SARASOTA, Fla.-What’s happening? – The biggest story around baseball is Manny Machado reportedly agreeing to a 10-year, $300-million contract with the San Diego Padres.
Machado’s belated agreement might come as a relief to some Orioles fans, who were afraid that he would sign with the New York Yankees.
The Orioles and Padres are scheduled for home-and-home series this year. San Diego plays at Oriole Park on June 25 and 26 and the Orioles visit Petco Park July 29 and 30.
Since Machado was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers last July, it’s not as big a story as it would have been if he left the Orioles for the Padres, who weren’t considered a serious contender for him until recently.
The Orioles acquired another left-handed reliever, Josh Osich, on waivers from the San Francisco Giants. Osich is 6-5 with a 5.01 ERA in four seasons with the Giants.
Osich’s arrival gives the Orioles five left-handed relievers on the 40-man roster. He joins Richard Bleier, Paul Fry, Donnie Hart and Tanner Scott. They also have Sean Gilmartin and Chris Lee as non-roster invitees.
To make room for Osich, the Orioles designated infielder Hanser Alberto for assignment. Alberto’s departure temporarily lessens the infield crunch on a day when veteran Alcides Escobar arrived in camp.
Escobar, who was both an All-Star and won the Gold Glove in 2015 when the Kansas City Royals won the World Series, signed a minor league contract and will make $700,000 if he makes the Opening Day roster.
“It was very difficult to pick one team first, because I’m looking for the team that has more chance to play and the Orioles were the best team,” Escobar said.
In 2014, the Royals and Orioles played for the American League pennant, and Kansas City won in four straight games. Chris Davis, who was suspended for the series, is the only player remaining from 2014 on the team.
Escobar is one of a handful of players over 30 in the clubhouse, joining Cobb, Davis, Andrew Cashner, Mark Trumbo and Eric Young Jr.
“I can teach younger players and help everybody in here,” he said. “ I’m young, too. I’m only 32.”
What’s happened? Cobb threw live batting practice on the Ed Smith Stadium field and looked good after Jace Peterson lined his first pitch back through the middle, narrowly missing him.
“We’ve talked a little bit about his experience signing late [last year],” Hyde said about Cobb. “Kind of rushing to get back to the big leagues. It’s really great that he’s going to have a full camp and be ready when the season starts.”
Davis took batting practice and hit a long home run to right field on the Camden Yards field.
What’s up with? Drew Jackson. He’s the “other” Orioles Rule 5 draft pick. Shortstop Richie Martin is the more well-known Rule 5 pick.
One of 13 infielders vying for perhaps four spots on the roster, Jackson will have a difficult time making the Orioles.
Jackson has never played above Double-A and was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies, who immediately dealt him to the Orioles for international signing bonus money.
“I love competition,” Jackson said. “That pressure’s good. Anywhere you go, you’re going to have competition, pressure to make the team. Just going out there and handling my business, and whatever happens, happens.”
Jackson plays second and short, and can also play third base. He also has experience playing center field, and he’s expected to play some outfield in camp.
What’s what? – Perhaps the best news for Oriole fans in spring training is that Boog’s BBQ will open an outlet at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota for the 16 home games.
Boog Powell will be on hand for selected home games, and I eagerly await to sample the pit beef. The guess here is that it will be just as good as it is at Camden Yards.
What’s the word? “My buddy Chris gave me one.”-Ryan Mountcastle didn’t bring a first baseman’s mitt to camp and Davis loaned him one for his for his initial workout at first on Monday.
What’s the number? 1. Escobar was issued No. 1, and he was assigned the locker next to Martin, who was originally given No. 1. Martin is now wearing No. 82.