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Friday Bird Droppings: Where now the Orioles only need two starters

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The Orioles signed a pitcher on Thursday, Andrew Cashner. Now they just need two more. Today’s stuff: Reacting to the signing, fringe starters who remain, and one national writer takes the under.

Oakland Athletics v Texas Rangers Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 41 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. This number was used by Logan Verrett in the 2017 season, and has been used by a host of other Orioles over the years, the longest-tenured of whom was Jeff Tackett.

Thursday was the most exciting day of the offseason so far by virtue of the Orioles actually signing a starting pitcher. It’s Andrew Cashner, pictured above in action for the Rangers last season, who will be joining the Orioles on a two-year contract. Ideally, he will pitch well enough that we don’t wish for him to be ditched before the contract runs out, but there are no guarantees.

Elsewhere in MLB over the last couple of days, there has also been a little bit of activity on the fringes. An ex-Oriole came off the board with Wade Miley signing a minor league deal with the Brewers. A possible Orioles lefty target, Jaime Garcia, got a one year, $10 million deal from the Blue Jays, so we’ll probably be watching him inexplicably dominate the O’s a handful of times this year. And recent fringe Orioles target Drew Hutchison joined up with the Phillies on a minor league deal.

That still leaves some big names out there, as well as names that don’t excite but may interest the Orioles by virtue of their not being very good and therefore not costing a lot of money. It’s early enough in spring training that nobody has missed out on much. Everyone hasn’t even thrown a bullpen session yet. But each passing day, you have to wonder how much it impacts the routine. We’ve heard this excuse before.

Around the blogO’sphere

Thoughts on Orioles’ signing of Andrew Cashner (Baltimore Baseball)
Dan Connolly offers the depressing thought that this may be the Orioles big-ticket item of the offseason. Gross.

The Orioles are paying money to Andrew Cashner (Fangraphs)
“Steamer projects an ERA over 5.” This hurts. ZiPS also projects an ERA over 5.

Is Machado to the Yankees really a foregone conclusion? (FanRag)
Jon Heyman does not offer a definitive answer to the question, but the fact that he even has to ask is depressing.

Joining Orioles a breath of fresh air for Susac (School of Roch)
There are still spring training storylines going on with the Orioles that have nothing to do with the starting rotation, weird as it sounds.

Rule 5 draftee Jose Mesa looks like his famous father in more ways than one (Baltimore Sun)
...but the ones that matter the most all have to do with the starting rotation.

A scout’s tale: Jim Howard is a longtime Oriole (Steve Melewski)
Steve Melewski’s occasional series about different scouts moves on to the man who signed Erik Bedard, among others.

Early Vegas over/unders have these five teams all wrong (ESPN)
Buster Olney thinks that Vegas is too generous to the Orioles with setting their over/under for wins at 77.5. Right now, I’m kind of feeling like he’s right.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2015 short-time reliever Jorge Rondon, 2005 outfielder Eric Byrnes, and 1969-73/76-82’s Terry Crowley, whom I’ve always been assured was lucky to be in baseball. Today is Crowley’s 71st birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: Cadillac founder Henry M. Leland (1843), nurse and America’s first female general Anna Mae Hays (1920), singer Sonny Bono (1935), novelist Richard Ford (1944), actor LeVar Burton (1957), rapper/actor Ice-T (1958), actress Elizabeth Olsen (1989), and notional music-maker The Weeknd (1990).

On this day in history...

In 1646, a Parliamentarian force defeated the Royalists in the Battle of Torrington, effectively bringing to an end the First English Civil War, although they would go on to have two more such wars within the next five years.

In 1804, the Eastern Shore’s own Stephen Decatur led a daring evening raid against a pirate force, burning a captured American ship, the USS Philadelphia, rather than let it remain in the hands of the Barbary pirates he had been fighting. Lord Nelson of Britain, later famous for Trafalgar, is said to have proclaimed it “the most bold and daring act of the age.”

In 1923, the burial chamber of King Tutankhuman was unsealed.

In 1940, British Naval forces attacked and boarded a German tanker, Altmark, which was carrying 299 prisoners of war. This ruffled some feathers because the liberation took place in neutral Norwegian waters. The Germans had falsely claimed to the Norwegians that there were no prisoners on board. Those POWs were liberated nonetheless.

In 1960, the submarine USS Triton set sail from New London, CT for Operation Sandblast, which would be the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe. Triton eventually took two months and a day to sail all around the world underwater.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 16 - or at least, unless something happens later. You never know, now that Dan Duquette has signed one starting pitcher, he might sign another one too! Have a safe Friday, and go Team USA!