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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the race to improve the Orioles rotation begins

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Today is the first full day where any team can sign any free agent. The Orioles won't be busy. In today's links, the outfield defense was bad, the O's need a pitching plan, and more.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

There are now 141 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2018. If you are part of the Birdland contingent that is still holding on to the true faith in Virginia, don't forget to exercise your right to vote today.

As of 5pm last night, the race to sign free agents is underway. Any player can now negotiate and sign with any team. Nine qualifying offers have been made, including to supposed Orioles rotation targets Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn, as well as an outfielder, Lorenzo Cain, recently mooted by an O's beat writer.

These players don't cost a first-round pick any more. Absorb that information! If you go fretting about signing a QO player and cite a lost first round pick as a concern, people will know you don't know what you're talking about. A team that receives revenue-sharing money loses its third-highest pick; a team that pays revenue sharing gives up its second-highest pick and $500,000 of international bonus money.

Anyway, the Orioles probably won't sign any of them, because that would cost money, so there's no point worrying about it. Who will they actually sign? If recent history holds, we're not going to find out at any point in the month of November. We'll only learn who they won't sign as those players find new homes with other teams that are actually willing to strike while the iron is hot.

Around the blogO'sphere

How far away are the Orioles? (Steve Melewski)
Melewski asks the question and does not advance his own answer. It does all seem to come down to whether the rotation can stop stinking. About that...

Orioles free agent pitching primer: How the club can address their starting rotation needs (Baltimore Sun)
If you want to be depressed, read down to the “wait it out” section of this article.

The Orioles need better outfield defense (Camden Depot)
It turns out that when you have an outfield full of guys who don’t have a fast sprint speed, you’re going to have problems. Camden Depot’s Matt Perez has hopes that the O’s will fix that.

Should teams plan on more homers, strikeouts in 2018? (Fangraphs)
The ball was juiced this year, and batters are swinging for more loft, to boot. So it’s not time to keep signing sinker-ballers. They’re not the answer right now!

Keith Law's Top 50 free agents: Some pitching, some pop (ESPN)
Insider is required for Law’s free agent capsules. The Orioles may not sign even a dang one of these guys.

Former Oriole Rich Dauer treated for blood clot in brain after Astros' World Series parade (Baltimore Sun)
Get well soon, Rich!

Birthdays and anniversaries

On this day in 1989, Gregg Olson won the AL Rookie of the Year award, the most recent Orioles player to do so. Olson was the first relief pitcher to win that award.

There are three former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: outfielder-to-pitcher conversion candidate Dariel Alvarez, 2006 starter Kris Benson, and the late Bob Hale, a reserve for the 1955-59 teams.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: explorer James Cook (1728), radioactivity research pioneer Marie Curie (1867), singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell (1943), fantasy author Guy Gavriel Kay (1954), and singer-songwriter Lorde (1996).

On this day in history...

In 1492, a meteorite struck in a wheat field near the village of Ensisheim in Alsace, France. This is the oldest meteorite with a known date.

In 1908, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were killed - reportedly - in San Vicente, Bolivia.

In 1916, Jeanette Rankin became the first woman to be elected to Congress.

In 1917, the Bolsheviks stormed the Winter Palace in Russia.

In 1989, Douglas Wilder was elected governor of Virginia, becoming the first African-American to be elected governor in the United States.

**

And that's the way it is in Birdland on November 7 - or at least, unless something happens later. Hey, you never know. Free agency has started! Although of course, we must all remember the classic article in The Onion that questions whether any man can have free agency. Have a safe Tuesday.