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Saturday’s Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are busy wheeling and dealing

Things are happening in Birdland, and there may be more moves to come.

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MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Dodgers at Kansas City Royals Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Morning, Birdland!

Baseball’s winter meetings just recently concluded, and it feels like the Orioles may nearly be done the majority of their offseason movement already. They added three players this week and now have a full 40-man roster. Brandon Hyde will be introduced as the manager on Monday. And the only rumor swirling is that they may be interested in adding a veteran outfielder, which would be more of a wish list item than it would be a necessary addition.

This is not a surprising development. Mike Elias and his crew have made it known that the Orioles are gonna stink in 2019, and likely a few years after that as well. This off-season isn’t about fighting the big boys for high-end free agents. It’s about building the foundation for a winning club. For now, that means finding the right front office people and putting in place processes that continually produce winning baseball teams.

Are Richie Martin, Drew Jackson or Rio Ruiz capable of putting up numbers at the major league level? Their past employers weren’t so sure. The Orioles might not be convinced either, but it was worth a shot to find out.

At the very least Elias has implemented a plan and is on his way to fully realizing that plan. Here’s hoping it pays off...eventually.


Should the Orioles still pursue a veteran shortstop via trade or free agency? - The Athletic
At this point it feels unnecessary to add another shortstop to the mix. The goal with Martin and Jackson was likely two-fold: find a big league starter at shortstop, bulk up the middle infield options in the upper minors going forward. It’s possible that neither one of them is the answer long term. However, if they can survive the season that then gives the Orioles two young, controllable infielders in Norfolk that can easily step in and do a nice job if needed. That is an option they do not currently have. It makes little sense to complicate the issue with an expensive vet.

Leftovers from the Winter Meetings - MASN Sports
After an extended delay due to, ya know, the lack of a front office, the Orioles are fully operational. They are wheeling and dealing.

Orioles Hire Brandon Hyde As Manager - MLB Trade Rumors
It’s official. Just like the Elias hiring, the addition of Hyde was leaked days before the contract was actually signed, but the Orioles got their man. Now, it will be interesting to see how Hyde fills out his staff this late in the offseason

5 things we learned from the Orioles’ week at baseball’s winter meetings - Baltimore Sun
It is extremely weird how almost all of the talk regarding the Orioles at the winter meetings this week was positive. Everyone loves Elias and Sig Mejdal. There were plaudits for the proposed hiring of Hyde. And we even picked the consensus top Rule 5 guy with the number one pick. There is no way this lasts, right?

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy Birthday!

Also celebrating is 37-year-old Luis Montanez. You remember Montanez, don’t you? He won the Eastern League Triple Crown during the 2008 season with Double-A Bowie despite missing a month’s worth of games following his big league promotion. His career with the Orioles was less noteworthy. He played 93 total games with the Birds between ‘08 and ‘10 and hit .223/.257/.323 with four home runs.

Rick Helling turns 48 today. The right-handed pitcher was a member of the O’s 2003 staff. That season he compiled a 5.71 ERA across 24 starts and 138.2 innings.

1962 - The Orioles acquire pitchers Stu Miller and Mike McCormick and catcher Johnny Orsino from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for pitchers Jack Fisher and Billy Hoeft and catcher Jim Coker.