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A Early Look at Future Hall of Fame Candidates

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Craig Biggio finally got his “call to the hall” and should set an example for players who didn’t get that call on their first try. Other notable players are still on the ballot, and should receive legitimate consideration for induction in the future.

 

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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The BBWAA elected four players into the Baseball Hall of Fame for the class of 2015: Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio. This is the first time that the BBWAA has elected four players in 60 years, as these four players truly exemplify what the MLB Hall of Fame is all about.

Now that the official results have been released, we can now take a look at not only some of the guys who will return on the ballot in the upcoming years, but also some future eligible players who present a very interesting case for their enshrinement into the Hall of Fame. 

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2015 MLB Hall of Fame Voting: Who Deserves to Get In?

The MLB Hall of Fame will announce which players will be part of the Induction Class of 2015. The question leading up to the announcement is which players make the cut in this loaded group of talent.

The MLB Hall of Fame will announce which players will be part of the Class of 2015. With players such as Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez being added to the ballot this year, the question remains as to which players will ultimately make the final cut this year?

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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It is very possible that history is made with regards to this year’s MLB Hall of Fame induction class. In the past, the committee has been hesitant to vote in more than three players in one class, and it has been very rare to see more than three voted in at one time. In the past, the committee voted in four players twice (1947 and 1955) and five players only once (1936- the first year of the voting process).

As the decision day quickly approaches, there is speculation that the BBWAA could possibly end the long drought and elect five players this year. With this year’s ballot having a ton of players who could make a legitimate case to be inducted, I decided to go to the process of picking my own ballot (which doesn’t count for the BBWAA), and after taking the time and effort to research my ballet, I realized that it was a much harder process then I anticipated it would be. 

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Yankees Off-Season Outlook: Big Shoes To Fill For Jeter, But How Do They?

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By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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The 2015 off-season is very important for the New York Yankees, as they have a lot of major questions surrounding their current roster. With an aging roster and the return of recently reinstated Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees have some holes to fix, but those issues might not be their biggest concern this off-season.

We all knew the time would come, but no one was ready to start talking about how the Yankees would replace Derek Jeter. Jeter leaves very big shoes to fill in the Bronx, and the Yankees must try their best to find a successor who can not only handle the pressures of New York, but also can step up and produce.

Filling the void might be difficult at first, as past experiences have shown that Yankee fans are very impatient when it comes to replacing some of the best to wear the Yankee pinstripes.  The only legitimate shortstop on the roster, Brendan Ryan, won’t be the Yankees everyday shortstop in 2015, so the Bronx Bombers must go through the trade market or free agency to fill a void that right now is larger than life. 

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Baltimore Orioles State Of The Union For 2015

Baltimore Orioles

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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Even with some key players being out of the lineup for long periods of time (due to injuries/suspensions), the Baltimore Orioles still found a way to win 96 games during the 2014 regular season, and advanced to the ALCS after sweeping the Detroit Tigers in the ALDS.

Unfortunately, the Orioles’ World Series hopes were crushed by the Kansas City Royals in the Final Four, as the O’s struggled mightily against this year’s “Cinderella story.”

It turned out to be an ugly end for a great season, but the Orioles now need to look forward to the off-season.

With some key players heading towards free agency and arbitration, the Orioles need to make some moves in order to put themselves in contention to compete once again come 2015. 

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2014 ALCS Preview: O’s Vs Royals

This year's 2014 ALCS matches up two teams that not many people predicted to get to this point, but as arguably the two hottest teams in baseball, the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals definitely will be a fun and exciting series to watch.

This year’s 2014 ALCS matches up two teams that not many people predicted to get to this point, but as arguably the two hottest teams in baseball, the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals definitely will be a fun and exciting series to watch.

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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It’s been a while since the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals have found themselves in the American League Championship Series, but the wait for these two fan bases is finally over. 

These two teams will open up a best-of-seven series at Camden Yards on Friday night.

Although it isn’t the usual suspects we see in the series (such as the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox of the world), baseball fans should definitely keep an eye on this series, as two of the hottest teams in baseball will face off to determine who represents the American League in the World Series.

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Previewing The ALDS: Orioles Vs. Tigers

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By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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For the first time since 1997, the Orioles are back on top of the AL East Division, clinching their 9th division title in franchise history.  For a team who has dealt with numerous injuries over the season, this team still found a way to win 96 games, which easily won them the division crown. 

As October baseball is sure to bring out the best in the remaining competition, the Orioles have a tough task at hand, as they match up with the Detroit Tigers in the American League Division Series (ALDS).

Although the head-to-head numbers and the critics seem to favor the Orioles at the moment, it would be wise to not count this Orioles team out just yet, as they have proven doubters wrong throughout the course of the entire season.

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How All Of The O’s Pitchers Were Acquired: 2014 Roster Tree Explains That The Staff Was Created By Deft Transactions!

Chris Tillman continues to assert himself as one of the emerging great arms in the American League.  The 26 Year Old RHP is 26 - 12 in his last 38 game decisions with a mid 3 ERA.  Not bad when you consider he and Adam Jones were brought to Maryland for former Draft Pick Erik Bedard, (who is barely hanging on to professional baseball - and was hurt or average in his Seattle days).  That deal and the Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis/for Koli Uehara deals kickstarted the renaissance of this historic club.

Chris Tillman continues to assert himself as one of the emerging great arms in the American League. The 26 Year Old RHP is 26 – 12 in his last 38 game decisions with a mid 3 ERA. Not bad when you consider he and Adam Jones were brought to Maryland for former Draft Pick Erik Bedard, (who is barely hanging on to professional baseball – and was hurt or average in his Seattle days). That deal and the Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis/for Koli Uehara deals kickstarted the renaissance of this historic club.  The O’s made the postseason for the 1st time in 15 years during he 2012 campaign, and now possess a massive lead in the AL East with 35 games to go.  The O’s management and brass can take stock in a job well done in building this current group of ballplayers.

How All Of The Orioles Pitchers Were Acquired:

By Chuck Booth Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner) & Nick Delahanty (MLB Reports Featured Writer):

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The Orioles made a swift and blunt move last off season, when they traded their 2012 and 2013 Closer Jim Johnson for Jemile Weeks.

The club took some flak in virtually discarding a 101 save man over the last few years to save some money.  Johnson was awarded $10 MIL for the year, and has flamed out in Oakland and Detroit since. Those dollars are about what the team receives collectively as a unit.

The team was also lambasted for the signing/not signing of Grant Balfour, because a sketchy physical.  Again, they have looked good in the transaction.

The O’s have done a great job building their Bullpen and Rotation.

Chris Tillman was part of the now extremely lopsided deal, which saw Adam Jones for Erik Bedard  several years back.

That coupled with some waiver claims (T.J. McFarland as a Rule 5 Draft Picks) and former team draft picks – converting in to late inning arms (Brian Matusz and Closer Zach Britton), and you have seen a brilliant molding of a Relief Core.

Darren O’Day was claimed off of waivers from Texas, in the same campaign the club also fleeced the Rangers, with the Chris Davis/Tommy Hunter deal for Koji Uehara.

Ryan Webb was actually optioned to the Minors, despite decent numbers, while clearing a path for Andrew Miller, as part of a deal from Boston.  Miller is one of the better LHP out of the pen in the last year.

The team has supplanted the rotation, with a few key Free Agents over the years, starting with Wei-Yin Chen, and Miguel Gonzalez.

Kevin Gausman represents the only starter right now that was drafted by the team originally.

Bud Norris was brought into Baltimore for a couple of former draft picks and a 2014 RD A compensation pick.

The other significant 2013 deal for the staff  – was dealing a Minor Leaguer for Brad Brach.

The Ubaldo Situation

Looking at the numbers, Buck Showalter has the right idea in taking Jimenez out of the rotation.Regardless of the contract figures, Jimenez has failed to be that ace that the Orioles expected to get  when he signed his 4 YR $50 MM dollar contract in the winter.

It’s time to let Jimenez take some time to figure things out, as hopefully skipping a start or two will give him time to work on his mechanics to help get him back on track.

This is also familiar territory for the Orioles, as Showalter and crew have had some good success  sending guys to the bullpen.

Remember, Zach Britton and Tommy Hunter, two of the best arms in the Orioles’ bullpen this season, were starters that struggled, but once they were shifted to the bullpen they seemed to have figured it out and have been very reliable throughout the season.

Maybe Jimenez can find a role in the pen that could help the team clinch a playoff spot. Read the rest of this entry

Should The Orioles Make A Blockbuster Deal Before the Deadline?

The Orioles are kicking around the top of the AL East, and may have three players that crack 30+ HRs by years end with Cruz, Jones and Davis.  The team hasn't even had normal contributions from Hardy and Machado - while Matt Wieters is out for the year.  The time to strike is now with just being behind the AL East by 2 Games, and in barely trailing for the 2nd Wild Card Spot.

The Orioles are kicking around the top of the AL East, and may have three players that crack 30+ HRs by years end with Cruz, Jones and Davis. The team hasn’t even had normal contributions from Hardy and Machado – while Matt Wieters is out for the year. The time to strike is now with just being behind the AL East by 2 Games, and in barely trailing for the 2nd Wild Card Spot.

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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As July rapidly approaches, the Orioles find themselves in the middle of the competitive AL East division trying to make a run at a division title in 2014.

Although the team finds themselves currently in second place in the division, the O’s have seen inconsistency throughout the first half of the season.

There are definitely places where the team can improve before the July 31st trade deadline, but the question remains of whether or not Dan Duquette and the Orioles front office want to part ways with some of the club’s promising young talent for a possible rental player.

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Baltimore Orioles Early Season Grades

Baltimore Orioles

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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As the first full month of the season reaches its final week, the Orioles need to get away from the .500 baseball they have been playing in order to make a push towards the 2014 postseason. 

Of course, the season is still very young, as there are about 140 games left to play.

The O’s got an early taste of the competitive AL East Division, as six of their first seven series were against division rivals, including two series verse the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. 

As we are about 1/8th through the season, I decided to grade the Orioles up to this point of the season, looking for ways for them to improve. Read the rest of this entry

Chris Duffy Contacts All MLB Teams: Will He Get A Second Chance?

Chris Duffy Looks for An MLB Opportunity

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports Writer)  

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An interesting story broke out last week, as Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle wrote an article on Chris Duffy, A current independent ballplayer who has been searching for a chance to sign with a Major League team this spring. 

During his senior season at the University of Central Florida, Duffy was nominated for the Golden Spikes Award, which is annually given to the country’s best amateur baseball player.

He was nominated among the likes of Bryce Harper (who won the award), Chris Sale, Drew Pomeranz, and Yasmani Grandal

Unlike the other four nominees, Duffy was not a first-round draft pick and was unable to make it to the major leagues just yet. He fell to the 26th round, where the Philadelphia Phillies finally swooped him up.
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Baltimore Orioles State Of The Union Spring 2014 Part 1: The Lineup Now With Cruz Added

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports O’s Writer)  

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Nelson Cruz Signs with Baltimore

It has been a very busy week for the Orioles as Spring Training gets started, as the team is set to announce the signing of Nelson Cruz to a one-year, $8 MM contract.

Earlier in the week, I wrote about guys the Orioles could target to help bolster their lineup, and Cruz seemed to be the most logical fit. Read the rest of this entry

Orioles Finally Make A Free Agent Splash To Salvage Winter

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports O’s Writer)  

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Orioles Sign Ubaldo Jimenez 

The Orioles could not catch a break this off-season, as they lost out on free agents that they coveted as well as missing out on closer Grant Balfour , after he failed the team’s physical.

Bronson Arroyo balked at even going for a physical seeing what happened to the Aussie – opting to sign with the D-Backs even though the money was similar, rather than have his worth devalued by flunking the doctor’s visit from the O’s.

Tyler Colvin also fell victim to Baltimore’s stringent doctors, while Grady Sizemore didn’t have a chance to pass a physical with the club either despite Orioles interest.

Orioles fans all over wondered what the team’s intentions were, as many felt the team could be a serious contender with the core they have in place, but some moves needed to be made to bolster the roster.

On Monday night, the Orioles finally made a big splash in free agency that everyone anxiously awaited. The team announced they agreed to a four-year, $48 MM deal with pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.

This is a huge move for the Orioles as an organization, as it now shows their fan base that they are willing to spend big money on key free agents.

The O’s have been linked to many of the big name free agents throughout the offseason, only to come up short when it came to signing them.

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Orioles Fill Closer Void With Signing Of Grant Balfour

The Baltimore Orioles signed Closer Grant Balfour to a 2 YR/ 14 Million dollar contract on Tuesday. Balfour will replace Jim Johnson, who was traded to Balfour’s previous team, the Oakland Athletics, earlier in the offseason.  In an overall picture, the club almost essentially traded Jim Johnson for Jemile Weeks and Grant Balfour.  The club will save $2 – $3 MIL in payroll next campaign, while they added Second Base depth, and perhaps may have the better Relief Pitcher out of the two.  Better yet, Baltimore has their Closer scenario sewn up for the 2015 season now as well.

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports O’s Writer)  

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What the signing of Grant Balfour means to the Orioles

As the winter moves along, the Oriole faithful keeps asking the same question: when are the Orioles going to make a big move?

The beginning of the MLB Free Agency period has not been friendly to Orioles fans, as they saw their team trade away Jim Johnson, one of the best Closers in baseball, as well as part ways with Left Fielder Nate McLouth and Starting Pitcher Scott Feldman through free agency.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Orioles found out that rumors surrounding the team were actually truth, as it was announced that Grant Balfour signed a 2 YR/ 14 Million dollar deal, with $500,000 deferred each season.

Grant Balfour Rage versus the Rangers

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The Orioles Trade Jim Johnson To The A’s For Jemile Weeks

Jemile Weeks had a great 2011 campaign - hitting for a 3 Slash Line of .304/.340/.761 - with 22 SB and 50 Runs Scored in just 406 AB.  He struggled in 2012, regressing to a Slash of .220/.305/.609 in 444 AB - before being subsequently replaced.  With the Orioles potentially non-tendering Johnson anyway, this kind of flier just may end up working out for Baltimore in the long run if Weeks can make the squad in 2014 or beyond.

Jemile Weeks had a great 2011 campaign – hitting for a 3 Slash Line of .304/.340/.761 – with 22 SB and 50 Runs Scored in just 406 AB. He struggled in 2012, regressing to a Slash of .220/.305/.609 in 444 AB – before being subsequently replaced and then enduring a 2013 year mostly in the Minors.. With the Orioles potentially non-tendering Johnson anyway, this kind of flier just may end up working out for Baltimore in the long run if Weeks can make the squad and produce.

By Nicholas Delahanty (MLB Reports O’s Writer)  

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What the Jim Johnson Trade means for the Orioles 

The Orioles completed a trade late Monday night which sends closer Jim Johnson to the Oakland Athletics for Jemile Weeks and a player to be named later.

Johnson has been one of the best closers in all of baseball, as his 101 saves over the past two seasons is the most in all of baseball.

He has been projected to make close $10 – 11 million through arbitration in 2014 – before becoming a Free Agent in 2015, so the Orioles felt it was time to part ways with the veteran right-hander.

It definitely will be a transition for Johnson, who has been with the organization since 2001. Johnson will look to fill the closer role in Oakland, as he will replace Grant Balfour, who is a free agent.

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