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Orioles great Mike Flanagan found dead outside home

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Tragic news out of Monkton, Maryland.

According to Baltimore’s WBAL 11, former Orioles pitcher, broadcaster and front office executive Mike Flanagan was reportedly found dead on a trail outside his home shortly before 4:30 p.m. ET Wednesday.

There aren’t many other details available at the moment and the Orioles have not issued a public comment on the unfortunate news.

That should change before the night is through.

Flanagan played basketball and baseball as a youth at UMass-Amherst. He was selected by the Orioles in the seventh round of the 1973 draft and made his debut as a starting pitcher in Baltimore on September 27, 1975.

Flanagan registered a 167-143 record, a 3.90 ERA and 1,491 strikeouts during an impressive 18-year major league career that lasted until 1992.

In 1979, Flanagan earned the American League Cy Young Award after posting a superb 23-9 record, 3.08 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 190/70 K/BB ratio across 265 2/3 innings (38 starts). He found a job in the Baltimore front office soon after hanging up his cleats for good and eventually worked his way up to the position of general manger — or, as the Orioles call it, executive vice president of baseball operations.

Flanagan also did some broadcasting of O’s games for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. He was 59.

UPDATE, 10:37pm: The Baltimore Sun has more details now, along with reaction from old teammates.

UPDATE, 10:46pm: The Orioles have confirmed the tragic news, according to the Sun‘s Dan Connolly.

UPDATE, 10:51pm: Brent Harris of Comcast SportsNet heard from a source that “early indications of Mike Flanagan’s death point to suicide.” Michael Jenkins, also of Comcast SportsNet, passed along the report.

UPDATE, 11:03pm: The Associated Press has a bit more on Flanagan’s death, which has been confirmed.

Angels ink Javy Guerra to minor league deal

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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with right-handed reliever Javy Guerra. The deal includes an invitation to major league spring training.

Guerra was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball last July after testing positive for a drug of abuse. That suspension is now over, though Guerra is probably ticketed for the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate to begin the 2016 season.

The 30-year-old made just three major league appearances in 2015 for the White Sox before getting outrighted off Chicago’s 40-man roster. He does own a 2.87 ERA in 150 1/3 career innings, but it has come with bouts of inconsistency and unreliability.

Maybe he can get everything going in the right direction with Anaheim.

Braves sign reliever Carlos Torres

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As first reported by Bill Shanks of Fox Sports 1670, the Braves have signed right-handed reliever Carlos Torres to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Torres was waived by the Mets in January, somewhat surprisingly, and elected to become a free agent. The 33-year-old ultimately chose Atlanta, where he should have a good shot at an Opening Day roster out of spring training with the rapidly-rebuilding Braves.

Torres posted an ugly 4.68 ERA in 57 2/3 innings last season for the Mets, but he registered a gorgeous 3.06 ERA and 96 strikeouts across 97 innings in 2014.

If he gets off to a good start in 2016, he could become valuable trade bait.

Blue Jays will have a closer competition this spring

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Roberto Osuna became the youngest pitcher to ever play for the Blue Jays last season at age 20 and he rose to the challenge with a 2.58 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 75/16 K/BB ratio in 69 2/3 frames. Osuna eventually took over as Toronto’s closer, earning 20 regular-season saves and one in the American League Division Series — a five-out effort in Game 5 to close out the visiting Rangers.

But the Jays upgraded the back end of their bullpen this winter, acquiring Drew Storen from the Nationals in early January for speedy outfielder Ben Revere. Jesse Chavez was also brought to Toronto in a trade with the A’s.

Storen has more experience at closer than Osuna, and Storen struggled when the Nationals tried to put him in a setup role. Storen, in his final year of salary arbitration, also gets paid much more. He’s probably going to enter spring training as the favorite for the Jays’ ninth-inning gig, but there will be a competition …

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca on Wednesday that he doesn’t expect the team to choose between Osuna or Storen until midway through spring training, if not later.

There’s been talk of making Osuna a starter, so add that wrinkle.

Storen, 28, boasts 95 career major league saves.

Orioles plotting late-offseason push? Gallardo, Fowler, Alvarez, Bruce in consideration

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Baltimore’s front office appears to be lining up a run of potential roster additions leading into the beginning of spring training.

We’ve already passed along the reports suggesting they are close to a three-year deal with free agent starter Yovani Gallardo, but now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler could be next on the Orioles’ target list. It they get those two deals done, the O’s could then chase free agent slugger Pedro Alvarez.

Rosenthal says the Orioles are even eyeing Jay Bruce of the Reds, though the FOX reporter hears the O’s might not have the prospects to pull off that kind of trade.

The focus for the Orioles out of the gate this winter was re-signing Matt Wieters and Chris Davis. Wieters accepted his one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer in November and Davis was locked up to a seven-year, $161 million contract in mid-January.

Now the O’s are spending a little leftover cash on late-offseason additions to improve their position in what should be a tight 2016 American League East race.