The Orioles top priority remains upgrading their pitching staff and one of the names drawing the most outside interest in a trade is shortstop J.J. Hardy, whose name surfaced in a potential deal rejected by the Cardinals on Wednesday.
An industry source confirmed on Wednesday CBSSPorts.com’s report that the Orioles asked St. Louis —who is looking for a shortstop— for pitcher Shelby Miller’s name surfaced, a deal that was quickly struck down by the Cards. And while Hardy’s name will continue to come up in offseason rumblings, the O’s aren’t actively trying to move him so much as just listening to other teams’ offers.
“We are not shopping J.J. Hardy,” executive vice president of Dan Duquette told MLB.com from the GM meetings in Orlando, Fla. “The fact that other clubs might be interested in him would be a good reflection on the kind of year that he had. He had a great year. He won the Silver Slugger and he won the Gold Glove.”
“If somebody reported that [he’s being shopped], that’s not true. Are there other clubs that are interested in J.J. Hardy? Who wouldn’t be interested in a shortstop that just won the Gold Glove and captured the Silver Slugger?”
Hardy, in the last year of a three-year, $22 million extension, is a huge part of what the Orioles are trying to do and moving him would create a huge hole in the infield. Even if the Orioles long-term plan is to move Manny Machado to third base —which hasn’t been decided for sure— the 21-year-old is coming off knee surgery and that would create another vacancy at third. The jury is still out as to what Jonathan Schoop and Ryan Flaherty can do and the O’s already have one hole in the infield with the departure of second baseman Brian Roberts, who is a free agent.
Hardy’s combination of power and defense –plus his contract status–makes him prime to come up in offseason rumors this winter. But, as evidenced by the Cardinals’ rejection of the trade, it’s probably not enough for an impact pitcher and would create another huge hole in a defense that set a Major League record in 2013 for fewest miscues in a season and most errorless games.
The anchor of the O’s defense, Hardy is one of manager Buck Showalter’s favorites, and signing him for another year or two could be wise given that there’s no help on the horizon in the Minors and Hardy has made it well-known how much he likes playing in Baltimore.
The Orioles best avenue to upgrade this winter is to make a trade and they’ll explore a lot of the same names and available arms that they kicked the tires on around the July deadline, when they acquired Bud Norris. As was the case last year, Duquette to put any of the club’s top pitching prospects on the table including Kevin Gausman and Eduardo Rodriguez. Dylan Bundy would be a sell-low coming off Tommy John surgery and would be tough to justify as well.
So, who could be had in the right deal? The Orioles would be “willing” to deal catcher Matt Wieters this winter —according to a tweet from FOXSports.com— a school of thinking that shows just how unlikely a long-term extension is for the All-Star backstop.
“If we were going to pursue an extension with him, it would be between now and the start of the season,” Duquette said. “That’s something that we can consider, but having tried twice [each of the last two winters] and not come to a long-term agreement, that’s not a priority for us right now.”
Wieters is a free agent after 2015 and, like first baseman Chris Davis, is represented by Scott Boras. Davis is also a free agent after ’15 and —while the thought right now is he would be more likely to remain in Baltimore than Wieteres— Duquette was equally noncommittal on a possible extension.
“Chris Davis had a great year, obviously,” Duquette said of Davis, who is up for American League MVP honors. “Any of these guys that do well and do well in the community, we’d like to have them with us long-term.”
Adam Berry contributed to this post.
With the General Managers’ meetings going on this week, the buzz on Wednesday morning around the Orioles was a rejected trade proposal by the St. Louis Cardinals involving Baltimore shortstop J.J. Hardy. The report by CBSSports.com involved Cards pitcher Shelby Miller, and has spawned some reaction over whether the Orioles could –and should– trade Hardy.
First, I don’t doubt the validity of the Orioles checking in with the Cardinals, who have a wealth of pitching. The O’s badly need to upgrade in that area and it’s no secret that St. Louis would like a shortstop, which is why Hardy’s name would come up. But the Orioles aren’t actively shopping Hardy, who is in the last year of a very affordable contract extension, and would have to be blown away by a deal to move him. A Silver Slugger and Gold Glove winner this year, Hardy is a huge part of what the Orioles are trying to do and moving him creates a huge hole in the infield.
Even IF the Orioles long-term plan is to move Manny Machado to third base, the 21-year-old is coming off knee surgery and that would create another vacancy at third. The jury is still out as to what Jonathan Schoop and Ryan Flaherty can do and the O’s already have one hole in the infield with the departure of second baseman Brian Roberts, who is a free agent.
Hardy’s combination of power and defense –plus his contract status–makes him prime to come up in offseason rumors this winter. But, as evidenced by the Cardinals’ rejection of the trade, it’s probably not enough for an impact pitcher and it would create a glaring hole in the infield. The anchor of the O’s defense, Hardy is one of manager Buck Showalter’s favorites, and I’ve written before that the organization looking into another extension –signing Hardy for another year or two– could be wise given that there’s no help on the horizon in the Minors and Hardy –who has already committed to staying in Baltimore once before– has made it well-known how much he likes playing here.
The Orioles best avenue to upgrade this winter is to make a trade and they’ll explore a lot of the same names and available arms that they kicked the tires on around the July deadline, when they acquired Bud Norris. As was the case last year, don’t expect executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette to put any of the club’s top pitching prospects on the table including Kevin Gausman and Eduardo Rodriguez. Dylan Bundy would be a sell-low coming off Tommy John surgery and would be tough to justify as well.
The Orioles are set to hire Dom Chiti as their new bullpen coach, completing the 2014 Major League staff, a source confirmed on Friday night.
Chiti, a special assistant in the Braves organization, will join new pitching coach Dave Wallace —who previously served as Atlanta’s Minor League pitching coordinator— in a reunion with current Baltimore manager Buck Showalter. Chiti served as the Rangers bullpen coach under Showalter in 2006, and spent the prior two years as the organization’s director of player personnel.
As a player, Chiti was in the Braves organization for five seasons and played in the Orioles organization in his final season in 1981.
Chiti essentially replaces Billy Castro, who was the Orioles bullpen coach for the majority of the past two seasons, moving into the pitching coach role when Rick Adair left the team for personal reasons.
MASNSports.com first reported that Chiti was expected to be named bullpen coach.
The fans have spoken and Manny Machado’s glove is the best in the American League.
The 21-year-old Machado— who missed out on being named the League’s best in Rawlings Gold Glove voting earlier this week— was named the winner of the company’s Platinum Award on Friday night, which is based off of fan voting among the nine Gold Glovers in each League.
Machado, who edged Texas’ Adrian Beltre and Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria for his first career Gold Glove Award, is coming off his first full season in the big leagues and one full of highlight-reel plays. He led AL third basemen in fielding percentage (.973), assists (355), double plays turned (42) and range factor (3.02) and finished second with 116 putouts. Additionally, Machado posted 32 total zone runs, the number of runs above average the player was worth, based on the number of plays made. It was the highest total for any defensive player in 2013 and tied for 12th-best all time. He also posted the best defensive season by an AL infielder since Mark Belanger was credited with 35 total zone runs in 1975.
Machado, called up from Double-A Bowie in August 2012, made the transition from shortstop to third base look effortless as a rookie and was even more awe-inspiring in 2013. His 4.4 defensive wins above replacement score led the AL and was the third-highest total in the Majors, tying him for the eighth-highest single-season total in history, regardless of position.
Machado beat out Boston’s second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who won the Rawlings Award for best defender in the AL, and was joined by Atlanta’s Andrelton Simmons in winning the Platinum Glove Award. O’s shortstop J.J. Hardy finished third in AL voting.
A historic Orioles defense was rewarded handily Tuesday night, with Baltimore earning three American League Gold Glove in shortstop J.J. Hardy, centerfielder Adam Jones and third baseman Manny Machado.
It marks the second consecutive year the Orioles have had a trio of Gold Glove recipients recognized for exceptional defense and tied the Kansas City Royals for most in the Major Leagues.
The Gold Glove is the first for Machado –in his first full Major League season—Hardy’s second and the third for Jones, who won along with Hardy in 2012 and also took home the award in ’09. Jones and Hardy are the first set of AL teammates to win in back-to-back years since Adrian Beltre and Ichiro Suzuki for Seattle in 2007-08.
The Orioles had three other nominees in catcher Matt Wieters, first baseman Chris Davis and right fielder Nick Markakis, rounding out a defense that set the Major League record with fewest errors in a season (54) and fielding percentage (.991). Baltimore had 119 errorless games.
Machado put on a clinic at third base, leading the League in fielding percentage (.973), assists (355), double plays turned (42) and range factor per game (3.02) and also finished second with 116 putouts. His 32 Total Zone Runs, which is the number of runs above or below average the player was worth based on the number of plays made, was the highest total for any defender in the majors in 2013 and tied for the 12th best season of all-time. It was also the best defensive season by an AL infielder since Mark Belanger’s 35 in 1975.
Machado’s 4.4. Defensive Wins Above Replacement led the League and was the third-highest total in the baseball, tying him for the 8th-highest single-season total of all-time for any position. He is the first O’s third baseman to win the award since Brooks Robinson in 1975.
Hardy is the third shortstop in O’s history to win the award in consecutive years, joining Cal Ripken, Jr. (1991-92) and Belanger (six straight, 1973-78). The captain of the Oriole infield, Hardy he led all AL shortstops in games (159) and double plays turned (108) and also ranked in the top 4 in assists (2nd – 403), putouts (3rd – 230), total zone runs (3rd – 4) and fielding percentage (4th – .981).
Jones lead all AL centerfielders in games (156), assists (11) and putouts (352) and rank was third in fielding percentage (.995). It is the third time in the last four seasons he has led AL centerfielders in putouts.
The trio of awards marks the 19th time the Orioles have had multiple Gold Glove winners in the same season. It is the 10th time in club history the Orioles have had at least three players win a Gold Glove in the same season.
Seventeen different Orioles players have earned a total of 67 Gold Gloves since the award was created in 1957, the second-highest total for any team (St. Louis – 84) and the most in the American League.
Pitching coach Rick Adair, who took a personal leave of absence during the 2013 season, will not return to the organization and the Orioles have begun the process of replacing him with the hope being it’s completed by the end of the month.
Adair, who took a personal leave of absence in August, was replaced by bullpen coach Billy Castro for the remainder of the season. Castro will get an interview for the job along with Rangers bullpen coach Andy Hawkins who was Texas’ Triple-A pitching coach in manager Buck Showalter’s final year with the organization.
There will be several other interviews, with Showalter working in conjunction with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and the belief being the club would prefer to go external on the hire and keep their Minor League system, including well-regarded Triple-A pitching coach Mike Griffin –who will still be considered—in place if possible.
The Orioles have announced their 2014 Spring Training schedule, which you can find below. All home games will be played at Ed Smith Stadium. Note: SS denotes a split-squad game.
Date Opponent Location Time
February 28 at Tampa Bay Rays Port Charlotte 1:05
March 1 Toronto Blue Jays Sarasota 1:05
March 2 at Boston Red Sox Fort Myers 1:35
March 3 Minnesota Twins (ss) Sarasota 1:05
March 4 at New York Yankees Tampa 1:05
March 5 at Minnesota Twins Fort Myers 1:05
March 6 Tampa Bay Rays Sarasota 1:05
March 7 Philadelphia Phillies Sarasota 1:05
March 8 at Boston Red Sox (ss) Ft. Myers 1:05
Boston Red Sox (ss) Sarasota 7:05
March 9 Pittsburgh Pirates (ss) Sarasota 1:05
March 10 at Pittsburgh Pirates Bradenton 1:05
March 11 Boston Red Sox (ss) Sarasota 1:05
March 12 Philadelphia Phillies Sarasota 1:05
March 13 at New York Yankees (ss) Tampa 1:05
March 14 at Minnesota Twins (ss) Fort Myers 1:05
March 15 New York Yankees (ss) Sarasota 1:05
March 16 at Toronto Blue Jays Dunedin 1:05
March 17 at Philadelphia Phillies (ss) Clearwater 1:05
Minnesota Twins (ss) Sarasota 7:05
March 19 Tampa Bay Rays Sarasota 1:05
March 20 at Pittsburgh Pirates Bradenton 1:05
March 21 Atlanta Braves (ss) Sarasota 1:05
March 22 at Tampa Bay Rays Port Charlotte 1:05
March 23 Pittsburgh Pirates Sarasota 1:05
March 24 Boston Red Sox Sarasota 1:05
March 25 at Minnesota Twins Ft. Myers 1:05
March 26 at Tampa Bay Rays (ss) Port Charlotte 1:05
at Boston Red Sox (ss) Fort Myers 7:10
March 27 Tampa Bay Rays Sarasota 7:05
Per a team release…
The Orioles will host “Arts in the Ballpark,” a series of arts and entertainment events for the public at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota beginning this fall. With free and low-cost offerings featuring family-friendly concerts, hands-on activities, and even a holiday ice show, the series will appeal to a wide range of tastes and interests.
“The Orioles are excited to present the ‘Arts in the Ballpark’ series to the Sarasota community as part of our ‘Orioles in Sarasota 365’ initiative,” said David Rovine, Vice President, Orioles-Sarasota. “Hosting major, public events in addition to baseball at Ed Smith Stadium has been the Orioles’ goal since the stadium renovation was completed in 2012. Our community partners in this endeavor have embraced that vision and applied their creativity to shaping affordable family events the public will love.”
Fans are encouraged to visit http://www.orioles.com/Sarasota to view the complete schedule and to check back regularly as additional events are expected to be added. The schedule so far includes:
Play Arts!, October 26, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.: A family day of free, fun, hands-on activities to celebrate expanded arts education in Sarasota County schools. The event is being held in partnership with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Sarasota County Schools and The Kennedy Center.
Ice on the Diamond – A Holiday Celebration, December 20, 7:00 p.m.: An ideal holiday outing for families, this professional ice-dancing show will be presented on a specially engineered ice rink on the stadium’s main field.
All-American Family Day & Concert, April 6: A day of free activities designed for the whole family to honor returning military veterans. The day will begin with a ceremony honoring veterans, then attendees will enjoy hands-on activities for the whole family. An exhibition softball game will take place on the Ed Smith Stadium main field featuring local veterans squaring off against Sarasota celebrities. Families can cap off a full day of fun with a free concert by a nationally known music group. Part of The Patterson Foundation’s Legacy of Valor campaign honoring veterans and their families, the event is in partnership with Booker High School, Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Goodwill Manasota and Sarasota Military Academy.
Sarasota Orchestra’s Spirit of America, May 10, 7:00 p.m.: The Sarasota Orchestra closes its 65th season with a celebratory outdoor Pops concert featuring Molly Cherryholmes, a Grammy-nominated violinist, vocalist and songwriter.
Manny Machado will miss Spring Training and almost certainly be delayed to start the 2014 regular season as the Orioles third baseman’s recovery timetable following Monday’s knee surgery is approximately six months.
Machado’s procedure to repair the torn medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) in his left knee went as expected according to performing surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles. The 75 minute surgery included an arthroscopy and open reconstruction of the MPFL and a hamstring tendon was used to graft a replacement for the ruptured ligament.
Machado suffered the gruesome-looking knee injury and was carted off the field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Sept 23, but the injury wasn’t as bad as originally expected with test results revealing no MCL or ACL damage. The injury to the MPFL is common in younger athletes and was considered good news given how bad the initial injury looked.
The 21-year-old Machado opted to undergo surgery after consulting with numerous doctors with his MRI results and any absence will be a big blow for Baltimore. Named to the All-Star team in his first full season, Machado played Gold Glove-caliber defense at third base and had an AL-leading 51 doubles in 2013.
The O’s primarily used Ryan Flaherty in his absence in the final week of the season, with Danny Valencia and top position player prospect Jonathan Schoop other potential options currently on the team’s 40-man roster. Given that Machado –who started every game from his debut in 2012 until the injury– is projected right now to still play a bulk of the regular season, it’s unlikely the Orioles go out and get a full-time third baseman elsewhere, although they certainly could shop the market for a utility-type player who could give manager Buck Showalter another option.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will undergo reconstructive surgery on the medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) in his left knee on Monday, a procedure that will require a 4-6 month rehab and potentially delay his readyiness next spring and into the regular season.
Machado’s surgery will be performed by Dodgers orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrach at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles, Calf. and doesn’t come as a total surprise given that it was mentioned as a possibility for the 21-year-old, who initially planned on trying rest and rehab for four weeks.
“I sent my MRI results to a couple of doctors and knee specialists and we decided that in the long run and for my future as a baseball player, this surgery would be the best plan,” Machado said in a team-released quote. “I will immediately begin the rehabilitation process in hopes of being ready for the start of Spring Training.”
Machado suffered a gruesome-looking knee injury and was carted off the field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sept 23, but dodged a bullet with test results revealing no MCL or ACL damage. The injury to the MPFL is common in younger athletes and was considered a bout of good news given how bad the initial injury looked.
“He has the full support of the Orioles organization with this decision,” Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said of Machado, “and we look forward to seeing him back on the field in Sarasota at full strength.”
Named to the American League All-Star team in his first full season, Machado played Gold Glove-caliber defense at third base and had a League-leading 51 doubles in 2013.
Pitcher Wei-Yin Chen underwent successful minor knee surgery to remove small bone spurs in his right knee, the team also announced. The surgery was performed by Dr. Richard Steadman of the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Co. last week. Chen is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for the start of Spring Training.