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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where it's Christmas for Dan Duquette

Dan Duquette's favorite day of the offseason has arrived: Rule 5 draft day. In today’s links, more Machado trade talk, Orioles superlatives, the reliever market, and more.

Cleveland Indians v Baltimore Orioles
Ryan Flaherty is the original Orioles Rule 5 pick darling.
Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 103 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2018. There are zero days remaining until Christmas for Dan Duquette, because today is the long-awaited (for him) Rule 5 draft.

The Orioles, based on Duquette's comments to media on Wednesday, seem to be looking to grab a left-handed reliever who might, if all goes right, be able to be used as a spot starter and even, some day, a starter. Think T.J. McFarland. That's probably an optimistic outcome, which is why the Rule 5 draft is not really a big deal. The Orioles aren't expected to lose anyone because they have no good Rule 5-eligible players.

The Rule 5 draft might be what passes for news today, but it's certainly not the biggest Birdland story worth talking about as the winter meetings draw to a close. Duquette told reporters that "more than a handful" of teams have checked in about Machado. FanRag's Jon Heyman reported that there are multiple offers that have been made.

Is today the day? Probably not, although you never know. Duquette indicated Wednesday that teams tend to make their decisions about what they want next year's team to look like before the first of the year, so it's not yet "fish or cut bait" time on Machado, but the end of the year is just more than two and a half weeks away, plus there's Christmas in there. It'll be here sooner than we want.

Of course, the Orioles themselves only have so much time to decide whether that's what they want to do. The way the starting pitching market shapes up could be what decides things for them. And it's already shaping up in such a way that they're unlikely to do much. So I guess we'll see how it all goes.

Around the blogO'sphere

Orioles need to take the best overall package for Machado - divisional hatred be damned (Baltimore Baseball)
Dan Connolly gets it. Dan Duquette seems to get it. Does Peter Angelos get it?

Vibrant reliever free agent market places added value on Orioles bullpen pieces (Baltimore Sun)
I don’t really get this logic for Zach Britton or Brad Brach, because free agents only cost money. But maybe a team that doesn’t want to lay out multiple years for a reliever feels differently.

Brach’s status on trade market tied to Britton (School of Roch)
Every now and again there is a story that comes along that makes it seem like the Orioles don’t have any idea what the hell they are doing. This is one of those stories.

Zach Britton says his knee ‘feels great’ and he’s taking trade talk ‘in stride’ this time (Baltimore Baseball)
It wasn’t too many months ago that Britton said his forearm was doing great and that was not correct.

A quick look at the Rule 5 draft with Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper (Steve Melewski)
A couple of names to keep an eye on out of this interview: Jake Brentz of the Pirates and Sam Selman of the Royals.

MLB Superlatives: Who is the Orioles class clown, best dressed, and more? (Cut 4)
This one is a video. It might still entertain you.

Who killed the DH? (Beyond the Box Score)
Mark Trumbo was among the worst culprits, but he wasn’t the only one.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2002-06 pitcher Rodrigo Lopez, 1991 starter Jeff Robinson, and the late Bobby Adams of the 1956 Orioles.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546), George VI of England (1895), Doolittle Raid commander Jimmy Doolittle (1895), baseball Hall of Famer Craig Biggio (1965), actress/singer Vanessa Hudgens (1988), and singer Tori Kelly (1992).

On this day in history...

In 1287, the Zuiderzee sea wall collapsed in the Netherlands during the St. Lucia's flood, killing an estimated 50,000-80,000 people.

In 1812, the last remnants of the Grande Armee were driven from Russia, thus ending Napoleon's invasion.

In 1903, the Wright Brothers made their first attempt to fly with the Wright Flyer in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

In 1940, Plutonium-238 was first isolated in Berkeley, California.

In 1972, wrapping up the Apollo 17 mission, astronaut Eugene Cernan took what are still to this day the most recent footsteps on the surface of the moon.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on December 14 - or at least, unless something happens later. Hey, it is Rule 5 day, after all. Have a safe Thursday.