with me forever.”

The 30-year-old Norris posted a career-high 15 wins last year, along with a 3.65 ERA . Norris went 8-2 with a 3.27 ERA in 13 second-half starts, helping the O’s win the AL East and earning a start in the AL Division Series. He pitched 6 /13 scoreless innings in the win against the Tigers and took the loss in the Championship Series against the Royals, giving up four runs over 4 1/3 innings as part of the O’s four-game sweep.

“Absolutely I needed to get out of Houston and came over to a great situation where they were playing meaningful games,” said Norris, a Trade Deadline pickup in 2013. “’13 didn’t go the way I envisioned and came back rejuvenated and had an amazing 2014. It was so much fun for the fanbase and the team and I’ll never forget it.”

Part of the O’s Opening Day rotation, Norris never looked in sync this spring and sickness —which caused him to lose considerable weight and go to the disabled list— didn’t help matters. He was moved to the ‘pen and made seven appearances, bringing his line to a combined 2-9 with a 7.06 ERA in 18 games (11 starts) with the Orioles this season.

“I got out of spring, it didn’t go great, wasn’t necessarily worried about that, but couple lopsided starts really inflated my numbers,” Norris said. “The past 2 1/2 years we’ve had six guys for five spots, and Gausman deserves to be in the Major League rotation all the time, not being back and forth from Tripe-A. Ubaldo [Jimenez] had to go last year, but he has a long-term deal. And this year I was kind of the odd man out.”

Norris said he doesn’t want to be a distraction and was planning on heading home to San Francisco to see his family while he waits for the next step. Several teams have expressed interest but it’s up to the Orioles now to determine whether to trade Norris.

“There are eight more free agents in that clubhouse, a lot of moving pieces,” Norris said. “I’m obviously going through some stuff, but I honestly wish them well and hope they can finish strong.”

Os set to acquire Parra, still in on Revere

BALTIMORE— The Orioles are set to acquire Gerardo Parra from the Brewers for right-handed pitching prospect Zach Davies, numerous sources confirmed to MLB.com, a trade that comes hours before the deadline and one that is pending medicals.

The swap represents a departure from Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin’s high asking price as the Brewers were said to be looking for multiple prospects for Parra in the days leading up to Friday’s deadline.

Baltimore, which has inquired on a wide array of available outfielders —including Brandon Moss, before he was dealt to St. Louis— needs corner outfield help and the red-hot hitting Parra will be a nice upgrade. The O’s are also still looking at Phillies outfielder Ben Revere, who would fill the other corner outfield spot and put Chris Davis back at first base.

In 24 games this month, Parra is batting .435 with four home runs and a 1.212 OPS. The 28-year-old is batting .328/.369/.517 in 100 games this season and will be a free agent this winter.

Davies, whose name first surfaced last night, was ranked as the O’s third-best prospect by MLB.com and pitched at this year’s Futures Game. He is 5-6 with a 2.84 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) with Triple-A Norfolk and has impressed the organization as he’s steadily climbed the ranks.

Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has worked with Melvin on Trade Deadline deals before, trading for Francisco Rodriguez in mid-July 2013.

While Duquette doesn’t have a farm system teeming with high-ceiling prospects, the Phillies asking price on Revere isn’t particularly high and he could pull the trigger on a second deal before the 4 p.m. ET deadline.

Os taking a hard look at Parra

By Brittany Ghiroli and Adam McCalvy

BALTIMORE— The Orioles are one of several teams who have taken a long look at Brewers outfielder Gerardo Parra despite Brewers general manager Doug Melvin’s high asking price.

Parra tops the Brewers’ list of pending free agents who could be dealt, though the list of suitors has dwindled this week as teams like the Angels and Cardinals otherwise filled their needs. Baltimore, which has inquired on a wide array of available outfielders —including Brandon Moss, before he was dealt to St. Louis— needs a left-field upgrade though its farm system isn’t exactly teeming with high-ceiling prospects.

And while Triple-A’s Zach Davies —who pitched at this year’s Futures Games— is a name that has surfaced, it’s expected to take much more for Melvin to part with Parra.

“He’s been a pretty good player. Ben Zobrist brought two players back,” Melvin said, referring to the A’s sending Zobrist to the Royals for Minor Leaguers Aaron Brooks and Sean Manaea. Manaea, a left-hander, is a top prospect.

“Gerardo’s had a better year than Zobrist but Zobrist has had a better career,” Melvin said. “I think there only two players in the Major Leagues who have hit better than Gerardo since May 1 and that’s [Paul] Goldschmidt and [Jason] Kipnis with Cleveland. He’s been the third-best hitter in baseball since May 1.

“That said, I think what we ask back is the club’s decision. He’s a good player. If we don’t get what we want, he might still be here [Friday night].”

Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has worked with Melvin on Trade Deadline deals before, trading for Francisco Rodriguez in mid-July 2013.

Duquette has been adamant that the Orioles are looking to upgrade at the Deadline, though the team has injuries to two of its bigger prospects —Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey— and is unwilling to trade part of its current club, guys like Jonathan Schoop, Manny Machado and Kevin Gausman. There are still some prospects Duquette could package and relievers Tommy Hunter and Brian Matusz are both available and have drawn moderate interest.

Orioles vs. Tigers Game 1

The O’s will take on a David Price-less Detroit team for a four-game set that starts tonight. Price, who slated to start Sunday, was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays and the newly acquired Daniel Norris will start on Sunday.

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With less than 24 hours before Friday’s 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Thursday he thinks Baltimore could pull off a deal.

“If you told me to bet on which side of it, I’ll pick it 51-49,” Showalter said of the O’s making a move. “Dan [Duquette] has bumped some things around that’s going on. I’m sure it’s pretty hot and heavy, there’s been some guys that have gone that we talked about, but if I told you who they were asking for you would say, ‘Of course you wont do that. There’s not any secrets, [it’s] the same people they ask for.”

Those people presumably are Jonathan Schoop, Manny Machado and Kevin Gausman —all part of the O’s current team— though converted pitching prospect Mychal Givens has also drawn some interest  and Showalter brought him up on Thursday.

“The guy St. Louis gave up, [Rob] Kaminsky, the guy they gave up was better than the guy we would have given up. Simple as that,” Showalter said of the Cardinals trade with Cleveland for Brandon Moss Thursday morning. “Everybody that’s moving we talk about, some of them we like our guys better than.”

Still, with the Yankees —who acquired Dustin Ackley— and the Blue Jays —who traded for David Price— both making moves on Thursday, there could be some pressure on Duquette to make a move.

“I hope not,” Showalter said of Duquette feeling any pressure. “He’s engaged, committed, trying to put our best foot forward every day for this year and in the future. You have to have the ability to say yes and no.”

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Nolan Reimold LF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis RF
Jimmy Paredes DH
J.J. Hardy SS
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Chris Parmelee 1B
Caleb Joseph C

Miguel Gonzalez RHP

Orioles vs. Braves Game 3

*Five years ago, the Orioles officially announced that Buck Showalter would be named the 19th manager in club history.

Showalter, who has lead the club to a 427-377 since, said it doesn’t feel like it’s been five years.

“Not at all,” he said. “It did in Yankee Stadium on that road trip [when the Orioles were swept]. Not at all. That actually kind of caught me by surprise. I understand how fleeting things are, take it in. It’s an honor every day.”

Showalter didn’t manage his first game until August 2, 2010 —when the team returned from the road— and he became the first manager since 1900 to take over a team on August 1 or later and win more games the rest of the way (34) than the club won before he took over (32).

*Steve Pearce is at least a week away from baseball activities, Showalter said, and he won’t make the disabled list period. Obliques are known to be pesky injuries and the O’s are going to play it safe with Pearce.

Here are your lineups…

BRAVES LINEUP

Nick Markakis DH
Cameron Maybin CF
Freddie Freeman 1B
Adonis Garcia LF
A.J. Pierzynski C
Andrelton Simmons SS
Jace Peterson 2B
Eury Perez RF
Daniel Castro SS

Mike Foltynewicz RHP

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Jimmy Paredes DH
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis RF
Matt Wieters C
J.J. Hardy SS
Nolan Reimold LF
Ryan Flaherty 1B
Jonathan Schoop 2B

Chris Tillman RHP

Orioles to host a second Social Media night

Following last night’s successful #BirdlandSocial at Oriole Park, the Orioles have announced a second Social Media Night on Tuesday, August 18, prior to the 7:05 p.m. game against the New York Mets. Orioles All-Star closer Zach Britton (@zbritton) and I will take part in a Q&A and Orioles public address announcer Ryan Wagner (@rwags614) will host the exclusive pre-game party on the centerfield Roof Deck.

Tickets for the Birdland Social pre-game party range from $30 to $60 and include access to the party, a catered menu, two drink coupons per person, a ticket to the game (Roof Deck, Eutaw Street Bleachers, or Upper Reserve with varied pricing), and an exclusive @zbritton T-shirt. The party will begin at 5:00 p.m. and continue until 6:30 p.m. A limited number of tickets are available atwww.orioles.com/birdlandsocial.

Social Media Night will continue with numerous promotions and prizes for all fans attending the August 18 game including:

Catch a #Winner

The “Catch a #Winner” promotion will occur during pre-game batting practice. Fans who retrieve baseballs that have been stamped “#Winner” can redeem a special prize at the Orioles Fan Assistance booth.

 Player Selfies

Several lucky fans will have an opportunity to snap selfies with an Orioles player.

#BringMeFood

Fans who tweet using #BringMeFood will be eligible to receive complimentary food delivered to their seats during the game, just by tweeting the hashtag along with their desired menu item, and their seat location.

Additional promotions will take place throughout the night both for fans in attendance and those following at home. Fans are encouraged to stay tuned to the Orioles’ social accounts for details, announcements, and exclusive clues. A complete list of the team’s social media platforms is available at www.orioles.com/connect. Additional information about the Birdland Social is available at www.orioles.com/birdlandsocial.

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