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Saturday’s Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are waiting out the free agent market

Pitchers and catcher report to Sarasota for spring training in 46 days.

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Morning, Birdland!

It’s unclear how many more moves the Orioles will make this offseason. Obviously, they won’t be looking to make a major splash in free agency or striking a deal that involves trading away a ton of prospects. Reports indicated during the winter meetings that Mike Elias is expected to wait out the free agent market and pick from the scraps.

For a team in the midst of a rebuild, that’s a fine strategy. If you’re gonna be bad, then you might as well avoid be expensive at the same time.

What may be more interesting to watch is how active the O’s get on the trade front once the big free agents start to find homes. Several teams are sure to be after former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel. Those who don’t land him may be willing to settle for Alex Cobb, a proven pitcher that found his way in the second half last season. The Orioles may not get a huge return, but the salary relief alone could be worth it.

It’s been a quiet offseason for the Orioles so far, but it feels like the new year is bound to be much, much busier.


Jay-Z Part Owner of the Orioles? Not so fast - Baltimore Sun
Some rumors have a dash of believability to them. This is not one of them. I can’t honestly think too many people out there truly thought Jay-Z bought a piece of the Orioles. Then again, it is nearly 2019 and we live in a world with plenty of ridiculous realities, so why not.

Jimmy Yacabonis could steal a spot in the 2019 rotation - Birds Watcher
I would agree that Yacabonis has a could chance to start games for the Orioles this season, but I have serious doubts that he can do so in the traditional sense of throwing at least five innings each time out to the mound. His splits after three innings and the first time through the order are pretty shocking. He could be the perfect test subject to try out the “opener” strategy that the Ray deployed all of last season.

Offseason Outlook: Baltimore Orioles - MLB Trade Rumors
MLBTR put together a nice little overview of the O’s current situation. It also floats a few free agent names that the team could pursue (Drew Pomeranz, Ervin Santana, Jon Jay, Cameron Maybin, Avisail Garcia & Brian Dozier).

The Possible Legal Issue with MLB’s Cuba Deal - FanGraphs
Not necessarily Orioles related, but could be if/when the team tries to add a Cuban free agent. Ah, when baseball and politics intersect! Who doesn’t love that?

Ryan Borucki, Jacob deGrom, and Yefry Ramirez on Developing Changeups - FanGraphs
This is from September, but FanGraphs has a section of their website dedicated to their best articles of the year. I added this since it has a quote from Ramirez and it’s about the intricacies of throwing a specific pitch. I could read stuff like that for hours. I’m a sucker!

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy Birthday!

Jaret Wright, a right-handed pitcher for the Orioles for three games in 2007, is 43. Jim Brower, another righty, who appeared in 12 games for the O’s during the 2006 season, turns 46. Dave Ford, our third right-hander of the day, who played parts of four seasons in Baltimore from 1978 through 1981, celebrates his 62nd. Finally, happy 72nd to Ken Rudolph, a catcher that played in just 11 games as an Oriole back in 1977.

2005 - The Orioles family celebrates the life of longtime catcher and coach Elrod Hendricks, who had passed away on December 21st, at a funeral attended by Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken, Jr., Earl Weaver and many more.