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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are losing the edge on Victor Victor

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After the July trade deadline, the Orioles had millions more than any other team to offer to Cuban free agent Victor Victor Mesa. Not any more!

Chicago White Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 167 days remaining until the next Orioles game. As a result of both ALDS matchups ending before five games, there will be no baseball to be played tonight, so you will have to entertain yourself some other way.

The Orioles have a problem. Okay, if we’re being thorough, they have lots of problems, all of which contributed to their losing 115 games in the most recent season, and on top of that they need to hire a new GM and that new GM needs to hire a new manager. Their specific problem today is that they are losing their edge, if they ever had one, regarding the potential of signing Cuban outfielder Victor Victor Mesa.

While the O’s are mostly sleeping through October, with nothing but a caretaker interim GM at the helm to presumably look over the waiver wire, other teams are out there stealing a march regarding Mesa, his brother Victor Mesa Jr., and another Cuban, pitcher Sandy Gaston.

On Wednesday, the Marlins traded reliever Kyle Barraclough to the Nationals. The 28-year-old Barraclough was of interest to Washington despite his 4.20 ERA in the 2018 season, despite a career low K/9 of 9.5 and a full season career high BB/9 of 5.5.

This is relevant to the Mesa situation because Barraclough was traded for international bonus slot money - and the Marlins had also traded pitching prospect Ryan Lille to the Reds last weekend for more bonus slot money. Our SB Nation compatriots at the Marlins blog, Fish Stripes, have found several reporters who believe that the Marlins have added $1.75 million in slot money between these two trades and that this extra spending money puts them almost even with the Orioles.

You may recall that the last move of any note whatsoever that was made by Dan Duquette was a move in August where Duquette reverted to an old, bad habit, trading $750,000 of his international money - after receiving $2.5 million in the Kevin Gausman trade, and $250,000 for Brad Brach - for a nobody of a minor leaguer.

This was dumb the moment it happened, but with the O’s holding such a large edge over the Marlins for spending money on the current signing period, it also seemed like it probably wouldn’t matter that much. Maybe Mesa and his countrymen just want to go to Miami because they would be around a big Cuban community.

The O’s had an edge of over $2 million. That might have been enough to convince Mesa to take the extra money rather than go to a place where he already likely has some cultural connection.

The Orioles flushed away almost a million of that advantage in late August, and now, in October, the Marlins are swiping money from other teams where they can while the O’s sit around on their hands. If the O’s miss out on Mesa, it will not be a new crisis. They just lost 115 games; it’s already a crisis. It will be another hurdle the O’s have failed to clear as they try to build a winning team again.

Around the blogO’sphere

Wondering how Orioles approach rebuild as they continue interviews (School of Roch)
If you were thinking that the Orioles have done nothing towards hiring a new GM, Roch reports that interviews are under way, though he offers no names of candidates who hare interviewed or will interview.

In season of outfield flux, Orioles’ Mancini, Rickard, and Trumbo show what they can offer (Baltimore Sun)
In each case, what they showed is that they should not be playing in the outfield at the MLB level.

Davis’ future could be early test for Orioles’ new top executive (Baltimore Baseball)
Rich Dubroff is wondering what the next boss might have in mind for Chris Davis if he opens next year struggling as much as he did all of this year, noting that Davis will probably be the focal point of most media attention with so many recognizable names gone compared to last spring.

As teams interview managerial candidates, the O’s are on deck (Steve Melewski)
Melewski runs through the candiates who’ve interviewed with other teams, but since we don’t even know who the O’s GM will be, we have no idea what kind of manager they will prefer.

Birthdays and anniversaries

In 1971, the Orioles beat the Pirates, 11-3, in Game 2 of the World Series. During the victory, Brooks Robinson set a World Series record by reaching base five consecutive times.

In 2012, the Orioles beat the Yankees, 2-1, in a 13-inning affair for Game 4 of the ALDS, evening up the series at two games apiece.

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2010 All-Star Ty Wigginton, 1988-93 reliever Gregg Olson, 1968 short-timer Mike Fiore, and the late Joe Ginsberg of the 1956-60 Orioles.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Russian royal favorite and fake village builder Grigory Potemkin (1739), YMCA founder George Williams (1821), H.J. Heinz Company founder Henry J. Heinz (1844), novelist Elmore Leonard (1925), former Orioles radio man Jon Miller (1951), actress Emily Deschanel (1976), and rapper Cardi B (1992).

On this day in history...

In 1142, the Jin Dynasty of Northern China and the Song Dynasty of Southern China signed a peace treaty that set the boundary between the two territories at the Huai River. However, within two decades, the Jin emperor resumed the fighting, which continued on and off until Jin was conquered by Song and the Mongols in 1234.

In 1649, the town of Wexford in Ireland was sacked by Cromwell’s New Model Army, with over 2,000 Irish soldiers and 1,500 civilians killed.

In 1767, the surveying for the Mason-Dixon Line was completed, setting the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania.

In 1976, George Washington received a posthumous promotion to the rank of General of the Armies of the United States, a six-star rank, which had been authorized by act of Congress earlier in the year. By that same resolution, no one in the American armed forces shall ever out-rank Washington.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on October 11 - or at least, unless something happens later, which it might as long as the GM spot stays open and Victor Victor Mesa stays on the market. Have a safe Thursday.