April 3, 2016 Update: Kim has made the Orioles' roster, according to a report.
One of the Baltimore Orioles' key offseason additions will not be suiting up for them on Opening Day.
Korean outfielder Hyun-soo Kim has refused an outright assignment to the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate come the start of the season.
Kim had this liberty due to a clause in his two-year, $7 million contract signed with the club this offseason. He had to give consent to any demotion to the minor leagues, which is not the case here.
Leeco Sports Agency, a Seoul, South Korea company, issued this statement.
"Kim would like to see his contract honored and executed faithfully," the company said, via Yonhap News in Korea. "He also hopes to receive fair opportunities to continue his career as a major leaguer in Baltimore."
The issue arose as final Spring Training cuts have been made this week.
Kim has had a dismal spring, hitting just .182 (8-for-44) with a walk, two RBIs, three runs scored, and no extra-base hits. His OPS is .411.
These poor stats can be attributed to the fact that Kim is adjusting to living in America and playing in the Major Leagues, a far more superior league to the Korean Baseball Organization.
It is worth noting, however, that Jung-ho Kang, Pirates' infielder, also struggled during 2015 Spring Training when making the same transition. However, he made his adjustments and eventually ended up in Rookie of the Year discussion.
As for the team, the Orioles are now limited in their options. They could try to trade Kim, release him (but still owe him $7 million), or offer him back to Korea. The third option, however, is not what Kim wants.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported that Kim had not made the Orioles' Opening Day roster and would be sent to Triple-A.
The Baltimore Orioles have agreed to sign free-agent first baseman Pedro Alvarez, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Alvarez will earn $5.75 million in a one-year deal with the O's.
Sherman reports that the deal includes about $1.5 million in available performance bonuses.
Alvarez was non-tendered, or granted his free agency, by the Pirates earlier in the offseason. Alvarez has had trouble finding a spot where he is even adequate in the field, forcing the Pirates to let him and his big bat go.
In Baltimore, however, Alvarez may be a better fit.
The Orioles currently project to have Mark Trumbo as the designated hitter come Opening Day, but he could end up having to move to the corner outfield, where he would likely replace Henry Urrutia.
This would allow Alvarez to only use his bat, which is by far his best asset and even earned him a trip to the All-Star Game in 2013.
In 2015, Alvarez slashed .243/.318/.469 with 27 home runs and 77 RBIs in 491 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, he was worth 0.2 Wins Above Replacement, due mostly to his horrific -26.4 UZR/150 games.
Alvarez could prove to be very valuable with the Orioles for two reasons. First, he is no longer a liability in the field. Second, he will be playing 81 games at Camden Yards, one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in the Major Leagues.
The Orioles have had a fairly large offseason, re-resigning Chris Davis and Matt Wieters and bringing in Hyun-soo Kim, Trumbo, and Yovani Gallardo either through trade or signing.
Updated on Wednesday, Feb. 24: The Orioles and Gallardo have restructured their contract, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com and Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Under the new deal, Gallardo will make $22 million over two seasons, a $13 million drop in guaranteed cash. He has a chance to earn $11 million more with a team option for a third season. If Gallardo earns all possible money, he will make $33 million.
Updated on Tuesday, Feb. 23: Physical exam issues with Gallardo have caused the deal to hit a snag, according to media reports. There is uncertainty as to whether the deal will be completed.
The Baltimore Orioles have agreed to sign right-handed pitcher Yovani Gallardo, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Saturday.
Gallardo and the Orioles have agreed to a three-year, $35 million deal, per Heyman. The deal includes a club option for a fourth season for $13 million, according to SB Nation's Chris Cotillo with a buyout of $2 million.
Some of the money in Gallardo's deal will be deferred.
This means that his $35 million guarantee won't be paid all over the three seasons of the contract. The Orioles will continue to pay Gallardo after he reaches free agency again. This lowers the present-day value of the deal due to inflation rates.
The completion of a deal for Gallardo ends an offseason-long saga.
He was given a qualifying offer by the Texas Rangers at the conclusion of the World Series. Gallardo rejected it, and he was then tied to draft pick compensation. Like many free agents, this deterred teams from wanting to strike a pact.
The Orioles have been in advanced discussions with Gallardo for some time now, as they were reportedly close to signing him on Feb. 10.
Besides the Orioles, Gallardo also received the most interest from the Rockies and Astros, but the latter ducked out of the sweepstakes after signing Doug Fister. Colorado was thought at one time to have been close to a deal, but it obviously never crossed the finish line.
All things aside, Gallardo adds some much-needed depth to Baltimore's 2016 rotation.
He is projected to be pitching alongside Ubaldo Jimenez, Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez, and Kevin Gausman in the rotation come Opening Day.
The 29-year-old Gallardo was 13-11 with a 3.42 ERA in 184 1/3 innings pitched with Texas last season. He posted a 121 to 68 strikeout-to-walk ratio, good for a 4.00 FIP and a 4.31 xFIP. According to FanGraphs, he was worth 2.5 Wins Above Replacement.
Over his career, Gallardo has a 3.66 ERA, 3.74 FIP, and 3.65 xFIP in nine Major League seasons with the Brewers and Rangers.
Update, February 25, 2016: In a surprising turn of events, the Cubs announced a signing of Fowler. Read about the controversy here.
The Baltimore Orioles have agreed to sign outfielder Dexter Fowler, Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reported Tuesday.
A pair of reports from ESPN's Buster Olney and MLB Network's Jon Heyman say that the deal is a three-year contract and is worth $33 million. Since the deal is not official, it is still pending a physical.
The Orioles get a deal done with Fowler just days after solidifying their rotation with Yovani Gallardo. However, the latter deal may fall apart, as concerns have been raised with Gallardo's physical. This puts Fowler's pending physical under more scrutiny.
Physical aside, Fowler will cost the Orioles either their first or second round pick (depending on whether the Gallardo deal goes through). He was offered a qualifying offer from his former team, the Cubs, at the beginning of the offseason in November.
That is part of the reason why Fowler remained unsigned for so long. Teams apparently were not willing to forfeit a draft pick in order to sign Fowler, leaving him without an employer until now.
That is not saying that Fowler was not a good performer by any means.
In fact, he was quite valuable last season, hitting .250/.346/.411 with 17 home runs and 46 RBIs in 690 plate appearances. Fowler, soon to be 30, added 20 stolen bases in 27 attempts. According to FanGraphs, he was worth a solid 3.2 fWAR, good for 11th in the Major Leagues amongst center fielders.
Fowler makes a good Orioles offense even better.
The team already boasts Manny Machado, Chris Davis, Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, and Mark Trumbo in the middle of the order, and now Fowler gives them a fantastic leadoff presence.
In the outfield, Fowler helps as well. Orioles' outfielders posted the second-worst wRC+ in 2015, likely due to the fact that only Adam Jones was considered an above-average bat there.
While it will cost the Orioles a draft pick, Fowler, especially at just $11 million per season, is a valuable upgrade for a team that is looking to capture the AL East in 2016.
The Baltimore Orioles are close to signing right-handed pitcher Yovani Gallardo to a three-year deal, according to various media reports on Wednesday. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first mentioned that the sides were gaining momentum on a contract.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com, if (and when) Gallardo's deal with the Orioles does get completed, the deal would be worth about $40 to $45 million. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN notes that the deal still needs some "tweaks" before it can be completed.
Gallardo, who turns 30 later this month, spent 2015 with the Texas Rangers. He went 13-11 with a 3.42 ERA (124 ERA+) and a 121 to 68 strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.00 FIP) in 184 1/3 innings pitched. According to FanGraphs, he was worth 2.5 Wins Above Replacement.
The Orioles had been one of the teams connected to Gallardo this offseason, with the Rockies and Astros also showing interest at different points.
Baltimore's rotation could use some upgrades if they want to contend in 2016, but at what cost? Because he was given a qualifying offer from Texas, Gallardo has draft pick compensation attached to him. If the Orioles do sign him, then they will lose their 2016 first round pick (No. 14).
As of now, the Orioles' projected 2016 rotation includes: Ubaldo Jimenez, Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez, Kevin Gausman, and Mike Wright. Last year, the unit posted a 9.3 fWAR, 18th in the Majors. Gallardo would be a definite upgrade there.
If the Orioles do sign Gallardo, that could lead them to pursue other available free agents. This could include Dexter Fowler, as the team would only have to give up their second round draft choice if they signed the outfielder. The possibility of a deal there remains to be seen.