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Thursday Bird Droppings: The safe (or not) from the Rule 5 draft edition

The Orioles added four players to the 40-man roster yesterday to protect them from the Rule 5 draft.

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Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles
Cody Sedlock: Not safe from the Rule 5 draft.
Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 126 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2020. That’s a lot of days between now and then and there won’t be a lot of fresh O’s news on most of those days. Today, we’re in luck, because yesterday was the deadline to add Rule 5 draft-eligible players to the 40-man roster to protect them. The Orioles chose to add four players.

The four they’ve added are Keegan Akin, Dean Kremer, Ryan McKenna, and Ryan Mountcastle. You can get some more information written by me about who was added and who wasn’t, here. I’m a little surprised that they did not choose to also add Cody Sedlock to the roster.

The next date on baseball’s offseason calendar is the deadline for teams to decide whether or not to tender 2020 contracts to players who are arbitration-eligible or pre-arbitration. That comes on December 2. It won’t shock me if a pitcher who underperformed significantly in 2019 finds his way out of a job between now and then.

For now, there’s just what’s going to be a constant low-level question throughout the offseason: Is today the day that a trade comes together? It’d be a surprise to me if that happens before the December winter meetings, but you never know. Jonathan Villar is a guy who feels like he could be a trade candidate. If the Orioles can add to their collection of players who might be on the next good O’s team, that would be OK with me.

Around the blogO’sphere

Winning stays on back burner as Orioles continue transformation (School of Roch)
Food for thought for everyone pondering the season ticket renewal that was sent out this week. Although I hope you already didn’t have high hopes for 2020.

Has Jonathan Villar played himself out of Baltimore? (Fangraphs)
The takeaway from the first sentence of this article is that the author believes that Camden Yards is a place referred to as “The Camden Yards,” which is deeply weird to me. He thinks a team that adds Villar would be getting a low-risk addition, a much less weird opinion to have.

Orioles hire Astros executive, who will become Baltimore’s highest-ranking woman in baseball operations (The Athletic)
This news is from Tuesday and I’m linking to it again because I still think it’s cool.

Sizing up a few rule changes impact on the Orioles (Steve Melewski)
Steve has a little breakdown about whether the coming three batter minimum rule for relievers will have much impact on the O’s bullpen. He doesn’t think so.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1977, Eddie Murray was named the American League Rookie of the Year. In the first season of what turned into a Hall of Fame career, Murray batted .283/.333/.470 across 160 games. In ‘77, that was good for an OPS+ of 123. If we are being fair, the runner-up, Mitchell Page of the Athletics, who posted a .926 OPS and stole 42 bases in 145 games, probably deserved to win instead.

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2015 pitcher Jason Garcia, 2014 late-season reserve outfielder Quintin Berry, and 1994 reliever Mark Eichhorn.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: philosopher Voltaire (1694), Declaration of Independence signer Josiah Bartlett (1729), jazz sax man Coleman Hawkins (1904), Baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial (1920), actor Harold Ramis (1944), actress Goldie Hawn (1945), singer-songwriter Bjork (1965), Baltimore-born basketballer Reggie Lewis (1965), football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman (1966), Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. (1966), and singer-songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen (1985).

On this day in history...

In 164 BC, Judas Maccabeus restored the Temple in Jerusalem. This event is celebrated each year by the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, which in 2019 begins at sunset on December 22.

In 1877 AD, Thomas Edison’s invention of the phonograph was announced.

In 1905, the journal Annalen der Physik published a paper of Albert Einstein’s, which eventually led to the mass-energy equivalence formula, or E = mc^2.

In 1920, 31 people were killed in Dublin during the Irish War of Independence, an event remembered today as “Bloody Sunday.” Close to half of the dead were British soldiers and police, while most of the rest were Irish civilians.

In 1922, Georgia’s Rebecca Latimer Felton was sworn in as a United States Senator, making her the first woman to hold office in that body.

In 1967, during the Vietnam War, Army General William Westmoreland proclaimed, “I am absolutely certain that whereas in 1965 the enemy was winning, today he is certainly losing.”


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on November 21 - or at least, unless something happens later. Have a safe Thursday.