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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are still collecting ex-Astros

The O’s signed a catcher who has previous ties with Mike Elias. Meanwhile, a couple of recently dismissed O’s personnel have found new gigs.

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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

MLB’s hot stove season is plodding ever forward, and a number of notable free agents still remain unsigned. Not just the high-end prizes like Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, but also Dallas Keuchel, Craig Kimbrel, and other veterans who could reel in a hefty payday.

In the meantime, the lesser-known free agents out there are grabbing whatever job they can get, even if it’s a minor league deal. The O’s inked one such player yesterday in catcher Carlos Perez, a former backstop in five organizations.

Perez isn’t much of a hitter — carrying a career .215/.257/.319 batting line in four major league seasons — but he has a reputation as a quality defensive catcher. He’s thrown out 38 percent of attempted basestealers, better than the league average of 30 percent during that span.

He also has a previous history with O’s GM Mike Elias. Perez spent parts of three seasons in the minors with the Astros, who acquired him in a massive 10-player trade with the Blue Jays in 2012, Elias’s first full season in the Houston front office. If Elias thinks Perez is worth taking a shot on based on his personal experience with him, who am I to argue?


O’s reach agreement with catcher Carlos Pérez on minors deal - School of Roch
Roch Kubatko has more information on the Orioles’ newest catcher, including the fact that he was traded twice before ever reaching the majors. I guess that means Perez was a valued commodity...or the complete opposite.

In the Elias administration, a small move can mean much -
Rich Dubroff writes that Mike Elias has no particular ties to any players he inherited in the Orioles’ organization, and he won’t hesitate to part ways with a Dan Duquette-acquired player like Breyvic Valera. I tend to think Valera wouldn’t have had a long O’s career no matter who was in charge.

Orioles' front-office changes -
Joe Trezza runs down the list of front-office personnel who managed to avoid getting the ax during the Mike Elias changeover, including a couple of people who, quite honestly, I’ve never heard of before.

Rosenthal: Why the Cubs are in a bind; the meaning behind the Mets’ moves; ex-manager finds interesting new gig – The Athletic
Among Ken Rosenthal’s notes from around MLB is the news that John Russell, the Orioles’ bench coach from 2011-2018, has a new job with the IMG Academy. In case you were wondering if there was any chance of Russell returning to the Orioles next year.

Tigers add new staff members, including former Orioles exec |
In other ex-Orioles personnel moves, the Tigers hired John Stockstill -- the Birds’ former director of player personnel -- as a major league scout.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have five O’s birthday buddies, including the most recent ex-Oriole, the aforementioned Breyvic Valera (27), whom the Birds traded to the Giants three days ago. Other O’s birthdays include 1993 first baseman and member of #teampaul, Paul Carey (51); 1991 four-gamer Shane Turner (56); 1958-60 outfielder Willie Tasby (86); and the late 1957-58/60-61 outfielder Jim Busby, who would have been 92 today.

On this date last year, the Orioles kicked off their Sarasota mini-camp, which had become a yearly event under Buck Showalter. I’m getting the feeling that tradition won’t continue this season.