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Friday Bird Droppings: Where free agents are free, but not cheap

There are now a whole lot of free agents in MLB, though it's a few days before anyone can sign anywhere. In today's links, the O's are thin up the middle, they're counted out for next year, and more.

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Detroit Tigers v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 145 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2018. That is a lot of days, more than I really would like to contemplate. But we'll all just have to take it one day at a time and before we know it, Opening Day will be here.

The offseason has begun, though it's not quite hot stove season yet. Right now, we're in a five day window where players have become free agents but their previous teams have an exclusive negotiating window with those players.

It's not until the evening of November 6 that any team can sign any free agent. You probably won't miss anything this weekend... and it's not like the Dan Duquette Orioles are known for pouncing on any free agents in November, or even December.

Elsewhere in baseball, the big news from yesterday was that the Angels signed a contract extension with Justin Upton, who chose to deal with the Angels rather than be uprooted by signing with a different team in free agency. That probably won't have much impact on the Orioles, since the O's weren't very likely to sign an outfielder, especially not a high-priced outfielder, anyway.

Around the blogO'sphere

Orioles organizational depth report: Few promising middle infielders behind Schoop, Beckham (Baltimore Sun)
The good news is that if Jonathan Schoop and Tim Beckham keep playing well, the Orioles won’t need a middle infielder until at least 2020. The bad news is that there’s no one after that.

Questions regarding Machado, Brach, Wynns, and Mountcastle (School of Roch)
Roch is less pessimistic than some about a Manny Machado extension, it seems - and somewhat bullish on whether catcher Austin Wynns should get added to the 40-man roster.

2017-18 Top 50 MLB Free Agents With Predictions (MLB Trade Rumors)
The Orioles are predicted to sign Carlos Gonzalez to a one year, $12 million deal, as well as Jason Vargas to a one year, $10 million deal. That would be an outrageously disappointing offseason.

3 offseason questions for Orioles (
Question #1 is what it should be: Who the heck is going to pitch in the rotation next year? Brittany Ghiroli phrases it more politely than I have been doing.

Odds to win 2018 World Series (ESPN)
The Orioles are 60-1 to win next year’s World Series. Please don’t waste even a tiny bit of your hard-earned money indulging this longshot.

The way-too-early 2018 Power Rankings (ESPN)
Dan Duquette likes to mock “the people who pick us last every year” ... but, uh, they came in last place this year. Anyway, the O’s are seen as 26th right now. Until they improve the rotation, it’s fair.

IHSAA volleyball: Avon Orioles want to reclaim 4A throne (IndyStar)
The volleyballers of Avon High School in Avon, Indiana are playing for a state championship tomorrow night. Good luck to them!

Birthdays and anniversaries

On this day in 1982, Jim Palmer was robbed of a fourth Cy Young award as the BBWAA voters chose Pete Vuckovich of the Brewers to take the year's Cy. Vuckovich had the fortune to win 18 games to Palmer's 15, but had a 1.502 WHIP to Palmer's 1.137 and trailed Palmer in every category that mattered. In fairness, Toronto's Dave Stieb may have been the most deserving winner by more enlightened modern standards.

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 1997 ALCS villain Armando Benitez, 1979-81 reserve Mark Corey, 1991 outfielder Dwight Evans, 1976 pitcher Ken Holtzman, and 1961-64 reserve Earl Robinson.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: chemist and nitrogen discoverer Daniel Rutherford (1749), tourist guidebook pioneer Karl Baedeker (1801), Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Feller (1918), actress/comedian Roseanne Barr (1952), tough guy actor Dolph Lundgren (1957), erstwhile NFLer Colin Kaepernick (1987), and reality TV personality Kendall Jenner (1995).

On this day in history...

In 1534, the Act of Supremacy passed Parliament in England, making King Henry VIII the head of the Anglican Church, rather than being subject to the pope and the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1783, the American Continental Army was officially disbanded, having achieved its goal: American independence.

In 1838, what is today the world's largest-circulated English language daily broadsheet was founded: The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce. Today it's simply The Times of India.

In 1868, John Willis Menard became the first African-American to be elected to Congress. However, the loser of the election challenged the result and Menard was never seated.

In 1969, President Nixon delivered a TV and radio address to the nation in which he asked for the "silent majority" to join in support of his Vietnam War policies.


And that's the way it is in Birdland on November 3 - or at least, unless something happens later. Maybe there will be a surprise contract extension? We probably shouldn't get our hopes up. Have a safe Friday.