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The Orioles did nothing at the winter meetings, just like we all thought

With only one roster move outside of the Rule 5 draft, it turns out we may know this front office pretty well.

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

With the MLB Winter Meetings having ended this past Thursday, it’s time to take a look back at our predictions from two weeks ago. For those of you who missed it, we featured a series of seven polls regarding Dan Duquette’s future actions, or lack thereof, at the Winter Meetings.

To be clear out of the gate, the offseason is still young and the Orioles at some point will make some moves. They have to. But that wasn’t the context of the polls, and we are talking strictly Winter Meetings happenings.

Going through the results, one thing is painfully obvious- we may know the Orioles too well. Few things scream Orioles fandom more than that common feeling of your overly pessimistic views coming to fruition. It may not be healthy, but it’s wildly empowering. If anything, our only slip ups came from not feeding into the Dan Duquette stereotype enough.

Whelp, everyone was pretty on the money with this one. Sometimes it would be nice to be proven wrong with such bleak expectations, but this wasn’t one of those times.

Technically the Orioles did add career minor-leaguer Michael Kelly to a major league contract; but, considering Dan Duquette’s blunt statement that Kelly “should be ready to do well at Triple-A and support the major league team,” I don’t think we can count the righty as a major league player.

Nearly two-thirds of the Camden Chat voters were right with this prediction as well, for better or for worse. It was fairly surprising to see the Baltimore Orioles actively seeking to trade Manny Machado, but a deal never got done. I know some will disagree with this statement, but let’s hope the Orioles are able to get that deal sorted out quickly and start fielding offers on guys like Brach as well.

So while Michael Kelly’s major league deal didn’t technically count as the O’s adding a major league player, this poll had some pretty specific verbiage. With the former first-round pick’s spot cemented on the 40-man roster, this looks to be the first one that we didn’t have pegged down. For all intents and purposes, yeah, 71% of you were right once again, but an MLB contract is an MLB contract even if Kelly only sees time on the mound for the Tides.

When it comes to actual major league free agent starters, the O’s apparently made some offers. Unfortunately deals are two-way streets, and you can’t really blame the free agent crop for not immediately jumping at the chance to pitch in Camden Yards with 76 games/year against the AL East.

The O’s received a lot of interest in Austin Hays, Cedric Mullins, and DJ Stewart, but the front office held strong and refused to mortgage the future. With the rotation needing a serious injection of talent, it was a nice surprise to see the organization thinking more long-term. We aren’t out of the offseason yet, but so far, so good.

Dan Duquette never fails to disappoint when it comes to the Rule 5 draft. Despite already having one of last year’s selections, Anthony Santander, stuck on the roster for the first month and a half, Duquette was not phased at all. He took not one, not two, but THREE players in the Rule 5 draft. There were only 18 players taken in the entire draft and the O’s got their mitts on three of them. Hey, you have to fill that rotation somehow.

Two-thirds of you missed on this one, seemingly from trying to apply too much logic. We’ve all seen this play out before with the Orioles. You have to go with your gut! Who knows whether any of them will make the roster on Opening Day, but the O’s picked up three $100,000 lottery tickets.

At the time, there was good reason for this vote to be split so evenly. Personally, I thought Wilkerson was as good as gone, or at least I thought so until he was busted with a failed drug test for amphetamines two days before the Rule 5 draft. If we want to put a silver lining on it, maybe the failed test helped keep Wilkerson in the organization in the long run. Maybe now he can contribute later on in the 2018 season after serving his 50-game suspension instead of riding the pine on another MLB roster.

Although the poll was answered in jest, this may have been the most surprising outcome out of them all. Perhaps the Orioles finally wised up to the fact that the team already has enough Jay Bruces on the roster. It’s also possible they just saw Bruce’s $80-90 million price tag and judiciously balked. The offseason isn’t over yet so we can’t completely scrap the Jay Bruce rumors, but it sounds like the Orioles are committed to giving their young outfielders a shot.

So there you have it. The Orioles did pessimistically little outside of their yearly Rule 5 haul. However, while the may not have inked any marquis free agents or finalized any trades, the Orioles did seem to be opening up positive lines of communication. After seeming like an impossibility only a week ago, the team seems to be aggressive in moving Manny Machado to retool for the future. If that happens, who knows what other dominoes will fall. For Orioles fans, it will surely be an intriguing rest of the offseason.