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Saturday’s Bird Droppings: Where everyone is talking about the Orioles signing international free agents

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Goodbye, Breyvic Valera. Hello, Austin Brice!

Baltimore Orioles Introduce Mike Elias - News Conference Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Morning, Birdland!

The Orioles may not be making any big splashes at the major league level, but that doesn’t mean the front office isn’t busy. Based on all of the articles that came out yesterday, something is stirring on the international front.

Mike Elias hired Koby Perez from the Indians to becomes the team’s senior director of international scouting earlier this week. There are also rumors that the Orioles have unofficially signed a left-handed pitcher named Alexander Ayala out of Panama.

Even still, the O’s still have a few million dollars that they can spent on international free agents during this signing period. On top of that, Elias still needs to flesh out his entire staff and construct a sustainable system that will funnel talents into the Orioles minor league system from beyond the United States.

There is plenty to do. The Birds are gonna stink, but the fruit of this offseason won’t be born for a few years. Hopefully, the juice is worth the squeeze.

Links

Orioles won’t spend bonus pool money for sake of it - Baltimore Sun
This is something that Mike Elias should not need to say, but he does because some of the Birdland faithful don’t totally understand how the bonus pool money works. The Orioles have a bunch of international money remaining. They will probably spend a little bit of it on a couple of potential diamonds in the rough, but they almost certainly won’t spend it all, and that’s OK.

Orioles Claim Austin Brice, Designate Breyvic Valera - MLB Trade Rumors
Breyvic Valera’s ability to make an impact on the Orioles team took a significant hit after they added Drew Jackson and Richie Martin at the Winter Meetings. One of the pieces that came over in the Manny Machado trade is now off to the great DFA in the sky.

More on the Orioles and their pursuit of international talent - MASN Sports
This is the weirdest offseason ever. No matter who this hires, they all seem to be universally adored throughout Major League Baseball. There has to be some sort of catch, right? This is not very Orioles.

Orioles’ international amateur pipeline must be built from almost nothing - The Athletic
The Orioles did have an international presence prior to the Elias regime arriving in town. But it was miniscule. I’m going to view this with a “glass half full” mentality. Elias doesn’t have to trim down a bloated, ineffective department internationally. Instead, it seems, he has been given the freedom to hire his own people and create his ideal international team. That’s pretty cool! And the fact that Elias has a background in scouting gives me hope that he’s going to do a great job.

MLB’s 30 fastest prospects -- one from each team - MLB.com
Kirvin Moesquit is a really fun player to watch. He sports a mustache on his upper lip. He plays all over the diamond. And he’s still loads of bases. If you find yourself in Frederick this summer, check him out at a game. He’s never going to be a star in the bigs, but he might be able to contribute as a utility player if everything breaks right.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy Birthday!

The man that replaced Cal Ripken Jr. in the lineup, breaking his consecutive games played streak turns 45 today. His name is Ryan Minor. He went on to play in just 142 total games across four seasons, but he has now been a manager in the O’s minor league system since 2010.

Ron Kittle, a 22-gamer from the 1990 season, is 61 years old today. Fred March (b. 1924, d. 2006), an infielder in Baltimore in ‘55 & ‘56, posthumously celebrates his 95th birthday.

2006 - Jeff Conine signs a one-year, $1.7 million deal with the Orioles to begin his second stint with the organization.