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Saturday’s Bird Droppings: Where we’re speculating about the Orioles

There’s not much news in Birdland, so why not talk about what might happen?

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Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Morning, Birdland!

It’s been a mellow offseason across baseball so far. The Orioles additions of Mike Elias and Sig Mejdal in the front office are arguably the biggest moves in the league, with the possible exception of the Yankees trading for James Paxton.

Teams, agents and players, in general, like to get past Thanksgiving and into December before making any commitments. Then there is a flurry of movement right before the week of Christmas into the New Year. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Once business returns to usual this Monday there will be two weeks until the annual Winter Meetings. This year’s event will take place in Las Vegas from December 9th through the 13th. If any more major trades are going to happen this winter, they will take place right around then, or shortly after.

The Orioles are highly unlikely to be a part of any of said deals. They do not have any big players that other teams want, and they are not in a position to acquire any of those players.

That’s OK. If the Orioles offseason ended now I would probably be OK with it. Sure, it would be weird they didn’t have a manager, but Elias has my full confidence and they can just let Mejdal manage. The man worked for freakin’ NASA. He can surely strap on an ill-fitting uniform and write names on a lineup card.


Orioles need to make current roster changes to help jumpstart the rebuild - The Athletic
Finding possible free agent fits is always fun. The O’s aren’t going to be too busy on the major league front this offseason, but they will almost certainly sign one or two players to provide some depth and tide them over until the youngsters arrive.

Questions about Beckham, Joseph, Villar, pitching and 40-man - MASN Sports
The deadline to tender contracts for arbitration-eligible players is Friday. Keeping Jonathan Villar is a no-brainer. Caleb Joseph is cheap enough that I would hold onto him as well. Tim Beckham? No thanks, not at $4.3 million. Maybe they can re-sign him for less.

Finding a trade partner for Mark Trumbo - Birds Watcher
Mark Trumbo’s trade market is far from fully developed. It sounds as if he is unlikely to be traded prior to Opening Day. The O’s want him to bounce back, and other teams aren’t interested in a potentially injured, one-dimensional slugger. That said, his complete inability to field likely leaves him stuck in the AL.

O’s offering 30% bonus on gift certificates -
These can be used on tickets, concessions and merchandise. Looks like they have a $26 gift certificate available for $20, and a $65 gift certificate for $50. If you have someone on your shopping list that’s difficult to shop for but they love going to the park, this sounds like a pretty sweet stocking stuffer.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy Birthday!

Australian lefty Damian Moss is 42 years old. He pitched 50.2 innings over 10 games for the O’s in 2003, and may be best known around here as part of the package (along with Kurt Ainsworth) the team landed from the Giants in exchange for Sidney Ponson.

The only number one overall draft choice (until next summer) in Orioles history, Ben McDonald, turns 51. The 6-foot-7 right hander was solid over seven seasons in Baltimore (937 innings, 3.89 ERA, 111 ERA+, 13.8 bWAR), but never quite lived up to his draft status.

The late Jim Northup (b. 1939, d. 2011) would have been 81. He spent 92 games with the Birds between ‘74 and ‘75 as an outfielder and hit .284/.361/.438 in that time.

Finally, happy 76th birthday to Fred Beene, a right-handed pitcher that tossed 9.2 innings across seven outings for the Orioles between 1968 and 1970 before being traded to the Padres in a deal that sent Pat Dobson to the Charm City.

1982 - Cal Ripken Jr. is named American League Rookie of the Year. The 22-year-old hit .264/.317/.475 with 32 doubles and 28 home runs.