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Greenberg gets minor league deal from Orioles

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Greenberg gets minor league deal from Orioles

Adam Greenberg is getting a chance to resume his baseball career with the Baltimore Orioles.

The 31-year-old returned to the major leagues for one at-bat in October, more than seven years after he was beaned in his debut. He agreed to a minor league contract with the Orioles and will have a chance to earn a job at their Triple-A farm team in Norfolk, Va.

``To get the opportunity with the Orioles means everything to me,'' he said Saturday.

He had contacted Baltimore manager Buck Showalter at the winter meetings this month in Nashville, Tenn.

``I just walked up to him, introduced myself,'' Greenberg said. ``I've always kind of looked at Buck and said that would be the guy that I would love to play, that type of hard-nose mentality.''

Showalter put him in touch with Orioles special assistant Brady Anderson and general manager Dan Duquette.

``I'm going to spring (training) with the opportunity to make the Triple-A squad,'' he said. ``Being 31, they said I'm not going to be going to Double-A and taking away a prospect's spot. It's Triple-A, big leagues - obviously I'm not going to make the big league team out of camp - it's Triple-A, big leagues or nothing, and that's great.''

Selected by the Chicago Cubs in the ninth round of the 2002 amateur draft, Greenberg made his big league debut as a pinch hitter on July 9, 2005, and was hit on the back of his head with the first pitch from the Marlins' Valerio de los Santos. Greenberg sustained a concussion and was removed for a pinch runner.

Released by the Cubs in June 2006, he had minor league stints with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kansas City Royals, the speedy outfielder signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds and was cut at the end of spring training, hampered by a rotator cuff injury. He spent 2009, `10 and `11 with the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League.

After a petition on Change.org urged a big league team to give him another chance, the Marlins signed him and sent him up as a pinch hitter on Oct. 2 against New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Greenberg struck out on three pitches against the eventual NL Cy Young Award winner.

``The last few years have been very, very difficult and challenging, but I got myself physically where I need to be and more important than anything, mentally I'm at a point in my career where I'm able to commit 110 percent back to the game,'' he said.

His agreement was reported by several media outlets on Thursday.

NOTES: Baltimore assigned OF Steve Pearce outright to Norfolk on Friday.

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Orioles starting rotation ranked near the bottom of MLB

Orioles starting rotation ranked near the bottom of MLB

BY TYLER BYRUM

Coming into the 2017 season, the Baltimore Orioles are looking to build off a Wild Card appearance last year that ended in disappointment. 

In the off-season the team needed to address numerous issues along their roster, especially the team’s starting pitching.  Without any major moves during the winter, the Orioles will start the season with the 24th best starting rotation in the majors according to USA Today.

Last year the team’s rotation was not that great and a majority of them are returning to the squad this season. Behind Kevin Gausman (3.61 ERA) and Chris Tillman (3.77), the remaining six regular starters averaged a 5.35 ERA. Only one of those pitchers had a sub 5.00 ERA and that was right-hander Dylan Bundy (4.02).

He started the season primarily as a reliever but towards the end of the year he was consistently in the five-man rotation. In the games he started, the right-handed pitcher finished with a 8-5 record. None of the other starters, excluding Chris Tillman, finished the season with a winning record. 

Based on essentially no pitching moves by the organization, it appears that the 24-year-old Bundy will be called on to be the third man in the rotation.

READ ALSO: Orioles projected to have a down season

The next rotation spot is lining up for Wade Miley, a starting pitcher the Orioles acquired last season from the Seattle Mariners. Starting in 11 games for Baltimore he only registered two wins.

Leaving only one rotation slot open, returner’s Ubaldo Jimenez, Tyler Wilson, and Mike Wright will be fighting for the spot. Jimenez, who gave up the homerun that ended the 2016 campaign against the Toronto Blue Jays, initially looks to be one of the pitchers to fill in.

While the free agent class was not stellar this off-season, it included two World Series champions Jason Hammel and Edinson Volquez. Other notable free agents were Ivan Nova, R.A. Dickey, and Rich Hill.

Of all the minor transactions the team made in the past three months only one pitcher, Tomo Ohka, has notable experience as a starting pitcher. He turns 41 in March.

RELATED: Manny Machado ranks high among third basemen

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Where does Orioles star Manny Machado rank among MLB third basemen?

Where does Orioles star Manny Machado rank among MLB third basemen?

With the 2017 MLB season just around the corner, several positional rankings have made their rounds. The most tightly contested rankings are of those who man the hot corner because third base is arguably the deepest position in all of baseball. 

Manny Machado is one of the best in the game, but where did he rank with regards to other stars such as Kris Bryant, Josh Donaldson and Nolan Arenado? 

Here's how Machado ranks according to several publications:

Tied for first with Kris Bryant according to CBS Sports.

Third accoring to MLB.com

Second according to FOX Sports

Second according to ESPN

It's mostly a three-man race for best third baseman in baseball between Bryant, Arenado and Machado. Over the last two season's Machado has accumulated  13.3 wins above replacement according to Fangraphs, while Bryant has 15 wins above replacement and Arenado has a 9.7 WAR. 

While all three players are similar in their offensive prowess, Machado and Arenado have been significantly better than Bryant when it comes to defensive runs saved over the course of the last two seasons. 

It's hard to go wrong with any of these players at the hot corner, especially with each one capable of hoisting an MVP trophy the end of the year. 

Related: Orioles picked to finish last in AL East in 2017