It’s A Big Year For . . .
Jones has played 1,468 games for the Orioles throughout the past 10 seasons, eighth-most in team history, and his 1,618 hits are the fifth-most. The center fielder will be 33 in August and is entering the sixth and final year of his contract. Jones has deep roots in Baltimore and would like to finish his career with the Orioles. Will that be possible?
Because Zach Britton will begin the season on the disabled list, Brach is the favorite to be the Orioles’ closer. The right-hander filled in with mixed results when Britton was hurt during the first half of last season. Brach saved 18 games but blew six opportunities and recorded a 3.77 ERA in save situations. He had a 2.68 ERA in non-save appearances. Brach would like to be a major league closer, and if he has a good 2018, he could get a chance elsewhere.
Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter
Neither executive vice president of baseball operations Duquette nor manager Showalter has a contract beyond this season. Showalter indicated at December’s Winter Meetings that he’d like to continue managing the Orioles beyond this season, and he’s popular enough in Baltimore that he can probably return in 2019 and beyond. Duquette’s ambitions are harder to discern. A competitive team would make him a better bet for a contract renewal.
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