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The Orioles are trying to stay relevant in the American League East. They lost Wei-Yin Chen to the Marlins, but they did manage to re-sign Chris Davis, and Matt Wieters accepted the qualifying offer what seems like ages ago, too. Last week, they signed Yovani Gallardo to a three-year deal, and on Tuesday, did the next-most logical thing and agreed to terms with outfielder Dexter Fowler. That will cost the O's their first two picks in the 2016 draft, but it's the price of trying to keep up with the rest of their division.
Well, assuming they end up with Gallardo, anyway. A problem with his physical has the O's putting the deal on hold for now, but it's worth pointing out it's not dead. Yet. It all depends on the severity of what showed up on Gallardo's shoulder MRI, and if the two sides can agree to something that maybe trades in guarantees for options, or reduces the money somewhat. The O's are desperate, but it's late-February and Gallardo's physical didn't come back completely clean, so they aren't alone in that.
Assuming this all ends up working out somehow, the Orioles will have an improved rotation and outfield. Mark Trumbo can stick to DH, as his glove warrants, and an outfield (and lineup) with newcomer Hyun-soo Kim gets a bit more certainty in it. Will it be enough to secure a playoff spot? Who knows, but the Orioles will be in a better position with these two late-offseason signings than they would be without them.
- Yoenis Cespedes showed up to spring training in a vehicle ridiculous enough that it needs to be seen. On Wednesday, he went a little more normal -- okay, for him -- and pulled in driving a custom Lamborghini.
- Lazaro Armenataros -- or Lazarito -- is a 16-year-old Cuban prospect that many teams are intrigued by. His free agency took a frightening turn, though, as one of his representatives reportedly threatened the life of Charles Hairston, who has been the American-based contact between Lazarito's camp and MLB teams.
- It looks as if Cliff Lee is retiring, and while that's disappointing, there is plenty we can learn from his career.
- Jose Reyes is on paid leave until his domestic violence case comes to a conclusion. MLB will continue to investigate Reyes outside of the criminal case, so don't take this as their final form of potential punishment or anything like that.
- The Pirates will consider an Andrew McCutchen extension at an "appropriate" time, which sounds like Pittsburgh saying "not while he still has all these years left on his current deal."
- Ryan Howard was not happy with the media during his spring training press conference, and it's kind of hard to blame him given what he's going through at this point in his career.
- The Twins were pretty quiet this winter, as they are betting everything on their kids to keep them in contention.
- Jose Bautista says his current deal with the Blue Jays was a hometown discount, and while he doesn't owe them one to begin with, you can argue that there was too much risk involved for this contract to be an outright team-friendly deal.
- Speaking of contracts, Dan Szymborski teamed up with ZiPS to create a list of the worst deals in the game. Albert Pujols ranked as the worst, which shouldn't be a surprise given he's under contract through 2021, and he's already just a very good player instead of an impact one. Also, he's still owed $165 million of the $240 million he signed for, so have fun with that, Angels.