There are now 122 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2020. Tomorrow will mark four months to go until O’s baseball returns. There probably won’t be much activity between now and then. The next thing on the offseason calendar is the December 2 tender deadline.
This may not be a very busy period for the Orioles, but other baseball teams will have things going on. One team that’s jumping on some early signings is the Braves, who added catcher Travis d’Arnaud on a two-year, $16 million contract on Sunday. The White Sox have made a couple of big moves in handing out multi-year contracts to Jose Abreu and Yasmani Grandal.
Anything to do with signing free agents to multi-year contracts doesn’t affect the 2020 Orioles very much. The simple fact is they aren’t going to do it. Of more interest to the O’s, and O’s fans, might be the six-year, $24 million contract extension that the Mariners are reportedly close to finishing up with their first base prospect Evan White, who was the #17 pick in the draft two years ago.
What’s interesting about that contract is that White spent the 2019 season at the Double-A level, so he’s the first player to get an MLB contract like this from that level of the minors. This is the kind of deal the Orioles should think about handing out to their own on-the-cusp prospects, if they think that a particular player (or hopefully, several) can make it.
It’s not only the O’s choice, of course, since the players would have to agree to sign away so many years. One cost to White for getting a guaranteed $24 million before he ever plays in an MLB game is that he’s given up three potential free agent years to the Mariners in the form of club options that could take the contract up to nine years and $52 million.
That’s a lot of money, but it’s not a lot of money relative to what star-level production is worth, if White turns into a star. It’s not even a lot of money relative to what average-level production is worth, if White turns into an average first baseman. If the O’s start handing out deals like this, that might be a sign that they can start to visualize when the rebuilding phase turns into something else. They just lost 108 games in 2019, so, not quite there yet.
Around the blogO’sphere
Mountcastle’s next goal is to make Opening Day roster (School of Roch)
Ryan Mountcastle is going to show up to spring training with the goal of making the Orioles. I’ll be thrilled if he does, but I don’t expect to see him in MLB before mid-May.
Padres hire Ryan Flaherty as quality control coach (MLB Trade Rumors)
My favorite Ryan Flaherty fact is that he’s the only player to hit homers in the 2012 and 2014 playoffs for the Orioles. The new “quality control” role appears to be one where the guy’s job is to translate analytics in useful ways for players.
Looking at a few more free agent pitchers (Steve Melewski)
The signs not to get your hopes up for the 2020 Orioles are everywhere, including in this article in which Marco Estrada and Trevor Cahill are discussed as possible rotation signings.
Sunday Notes: Clay Rapada’s unlikely record (Fangraphs)
Former Orioles reliever Clay Rapada pitched in 153 MLB games without being tagged with a loss, including a 2-0 record in his 16 Orioles games in 2011. Considering he had a 6.06 ERA, it’s impressive he never turned a lead or tie into a loss.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
There are a pair of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2014-15 mostly-DH Jimmy Paredes, and 2019 four-game pitcher Nate Karns.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Maryland namesake Henrietta Maria of France (1609), steel magnate Andrew Carnegie (1835), Mercedes Benz founder Karl Benz (1844), hitting streak champion and Baseball Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio (1914), Arthur writer/illustrator Marc Brown (1946), musician Amy Grant (1960), football Hall of Famer Cris Carter (1965), and actress Christina Applegate (1971).
On this day in history...
In 1491, the siege of Granada, then the last stronghold of the Moors in Spain, was settled by treaty, with the Spanish gaining control of Granada. Although the treaty promised the Muslims free practice of their religion, within a decade, there were forced conversions.
In 1758, a British force that included George Washington, then a Virginia militia regimental commander, took control of Fort Duquesne during the French and Indian War. The British colonists set up their own fort, Fort Pitt, named for the prime minister of the day, William Pitt. The city near there today still bears his name: Pittsburgh.
In 1863, a Union force under the command of future president Ulysses S. Grant attacked the Confederates at Missionary Ridge in Tennessee. Grant’s men were victorious in the battle, breaking the Confederate siege of Chattanooga in the process.
In 1952, Agatha Christie’s play The Mousetrap opened in London. You can still see this play today at St. Martin’s Theatre, where it moved in 1974; it’s the longest running play in West End history, with over 28,000 performances and counting.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on November 25 - or at least, unless something happens later, which you never know, it might. Have a safe Monday.