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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the wild free agent demands have begun

Some free agents have started making their demands. The Orioles won’t sign them! Today’s links: The low minors pitching, an aggressive plan for Hunter Harvey, and more.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Baltimore Orioles Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

There are now 139 days until Orioles Opening Day 2018. For anybody who cares, the Silver Slugger awards will be given out tonight. I don't think that we'll be hearing any Orioles having their names called there... and even if we did, do Silver Sluggers even matter? The real awards start on Monday, when we'll find out that Trey Mancini finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting.

For now, the season is one of wild free agent asking prices. Scott Boras is out there seeking nearly $200 million for outfielder J.D. Martinez, which, as good as the guy was this year, seems like it would probably be a bad investment for a 30-year-old. Another 30-year-old outfielder, Jay Bruce, is seeking $80-90 million over five years.

It doesn't really matter to Orioles fans, because the O's were never going to sign either one of those guys, but it's something for the free agent market all the same.

That's assuming these are even real asking prices. One thing about being in the blogger world is that sometimes you get second- and third-hand information filtering to you where someone along the chain may or may not actually know what they're talking about. I have heard on more than one occasion the theory that early high asking prices are as likely to be put out there by one team trying to scare away suitors. I guess you never know.

Anyway, it'll probably be a while before the Orioles actually do anything because they never move fast in the offseason. The free agent market has only been open for a couple of days now. No team has decided to be the first one to jump into the pool as of yet. It only takes one to get the party started. Maybe today will be the day.

Around the blogO'sphere

Orioles organizational depth report: Tanner Scott makes big leap to lead class of relievers into 2018 (Baltimore Sun)
Tanner Scott definitely lead the class in walks, with 46 in 69 innings. He also struck out 87 batters. Maybe he’ll cut the walks eventually...

Orioles organizational depth report: Pitching-heavy draft classes leave low minors full of promising starters (Baltimore Sun)
Keep names like Keegan Akin, Alex Wells, Zach Lowther, and Brenan Hanifee in the back of your mind - though don’t get too excited about them until they start finding success at Frederick or higher. Akin is out in Arizona right now and doing well. Hooray!

Because You Asked - "The Secret of the Ooze" (School of Roch)
We’ve reached the portion of the offseason where Roch Kubatko is using Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies titles for his article headlines. Here, he suggests that Hunter Harvey could open the 2018 season in the Orioles bullpen, which is, uh... confusing.

Multiple-inning relievers could be big for future O's bullpens (Steve Melewski)
Melewski is getting excited about the idea of relievers who can go 2-3 innings at a time as part of an ordinary plan. One of them is Scott.

Law's offseason trade overview: Big names will be shopped (ESPN)
Keith Law does not think either Manny Machado or Zach Britton will be shopped, although he thinks both should.

The good, the bad, and the Orioles: Ranking all 30 teams based on their 2017 goals (ESPN)
The actual headline for this Sam Miller article involved the Giants, but the Orioles aren’t far off, ranking just 28th based on their wasting one of the remaining two seasons before the free agent apocalypse.

Pitch-framing data is going insane (Fangraphs)
There is increasing year-to-year variance in pitch framing numbers right now, which might reasonably lead one to wonder how much it’s all worth.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are two former Orioles with birthdays today: 1969 bullpen guy Al Severinsen, and Hall of Fame manager - and 1961-62 Orioles outfielder - Whitey Herzog. It's Herzog's 86th birthday today.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Maryland-born surveyor Benjamin Banneker (1731), condensed milk inventor Gail Borden (1801), actress/inventor Hedy Lamarr (1914), astronomer Carl Sagan (1934), baseball Hall of Famer Bob Gibson (1935), wrestling's Chris Jericho (1970), Baltimore's own singer-songwriter Sisqo (1978), 98 Degrees crooner Nick Lachey (1973), and TV personality Vanessa (Minnillo) Lachey (1980).

On this day in history...

In 1620, the Mayflower pilgrims sighted land at what is today Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

In 1867, the Tokugawa shogunate returned power to the Emperor of Japan, beginning the Meiji Restoration, under which Japan rapidly modernized. The Meiji Emperor's grandson was on the throne during World War II.

In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt became the first sitting US president to make an official trip outside of the country. He left to inspect work on the Panama Canal.

In 1970, the Supreme Court voted against hearing a case that could have allowed Massachusetts to enforce a state law which gave its residents the right to refuse military service in an undeclared war.

In 1979, there was a false alarm of a nuclear strike: NORAD computers and those in Fort Ritchie, Maryland detected a supposed massive Soviet nuclear strike. Satellite and radar data revealed the false alarm and the alert was cancelled.


And that's the way it is in Birdland on November 9 - or at least, unless something happens later. Hey, you never know! Have a safe Thursday.