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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles started slow at the winter meetings

The O’s claimed a pitcher on waivers, but otherwise it was a quiet first day in San Diego for Mike Elias and company.

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MLB: 2019 Spring Training Media Days Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

The first day of the MLB winter meetings is in the books, and the biggest newsmakers were the Orioles’ neighbors to the south. The Nationals re-signed their homegrown World Series MVP, Stephen Strasburg, to a whopping seven-year, $245 million deal that will keep him in a Washington uniform until age 38.

That’s the largest free agent contract ever given to a pitcher, easily topping the $217 million deal the Red Sox doled out to David Price in December 2015. Price has averaged just under 25 starts per season in the first four years of that deal, though he’s pitched well when healthy. The Nationals are taking a huge gamble in shelling out record-breaking money to a somewhat injury-prone Strasburg, who has made 30 starts only once in the past five years. But when you win the World Series, you can afford to go a little crazy.

If you were worried that the Orioles would get overshadowed by the Nationals news, fear not! They made an earth-shattering pitching addition of their own, claiming Marcos Diplán off waivers from the Tigers.

Strasburg. Diplán. They’re basically the same guy, right?

And in ex-Oriole news, Adam Jones is apparently close to signing to play in Japan. I must say, that one surprises me. Usually when an MLB player leaves to play in Asia — as four members of the 2019 Orioles have already done this offseason — it’s someone who’s, well, kind of a nobody. (I say that with all due respect to Gabriel Ynoa, Aaron Brooks, Mike Wright, and Tayler Scott.) But Jones is a five-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glover who was the face of his franchise for 11 years. I can’t remember the last time a player of his caliber took his career overseas.

If it happens, here’s hoping Jones has the time of his life in Japan. And I’m going to try to find out if there’s any way to stream Nippon Professional Baseball games here in the States.


Elias on today’s activity, pitching, Givens, Rutschman and more - School of Roch
Diplán aside, the Orioles didn’t outwardly do much on Day 1 of the meetings. But Mike Elias had a lot to say anyway.

Baltimore Orioles: Adam Jones Is Making A Very Smart Move - Birds Watcher
Nick Stevens weighs in on the Adam Jones news and explains why heading to Japan is a good decision for the veteran. It’s hard to argue with his reasoning. Still, MLB will be a little bit less fun for the rest of us without Adam Jones being a part of it.

Winter Meetings: Would Orioles reunite with Andrew Cashner or Caleb Joseph? -
At this point, Caleb Joseph would barely recognize any of his teammates if he returned to the Orioles. I don’t think the O's are interested anyway. They’ve got enough warm bodies to serve as placeholders until Adley Rutschman arrives in a couple of years.

Delving into which free-agent starting pitchers are the best fits for the Orioles – The Athletic
Dan Connolly provides a baker’s dozen of free agent options to fill the many voids in the Orioles’ rotation. Although for like eight or nine of them, he basically says, “This guy probably isn’t terrible enough to sign with the Orioles.” Which is, sadly, very true.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! And happy birthday to one current member of the Orioles, catcher Austin Wynns, who turns 29. Wynns did a decent job behind the plate in his rookie year in 2018, but appeared in only 28 games this past season, posting a .518 OPS. He remains on the O’s 40-man roster but is third in the pecking order of catchers behind Chance Sisco and Pedro Severino.

Ex-Orioles with birthdays today include short-lived 2018 Rule 5 pick Nestor Cortes Jr. (25), 2011 four-game infielder Pedro Florimon (33), and 1996 outfielder Luis Polonia (56).

On this day 20 years ago, the Orioles traded the ageless Jesse Orosco to the Mets after a successful five-year stint in the O’s bullpen, in which he made 336 appearances and posted a 3.35 ERA. Orosco was 42 years old at the time of the trade — and had made his major league debut 20 years earlier — but still played another four seasons after that, and is the all-time MLB leader in games pitched (1,252). When your career spans four decades, you must be doing something right.