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Saturday Bird Droppings: Where it’s OK that the Orioles settled

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The Orioles settled most of their arbitration cases on Friday. It’s routine, but still good news. Today’s O’s stuff: Arizona still checking on Machado, Mussina’s HOF credentials, and more.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 75 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This is a number that is currently in use by bullpen coach Alan Mills. It’s also the number he wore as an Oriole.

We’re now down to just 31 days until Orioles pitchers and catchers report to spring training. That’s right, the beginning of the spring training season is now only one month away. This is a less exciting realization for those who have spent a lot of time contemplating the current state of the O’s rotation.

Another mile marker of the offseason was passed on Friday as the deadline arrived for teams to either settle on a 2018 contract with their arbitration-eligible players or exchange figures for a possible hearing next month. That spurred action, with the Orioles coming to terms with five of their players, including Manny Machado. It’s still unresolved for Jonathan Schoop and Kevin Gausman.

With five of their players settling, plus figures exchanged for the last two, the Orioles now have a pretty good idea what their payroll is going to be based on who’s already here. That uncertainty probably isn’t what has held them up in the free agent market, but from now on it definitely won’t be holding them back.

Around the blogO’sphere

Diamondbacks persistently pursuing Machado (The Athletic)
A subscription is required to get the full story here, but it’s awfully interesting that we keep hearing about this stuff.

Arizona is potential O’s trading partner with top pitching prospects (Steve Melewski)
Melewski’s idea of top pitching prospects and mine may diverge, but the fact remains that if this is the best the Orioles can get, they ought to think real hard about it.

The bench, Triple-A hitting coach, and more (School of Roch)
Hopefully, by the time the season rolls around, the Orioles aren’t thinking about going with a three-man bench, with one of those three men being Anthony Santander.

How Jack Morris complicates future Hall of Fame pitcher selections (ESPN)
There’s nothing complicated about the fact that if Jack Morris is a Hall of Famer, Mike Mussina absolutely must be.

Scott Boras might need to adjust (Fangraphs)
The con that Boras pulled on Peter Angelos over Chris Davis may not be so easily duplicated with other owners with any of this offseason’s big-ticket free agents represented by Boras.

Birthdays and anniversaries

In 1982, Frank Robinson was elected to the Hall of Fame, the first player to go in as an Oriole.

There are two former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2015-17 reliever Oliver Drake, and 1986 reliever Odell Jones.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: $10,000 bill portrait man Salmon P. Chase (1808), rags-to-riches writer Horatio Alger (1832), actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus (1961), showrunner Shonda Rhimes (1970), PECOTA developer/journalist Nate Silver (1978), and actor Liam Hemsworth (1990).

On this day in history...

In 1842, during the First Anglo-Afghan War, British army surgeon Dr. William Brydon arrived at a garrison in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, an event of interest because he was the sole survivor of a 4,500-man and 12,000 camp follower-strong army to retreat from Kabul.

In 1898, France’s Dreyfus affair, in which an army captain was falsely convicted of treason, was exposed in a letter, J’accuse...!, published by writer Emile Zola.

In 1942, a German test pilot flying a Heinkel He 280 became the first to use an ejection seat in an airplane. The He 280 was also the world’s first turbojet-powered fighter plane... though only nine were ever built.

In 1966, Robert C. Weaver was appointed as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, becoming the first African-American Cabinet member in US history.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on January 12 - or at least, unless something happens later. If you’ve been following this offseason so far, you know not to hold your breath. Have a safe Saturday.