There are now 109 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2018. The hot stove season is finally starting to pick up, not that anyone has bothered to tell the Orioles yet. There are trades out of nowhere and signings out of nowhere, and there's a decent chance that something will happen in the baseball world today that matters.
If I had the power to know what that would be, well, I wouldn't be using it on this blog. But yesterday brought the surprise signing of Tyler Chatwood with the Cubs, the surprise trade of Dee Gordon to the Mariners, and more money getting moved around to try to help one of the Shohei Ohtani finalists have a little bit extra to entice him to their city.
The key story of the offseason so far for the Orioles is that starting pitching is costing more money than people expected. That is likely a bad sign for their hopes of actually improving the rotation. If the lower-tier guys are getting more, will the Alex Cobbs and Lance Lynns get more? Probably! And the Orioles, who paid $50 million to Ubaldo Jimenez, could balk. It's not an exciting prospect.
The Orioles didn’t even get Mike Fiers! The former Astros righty signed for a year and $6 million with the Tigers on Thursday, and according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Orioles offered two years, but Fiers still went a Tigers team that was the worst in MLB and looks to stay in the toilet.
The reason for that is probably simple: Fiers wants a one year deal to regain value, rather than committing to two years right now. Which makes a lot of sense. But also, y’know, the fact that the O’s just got spurned by a guy who posted a 5.22 ERA in 2017, when you think about it like that, it’s not great.
Hey, at least teams are calling about Manny Machado, so you know that if the Orioles do decide to sell, they at least might get something... right? I hope it doesn't come to that.
Around the blogO'sphere
Heyman: Orioles getting calls on free agent-to-be Machado (FanRag)
There’s a little smoke here and that’s about it. Nothing worth getting worked up about... yet.
Kevin Gausman plans to honor Roy Halladay by wearing his number 34 (Baltimore Sun)
This is just a nice tribute.
One scout's thoughts on Orioles: Davis, Jones, Mancini, Schoop, Bundy, and more (Baltimore Baseball)
I don’t usually like to link slideshows, but this one is worth overcoming the annoyance to see the scout’s brutal take on Chris Davis, as well as some Jonathan Schoop praise and a realistic outlook about Dylan Bundy.
Questions about Lee, Trumbo, utility player, and Santander (School of Roch)
Roch notes that Mark Trumbo has never been good in his career as a designated hitter, so maybe the Orioles should put him in right field. Maybe the Orioles should have thought of that before re-signing him.
Does inexperienced manager in the Bronx help the Orioles? (Steve Melewski)
A better question to ask would be: Will the Orioles be good enough for an inexperienced manager in the Bronx to matter? Right now, it sure feels like that answer is no.
Birthdays and anniversaries
On this day in 1996, the Orioles signed Jimmy Key. He was very good in the first year of a two-year contract, which was a season where the Orioles themselves were good. They should be so lucky with a free agent they sign this offseason.
There are two former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2002-04 reserve Jose Leon, and future baseball Hall of Famer Mike Mussina.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Mary, Queen of Scots (1542), cotton gin inventor Eli Whitney (1765), General Motors founder William C. Durant (1861), The Doors singer-songwriter Jim Morrison (1943), Allman Brothers Band guitarist/singer Gregg Allman (1947), singer-songwriter Sinead O'Connor (1966), and rapper Nicki Minaj (1982).
On this day in history...
In 1660, for the first time, a woman, believed to be either Margaret Hughes or Anne Marshall, took an English public stage for the first time. She played the role of Desdemona in Shakespeare's Othello.
In 1854, Pope Pius IX delivered an Apostolic constitution, Ineffabilis Deus, in which was proclaimed the dogmatic definition of Immaculate Conception, the Catholic belief that the Virgin Mary was conceived free of Original Sin.
In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the "date which will live in infamy" speech about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, after which the US declared war on Japan and entered World War II.
In 1980, former Beatle John Lennon was murdered in front of his home at The Dakota in New York City.
And that's the way it is in Birdland on December 8 - or at least, unless something happens later. Things are starting to pop now, so you never know, they might! Have a safe Friday.