Os non-tender Janish, Lough and Johnson

The Orioles tendered contracts to 10 of 13 arbitration-eligible players, choosing to non-tender infielder Paul Janish, outfielder David Lough, right-handed pitcher Steve Johnson. Those three will now become free agents.

The O’s tendered contracts to infielders Ryan Flaherty and Manny Machado and Mark Trumbo, pitchers Brad Brach, Chris Tillman, Zach Britton, Miguel Gonzalez and Brian Matusz. They also agreed to terms on contracts for 2016 with Nolan Reimold and Vance Worley, avoiding arbitration with both players.

Worley, 28, went 4-6 with a 4.02 ERA in 23 games (eight starts) with Pittsburgh. He was claimed off waivers by the Orioles from the Pirates on October 20. Reimold hit .247/.344/.394 with six home runs and 20 RBI in 61 games.

The Orioles will try to work out a deal with each player that they’ve tendered a contract to in an attempt to avoid an often contentious arbitration hearing. Many of their arbitration players, such as Machado and Britton, are coming off career years and in line for a substantial raise.

Janish, who was designated for assignment earlier in the day, hit .286/.278/.371 with three doubles, three RBI, and four runs scored in 14 games for the Orioles last season. Johnson, who was DFA’ed to create a roster spot for Trumbo, posted a 10.13 ERA in six relief outings. The 29-year-old Lough batted .201/.241/.313 with four home runs and 12 RBI in 84 games.

Os get Pena to add to catching depth

The Orioles acquired Francisco Pena from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for cash considerations, the club announced Wednesday night.

Pena, a 26-year old catcher, hit .251 with 13 homers in 95 games with Triple-A Omaha last season.

“Pena is a solid addition to our roster,” Orioles general Manager Dan Duquette said. “He gives us catching depth and should help our club in 2016.”

To make room for Pena on the 40-man roster, the Orioles designated infielder Paul Janish for assignment.

Duquette and Trumbo on the trade

Mark Trumbo has always had a lot of respect for the Orioles from the opposing dugout, lauding several times during Wednesday’s conference call the team’s gritty play and the job of manager Buck Showalter. Now, Trumbo will get an up-close look.

Baltimore officially announced the the trade for the first baseman/designated hitter from Seattle in exchange for catcher Steve Clevenger, a deal that also brings left-handed reliever C.J. Riefenhauser to Baltimore.

“I’ve always thought very highly of the way the Orioles compete on both sides of the ball, especially being a hitter I’ve always admired the at-bats the guys have been able to put together,” Trumbo said. “I’m looking forward to being a part of it.”

But can Trumbo —who is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to make $9.1 million in arbitration — share the roster with free agents Chris Davis and Steve Pearce? Before the trade, the Orioles already had committed around $93 million to next year’s roster, including projected arbitration rates, and they will now take on more than $8 million more given Clevenger’s modest salary.

“This isn’t the last move the club is going to make to put our team together for 2016,” said executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, who has said made it clear several times that the team is interested in bringing back Davis. “I can’t tell you who we are going to sign in the future, but the addition of a proven Major League hitter like Mark Trumbo today lengthens our lineup and gives us another hitter in the lineup who can hit both left and right-handed pitching. And, in Mark’s case, [he] can hit the ball out of the ballpark.”

Duquette said he thinks Trumbo will be helped in particular by the centerfield fence at the hitter-friendly Camden Yards. After a rough first month with Seattle, Trumbo batted .302/.358/.490 with 12 homers and 36 RBIs in his final 74 games. Defensively, Trumbo could see time at first base, even if the O’s do sign Davis — who can play right field — and also serve as designated hitter. Trumbo isn’t regarded as a strong defensive player, but if he can regain his power stroke from 2011-13, when he averaged more than 30 homers a season, it will give Baltimore a nice boost.

“Mark can play the outfield, he can also play first base, he’s not unfamiliar with playing DH,” Duquette said. “Just looking at his defensive capability it looks to me like his best position is first base, but he can play both of them.”

Trumbo said he has no problem at all with DH and noted that he’s most comfortable with first base because he’s spent the most time there. With the early December move, he’ll also have plenty of time to get comfortable with his new team.

“I would like to say it gets easier, but time will only really tell,” Trumbo said of being traded for the third time in his career. “Each time it happens to you, you got to have a few learning experiences and gather a little more information.

Fortunately I’ll have all Spring Training to get to know these guys, get to know the system…this is a scenario where I’ll have more than enough time to get acclimated to get into a rhythm. And once the season starts, I’ll be ready to go.”

Riefenhauser — the last piece of the deal agreed upon Wednesday — was acquired by Seattle as part of a six-player swap with the Rays last month and had a 6.30 ERA in 24 relief appearances with Tampa Bay over the previous two years.

“He’s a good left-handed relief prospect, he’s put up some really good numbers at Triple-A the last two years, had a little bit of an injury this year,” Duquette said. “He’s got an opportunity to help the club in 2016. [He’s] got a good mix of three pitches and we think he’ll be a helpful pitcher for us this year.”

The 29-year-old Clevenger has four years of team control remaining and is not arbitration-eligible, though he is out of Minor League options. The Baltimore native hit .287 with two home runs and 15 RBIs in 101 at-bats in 30 Major League games last season, as well as .305 with a .375 on-base percentage in 75 games for Triple-A Norfolk.

To make room on the 40-man roster, right-hander Steve Johnson has been designated for assignment.

FanFest vouchers to go on sale Saturday

Per a team release…

Vouchers for autograph sessions at Orioles FanFest will go on sale Saturday, December 5, at 10:00 a.m. ET. The list of autograph session times and participants will be posted online for preview at www.orioles.com/fanfest by 9:00 p.m. on Friday, December 4. Orioles FanFest will be held on Saturday, December 12, at the Baltimore Convention Center from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with early entry for Orioles Season Plan Members beginning at 10:00 a.m. as part of the Orange Carpet Program.

At this year’s FanFest, the Orioles will continue an autograph policy designed to support youth charitable endeavors through OriolesREACH and enhance fan engagement with shorter wait times. Children ages 4-14 will have a specially-designated Kids Only player autograph station presented by ESSKAY that is free of charge which will operate continuously throughout the day. All other ESSKAY autograph stations at FanFest will require the advance purchase of autograph vouchers exclusively at www.orioles.com/fanfest for $20 each, with all of the proceeds benefitting children’s charities through OriolesREACH. Since instituting the autograph policy in 2011, FanFest has raised nearly $600,000 for the Orioles Charitable Foundation.

There will be 250 vouchers available for each ESSKAY autograph session, guaranteeing that every fan purchasing a voucher for a particular session will receive an autograph from each of the players at the station. The Orioles will make every effort to keep to this autograph schedule, but reserve the right to change or substitute individuals as necessary. Fans will be able to print their vouchers at home and must present them to the attendant at the appropriate autograph session, shortening the amount of wait time in autograph lines. Fans must be in line for their autograph session no later than 30 minutes after the session begins. Autograph vouchers are not eligible for refunds or exchanges. 

If vouchers are still available on the day of the event, they will be available for purchase at the Ticket Sales location at FanFest. Autograph seekers are encouraged to purchase vouchers in advance. There is a purchase limit of two autograph vouchers per person, per session time. Fans redeeming autograph vouchers must be four years of age or older and may only redeem one voucher per person, per session time. 

The complimentary Kids Only area at FanFest will operate throughout the day in a free-flowing system. Players signing in this area will not be announced in advance. Youth ages 4-14 may go through this line as many times as they would like as players rotate through the station.

Season Plan Members can enter FanFest beginning at 10:00 a.m., and the first 250 in attendance will receive a voucher to participate in a complimentary autograph session beginning at 10:00 a.m. 

Every fan must also purchase a ticket to enter FanFest. Tickets are available online at www.orioles.com/fanfest, via phone at 1-888-848-BIRD, at the Oriole Park Box Office, and at the Official Team Store at the York Galleria in York, PA. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children 14 and under and adults 60 and over. On the day of the event, FanFest tickets will be sold at the Convention Center and the Oriole Park Box Office. Season Plan Members have received complimentary tickets via email.

Os trade for Trumbo

The Orioles have traded for Mark Trumbo, pending medicals, a move that involves sending catcher Steve Clevenger to the Mariners. Another player could be potentially headed to Baltimore, MLB.com has learned. The agreement has not been made official by either team.

Orioles in serious talks in Trumbo trade, reportedly involving Clevenger

The Orioles and Mariners were in serious trade talks on Tuesday, as multiple sources confirmed to MLB.com, that Baltimore was making a strong push to acquire outfielder/first baseman Mark Trumbo before Wednesday’s non-tender deadline. The deal reportedly would involve catcher Steve Clevenger, though nothing was official as both sides continued to negotiate Tuesday night.

Trumbo was on the O’s radar in 2012 and he would be a nice upgrade in Baltimore’s outfield alongside All-Star centerfielder Adam Jones. The acquisition could also change the O’s pursuit of first baseman/outfielder Chris Davis, considered one of the top free agents this winter.

While it’s been fairly clear in the days leading up to the deadline that the Mariners wish to move Trumbo —they nearly dealt him to the Rockies on Monday— some in the Orioles organization were still confident the outfielder would not be non-tendered. Trumbo is projected to make nearly $9 million in 2016.

Baltimore native Clevenger is not arbitration eligible and would make much less than that, a potential holdup that could cause both sides to re-evaluate the structure of a deal. Should it get done, it would make sense from the Orioles end as Clevenger —with Matt Wieters accepting a qualifying offer— was third on the team’s depth chart behind Caleb Joseph.

CBSports.com was the first to report the O’s interest in Trumbo, while the Tacoma News Tribune was the first to involve Clevenger.

Orioles select contract of Bridwell, Lee and Triggs

The Orioles have selected the contracts of right-handed pitchers Parker Bridwell and Andrew Triggs and lefty Chris Lee, setting their 40-man roster for Friday’s deadline.

The moves protect the young trio from being taken in next month’s Rule 5 Draft by another club. The 40-man roster is now full, though the Os could drop a player to make room for a Rule 5 guy at the Winter Meetings. Baltimore has been incredibly active in the Rule 5 Draft in recent years and has been able to keep infielder Ryan Flaherty and pitcher TJ McFarland as a result.

Bridwell, a former ninth-round pick in 2010,  went 4-5 with a 3.99 ERA in 18 starts for the Baysox. He allowed 43 earned runs over 97 innings. He is currently ranked as MLB.com’s 20th-best Orioles prospect.

Lee, acquired from the Houston Astros on May 18, has gone 22-25 with a 3.83 ERA (155 ER/364.2 IP) in 85 games (69 starts) over five minor league seasons. The 23-year-old went a combined 10-10 with a 3.29 ERA for three affiliates in 2015.

The 26-year-old Triggs pitched to a 1.03 ERA (7 ER/61.0 IP) with 70 strikeouts and went a perfect 17-for-17 in save opportunities with Double-A Bowie this season. He posted the lowest walks per 9.0 innings ratio (1.48) and ranked fifth with a 10.33 strikeouts per 9.0 innings ratio among Eastern League relievers.

The Rule 5 Draft takes place Dec. 10, the final day of MLB’s Winter Meetings, with each pick costing $50,000. Players are eligible if they were drafted out of high school in 2011 or out of college in 2012 and —if selected— must remain on the active 25-man roster for the entirety of the following season or be offered back to their former organization for $25,000.

Wieters: “Baltimore is a great place to come back to”

BALTIMORE— All-Star catcher Matt Wieters has accepted the Orioles’ $15.8 million qualifying offer, forgoing free agency to remain in Baltimore at least one more year.
As expected, slugger Chris Davis and pitcher Wei-Yin Chen declined their qualifying offers as they are both expected to get serious pay raises on the open market. Baltimore will get two compensatory draft picks as a result. Wieters, who is coming off a shortened season as he returned from Tommy John surgery, had been a bit of a question mark. His agent Scott Boras, said Wieters was still deciding in the days leading up to Friday’s 5 p.m. ET deadline as there was thought that perhaps Wieters would take a one-year deal and try to up his stock.
“I prayed a lot,” said Wieters of the decision, which became public news Friday afternoon.  “One of the options that kept coming up was going back to Baltimore, where I can be comfortable with the [coaching] staff, with the pitching staff and the locker room, which has such a great feel, and the city. My wife and son they both love Baltimore….we decided to take a little bit of a different approach as far as not taking a multi-year deal [and entering free agency.”
Orioles manager Buck Showalter told the Mid-Atlantic Sports Report on Thursday that the hope was Wieters accepted the qualifying offer and the two sides worked toward a multi-year deal, though there was no word on that Friday. Wieters said he hadn’t heard any talk of anything beyond a 2016 contact.
“I just made a decision to be a one year deal, I don’t know how all of that will play out,” he said. “Last year, didn’t know what was quite going to happen going into last year and one thing that made the decision easier is if it does end up a one-year deal, I’ll know how that goes in Baltimore and all the range of emotions that goes through a year. And Baltimore is a great place to come back to.”
In 75 games played this season, Wieters posted a .267/.319/.422 line, including eight homers and 25 RBIs. The 29-year-old appeared in 55 games as catcher and was brought along cautiously as the O’s tried to space out his starts behind the plate to keep him healthy. He played in 26 games in 2014 before undergoing season-ending surgery. In parts of seven seasons in the Majors, Wieters owns a career .258/.320/.423 line.
“It was something I was leaning to for most of the week,” Wieters said of accepting the offer, “and just nothing ever really made me sway from that decision of coming to Baltimore.”
With Wieters staying, adding another catcher becomes less of a priority for a Baltimore club that also has Caleb Joseph and Steve Clevenger.
As for Chen and Davis, Chen remains the least likely to make a return to Baltimore. As Boras referenced earlier in the week, an in-season demotion to the Minor Leagues —that was purely a move for roster management— didn’t sit well with Chen. He’s also expected to get a hefty pay increase as one of the best starters in the second tier of available pitchers and its unlikely the O’s would commit to that.
Davis, who lead the Majors in home runs, is expected to get a monster pay increase but the Orioles are much more open to shelling out cash to keep him. Boras, who intends to market Davis as both an infielder and an outfielder this winter, is well-known for getting his clients record-breaking deals and the 29-year-old Davis has some coveted power. Baltimore will have to likely step outside of its financial comfort zone to be a serious player for Davis.

Machado wins Gold Glove

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was named the Rawlings Gold Glove winners for American League third basemen on Tuesday night.

It is the second Gold Glove for Machado, who also won in 2013 and is coming off a career season on both sides of the diamond.   He becomes the second third baseman in club history to win the award multiple times, joining Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson, who won 16 Gold Glove awards.

The Orioles have won at least one Gold Glove in each of the last five seasons, the second-longest such streak in club history. In that span, five different Orioles have won a total of 12 Gold Gloves. Seventeen different Orioles have earned a total of 71 Gold Gloves since the award was created in 1957, the most for any American League club and the second-highest total among all Major League Baseball teams, behind only the St. Louis Cardinals.

Machado led all AL third basemen in total chances (488), double plays (38), range factor per 9.0 innings (3.09), and range factor per game (3.01) in 2015. He also ranked second in assists (337) and putouts (132), as well as fourth in zone rating (.810). Machado was the only player in Major League Baseball to play in all 162 regular season games this season.

Jones wins Miller Award

BALTIMORE— Orioles outfielder Adam Jones was honored Monday night as the recipient of the 2015 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award as part of the Players Choice Awards on MLB Network.

“I’m more than humbled by the players association,” said Jones, who will donate $50,000, as part of the award, to the Boys and Girls Club in his hometown San Diego. “An award like this isn’t something you go out to win, this shows we’re human outside of the game, and we try to impact where we can.”

Jones has also done extensive work with the Boys and Girls Club in Baltimore, helping to renovate several youth centers, and he’s holding the third annual #StayHungry Purple Tailgate before the Ravens-Seahawks game on Dec. 13 at M&T Bank Stadium.
“[I] wanted to start something help Baltimore, do something to raise awareness. All the money goes to Boys and Girls clubs of Baltimore,” Jones said. “It’s not just me giving back, but people of Baltimore giving back to their city and their youth.”
The Players Choice Awards are determined by fans, the players and the players association, with Jones beating out infielder Dee Gordon and White Sox closer David Robertson. The Marvin Miller Award goes to the player whose on-field performance and contributions to his community most inspire others to higher levels of achievement.

Past Marvin Miller Man of the Year winners, named for the legendary MLBPA union leader, also include Mariano Rivera, Chipper Jones, Michael Young, Brandon Inge, Curtis Granderson, Torii Hunter, Albert Pujols, Jim Thome, John Smoltz, Mike Sweeney, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Eric Davis and Paul Molitor.