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Friday Bird Droppings

Question of the Day: Sorry for the lateness, gang. One of my favorite stories about the offseason so far is Shin-Soo Choo's quest for military exemption in the Asian Games, which you can read more about here. Choo's a surprisingly good player and I've heard at least one Orioles blogger grumble that Choo was who they want Nick Markakis to be. If the contracts were equal, would you trade Nick for Choo straight up? -Andrew

LATE ADDITION: Orioles, Padres, Mariners likely to bid on Tsuyoshi Nishioka | HardballTalk
The O's are apparently preparing a bid for the infielder. Interesting...

Steve Melewski: Britton joins forces with Boras
So, Zach Britton has some quotes about Scott Boras, but then Steve adds the list of eight Orioles MiLB players who must be added to the 40-man or risk being lost to the Rule V Draft: Zach Britton, Wynn Pelzer, Joe Mahoney, Matt Angle, Ryan Adams, Tyler Henson, Pedro Beato, Billy Rowell, Steve Johnson, Tim Bascom, Brandon Cooney, Pat Egan, Chad Thall, Brandon Waring and Robbie Widlansky.

School of Roch: Gabino, Hughes come off 40-man
So there's that.

Orioles Insider: Shelby will miss Baltimore; looking forward to Milwaukee
T-Bone Shelby will miss Baltimore, but he likes being gainfully employed, so off to Milwaukee!

MLB: Less recognizable free-agent pitchers could have huge impact - ESPN Los Angeles
The names at the top of the free-agent arms list are obvious -- Lee, Rivera, Soriano -- but the numbers suggest there are some other pitchers, some you might not expect, worth taking a look at this offseason.

Seattle ace Felix Hernandez is an easy winner for AL Cy Young Award -
And the baseball writers joined the rest of us in the 21st century.

Orioles Insider: Prediction Friday: Ravens-Panthers and David Hernandez's trade value
Dan Connolly has a pretty high opinion of David Hernandez's trade value.

Steve Melewski: O's release eight minor leaguers
Another wave of minor leagues has been cut loose, and expect up to 30 more to be cut in the days ahead.

School of Roch: An update and the 40-man
The Orioles have to set their 40-man roster by Saturday, and Roch does a pretty job jog of discussing all the ramifications, including what could happen to Steve Johnson this time if he's left off again.

Peo Javelinas 1, Scottsdale 0 (7) - Arizona Fall League
Multiple Orioles saw action, as Greg Miclat, Ryan Adams and Xavier Avery all started (and went collectively hitless) and Pat Egan and Wynn Pelzer each pitched a scoreless inning. The last AFL game is tomorrow.

The Toy Department: Orioles need to sign Derek Jeter 
This was linked in yesterday's comments by Eat More Esskay, but I think it deserves its own recognition. If I thought for a second this was satire I would applaud. But alas, it appears to be serious. - Stacey 

If Voldemort's really taken over the Open Thread, none of the old places are safe.