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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles aren’t the only team that’s rebuilding

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The Seattle Mariners are trading all their veteran players for prospects, but don’t expect the Orioles to do the same. In the meantime, the Birds’ manager search continues.

Seattle Mariners v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

The Orioles’ hot stove continues to be on a slow boil. Right now, Mike Elias and his staff are focusing on finding a new manager, so we probably won’t see any significant roster moves at least until the coaching situation is squared away.

Not all major league teams are being so quiet, though. Over on the other coast, the Seattle Mariners, who have the longest playoff drought in professional sports (17 years), are in full teardown mode. Last night they officially traded away their most high-profile player, Robinson Cano, and All-Star closer Edwin Diaz to the Mets, then followed that up by dealing quality shortstop Jean Segura and two others to the Phillies. Earlier this offseason, they traded ace James Paxton to the Yankees and catcher Mike Zunino to the Rays.

Clearly, the Orioles aren’t the only team that’s committed to a rebuild. But if you’re expecting the Orioles to operate like the Mariners have this offseason, trading away their veteran players one after another, you’ll probably be disappointed. The O’s don’t have nearly as many tradeable assets as Seattle, and certainly nobody of the caliber of Cano, Diaz, Segura, or Paxton.

It’s hard to say which veteran Oriole would even garner a notable trade return at this point. Mychal Givens, maybe? If we’re lucky? Oof. Elias certainly has his work cut out for him.

Links

Non-tendered players offer intriguing opportunities for the Orioles - BaltimoreBaseball.com
A bunch of players are now free agents after getting non-tendered on Friday. Here’s a few who could interest the Orioles. This guy should write more!

Baltimore Orioles: A Look at Potential Free Agent Outfield Targets - Eutaw Street Report
Can’t say I’d be too excited to see Curtis Granderson, Jon Jay, or Carlos Gonzalez in orange and black. But an Adam Jones return? I’d sign up for that, why not?

With ankle injury healing, expect Austin Hays back on the radar in 2019 - Steve Melewski
Austin Hays’ drop from top-shelf prospect to injured underperformer was just one of the many terrible Orioles things in 2018. A bounceback season for him in 2019 would greatly improve the Birds’ long-term outlook.

This, that and the other - School of Roch
Roch Kubatko checks in with thoughts on the Orioles' managerial search, Brady Anderson, Jonathan Schoop, and Bobby Witt Jr. (To be clear, those three are not included in the Orioles’ managerial search.)

Potential candidates for Orioles manager - Orioles.com
New Orioles.com writer Joe Trezza gives a brief description of five managerial candidates the O’s are known or rumored to be interested in. Anyone jump out at you, Orioles fans?

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have two Orioles birthday buddies: 1989-90 outfielder Stan Jefferson (56) and not-quite-Hall-of-Fame closer Lee Smith (61), who has dropped off the ballot after failing to earn election in his 15 years of eligibility. Smith had 478 career saves, including a league-leading 33 in the strike-shortened 1994 season, his only year with the Orioles.

Two of the best trades in Orioles history happened on this date. In 1968, the O’s traded former Rookie of the Year outfielder Curt Blefary to the Houston Astros for journeyman lefty Mike Cuellar. While Blefary lasted just four more mediocre seasons, Cuellar kicked his career to another level in Baltimore, winning 20 or more games in each of his first three years and the AL Cy Young in his debut season in 1969. He’s the fourth-winningest pitcher in O’s history and had a 3.18 ERA in eight years with the Orioles.

In 1974, the O’s traded another of their stellar pitchers — Dave McNally — to the Expos for Ken Singleton and Mike Torrez. McNally retired after just half a season in Montreal, while Singleton went on to an outstanding 10-year career with the Birds, posting three All-Star campaigns and ranking in the club’s all-time top 10 in hits, homers, and RBIs.

On the other side of the coin, one of the worst trades in Orioles history also happened on this date. Future Hall of Famer Eddie Murray, vilified by the Baltimore media, was dumped to the Dodgers on Dec. 4, 1988 after spending 12 excellent seasons with the Orioles. The O’s got a paltry package of Juan Bell, Brian Holton, and Ken Howell, none of whom contributed in Baltimore.