Orioles Preview - Page 15 - A look back at the 2014 AL East champion Orioles (3)

Orioles Preview
- Page 15
A look back at the 2014 AL East champion Orioles (3)

1B CHRIS DAVIS

 

2014 contribution: Davis had massive expectations after the 2013 season in which he hit 53 home runs, but was a disaster the following year, batting .196 with 26 homers in 127 games. He missed the end of the regular season and the playoffs because of a positive test for amphetamines, earning him a 25-game suspension.

 

Why he’s not gone: Davis left the organization for two months, but was re-signed to a club-record seven-year, $161 million contract in January 2016. He’s the only one left from that playoff team.

 

Where he is now: Despite spending 2018 putting together one of the worst statistical seasons in baseball history, Davis is at spring training with the Orioles as the presumed everyday first baseman trying to find a way to produce at the plate.

 

2B JONATHAN SCHOOP

 

2014 contribution: This rookie season was more a learning experience than anything else for Schoop, who hit .209 with a .598 OPS in137 games. But his defense was such that even at his size (6 feet 1), he didn’t kill the Orioles. His playoffs weren’t the best, either, with four hits in the two series.

 

Why he’s gone: He was the team’s only All-Star in 2017, and was in the middle of rebounding from a terrible start to 2018 when the Orioles surprisingly dealt Schoop — set to be a free agent after the 2019 season — to the Milwaukee Brewers at the trade deadline. He was devastated by the trade and never settled in for the National League Central champions.

 

Schoop joined Cruz on a one-year contract with the Twins, hoping he can rebuild some of his value and regain his All-Star form.

 

IF-OF STEVE PEARCE

 

2014 contribution: With Davis struggling, Pearce was a revelation for the Orioles, batting .293 with a .930 OPS and 21 home runs while playing all over the field. He was waived early in the season, but the Orioles exploited a roster loophole to keep him, and were glad they did, even if he cooled down the stretch and in the playoffs.

 

Why he’s gone: Pearce failed to reach those same heights in 2015 and signed with the Tampa Bay Rays that offseason. They traded him back to the Orioles in 2016, so the answer for why Pearce is gone at any point is, because they’ll probably get him back anyway.

 

Where he is now: Pearce was a midseason addition for the World Series champion Boston Red Sox in 2018, was named World Series Most Valuable Player and was re-signed to a one-year, $6.25 million contract.

 

3B MANNY MACHADO

 

2014 contribution: A pair of knee injuries hampered Machado’s year on both sides, with his debut that year being May1 and an August injury to his other knee ending his season. In between, he played 82 games with a dozen homeruns and a .755 OPS, scraping the surface of the superstar potential he eventually realized. But his absence was felt in the playoffs.

 

Why he’s gone: Machado and the Orioles never found common ground toward bringing him back, with the team’s closing contention window and Machado’s desire for a record contract. So, after representing the Orioles in the 2018 All-Star Game, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a five-player package that included top prospect Yusniel Diaz and three other top-30 prospects.

 

Where he is now: For a time, Machado had the record contract he sought with his 10-year, $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres. His first interview after the signing, with Sports Illustrated, was unkind to the Orioles.

 

IF RYAN FLAHERTY

 

2014 contribution: The 2011 Rule 5 draft pick got the most playing time he’d ever have in an Orioles uniform in 2014, finishing with 23 extra-base hits and batting .221 in 102 games while playing everywhere but catcher and center field. He was the starting third baseman in the postseason, and was one of the team’s best hitters in the ALCS loss.

 

Why he’s gone: Flaherty was a fascinating case—he reached six-year free agency despite appearing in just 75 games per season with the Orioles, and only sporadically holding down starting jobs. There was interest in bringing him back, but ownership deemed him too costly, so he signed a minor league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies ahead of the 2018 season and ended up with the Braves for the year.

 

Where he is now: Flaherty signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians during the offseason.