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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the hot stove is getting a little warmer

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Big name free agents are starting to find new homes around MLB. Meanwhile, the Orioles have a lot of work to do before they start building up their roster.

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

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

At some point, MLB’s hot stove season was bound to start heating up, and yesterday brought a little bit of news — mostly from Atlanta. Not only did the Braves bring back catcher Brian McCann on a $2 million deal, but they landed the first big-name free agent of the offseason by inking former MVP Josh Donaldson to a lucrative one-year contract worth $23 million.

That’s an interesting deal for both sides. Donaldson will try to restore his value after an injury-ravaged 2018 season and re-enter the free agent market next year, while the Braves added a potential impact player in their attempt to defend their NL East crown.

The Orioles, who were a frequent victim of Donaldson’s lethal bat during his three-plus years with the rival Blue Jays, won’t be sorry to see him leave the AL. He tagged O’s pitching for an .888 OPS, 12 homers and 51 RBIs in 67 career games.

With Donaldson off the board, who’s the next domino to fall? The winter meetings start in less than two weeks, and there’s usually a flurry of activity leading up to and during the event. Don’t expect the Orioles to be heavily involved in whatever player activity goes on, though. They’ve still got plenty of more urgent tasks on their plate, such as finding a new manager.

Links

Reading between the lines of Mike Elias’ message to Oriole fans - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff searches for clues about Mike Elias’s plan in the e-mail he sent to season ticket holders. I wouldn’t expect Elias to divulge any organizational secrets in a form letter to fans, but it was a nice gesture all the same.

Orioles need to make current roster changes to help jumpstart the rebuild – The Athletic
Jonathan Bernhardt looks at which non-tendered or on-the-outs players might be a fit for the Orioles, and suggests Derek Dietrich, Avisail Garcia, and Yangervis Solarte. Get excited!

Baltimore Orioles: Five potential Rule 5 draft targets - BirdsWatcher
Speaking of getting excited, we’re just a couple weeks away from the Rule 5 draft, in which the Orioles hold the first pick. Tim Smart offers five options for the Birds.

What should the Orioles look for in a new manager? - Steve Melewski
They should look for someone who can handle a lot of losing. Like, a whole lot. Just so, so much losing.

Some leftovers from the Adam Jones tailgate - School of Roch
In today's “Adam Jones is awesome” story, Jones plans to send some Cabernet to Buck and Angela Showalter in Texas. Can I change my answer to that question about the next O’s manager? Can it just be Adam Jones, please?

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have five Orioles birthday buddies, including 1989-92 first baseman Randy Milligan (57), improbable T-shirt-day-honoree and 2009-12 righty Jason Berken (35), brief 1997 catcher Tim Laker (49), lefty Bill Short (81) of the ‘62 and ‘66 Orioles, and late lefty Johnny Schmitz, who ended his career with the Birds in 1956. Schmitz, who died in 2011, would have been 98 today.

On this day in 1963, the Orioles traded slugger Jim Gentile, who co-led the AL with 141 RBIs in 1961, to the Kansas City Athletics for fellow first baseman Norm Siebern, who was an All-Star in the first of his two years with the O’s.