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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles get their Rule 5 draft Christmas

The Yankees got Gerrit Cole. The Angels got Anthony Rendon. The Orioles are going to get a Rule 5 dude or two.

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Seattle Mariners v Baltimore Orioles
Very soon, Richie Martin won’t be the only Mike Elias-picked Rule 5 guy on the Orioles.
Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 105 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2020. This could well end up being the most exciting day remaining in the offseason as it’s Rule 5 draft day. If last year was any indication, Mike Elias is going to continue the Dan Duquette tradition of picking one or more players every year. There’s room on the 40-man roster for two selections.

If we’re lucky, Elias will prove to be more adept than Duquette was at picking Rule 5 players. The reality of the talent pool is that future great players aren’t likely to be available. Ryan Flaherty was fine, and Anthony Santander eventually turned into something. That wasn’t a bad success rate. If a Rule 5 pick isn’t up to snuff right away, it’ll be less frustrating to see that play out during this rebuilding period. It’s not like they’ll blow any games that matter.

MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis ran through the 13 players he feels could be picked in the Rule 5 draft today. The Orioles will get the second pick of this draft, since the Tigers managed to out-suck them in the 2019 season. I like the idea of Brewers pitching prospect Zack Brown, mostly because his last name is the same as mine and I’d enjoy there being a Brown on the Orioles. I don’t enjoy his 64 walks in 116.2 innings this year quite as much.

Do you have a favorite out of these guys?

The nervous nellies among us may be sweating one or more of the prospects who weren’t put onto the 40-man roster by the Orioles. I would be quite surprised if anyone tries to grab one of the O’s minor leaguers, because teams looking for immediate value can probably look elsewhere and so can teams looking for future value. We’ll see, though. Cody Sedlock is the one I’m wondering about the most.

While O’s fans have had little to do but ponder the latest Rule 5 adventure, other teams have been signing the big-name free agents who they hope will be helping them win in 2020 and beyond. Gerrit Cole will be haunting the Orioles on the Yankees for almost the entirety of the next decade. The Orioles... well, they’ve got what feels like a billion guys who give up a million walks and/or home runs per nine innings.

Around the blogO’sphere

A trade not made makes you wonder how much Mike Elias’ hands are tied by financial constraints (The Athletic)
Dan Connolly took note of the Giants absorbing $13 million of salary and getting the Angels 2019 first round draft pick, shortstop Will Wilson (really), for their trouble. His conclusion about why the Orioles haven’t done something similar isn’t heartening.

Hyde on Hays, rotation, rebuild, trades, Martin, and more (School of Roch)
Former GM Dan Duquette wouldn’t say “rebuild”, probably because he couldn’t publicly admit his plan had turned into a complete failure. Manager Brandon Hyde says he doesn’t say “rebuild” in the clubhouse because he wants the players to compete. I like his reason better.

Chris Davis, Ryan Mountcastle updates from Winter Meetings (
I’ve yet to read anything to make me believe that Chris Davis is going to do anything other than hit very badly until the Orioles finally decide that enough is enough.

Elias says Orioles are considering five or six players in Rule 5 draft (Baltimore Baseball)
It sounds like Elias likes the pitchers better in this year’s Rule 5 draft. Rich Dubroff suggests the Orioles might even try to pick a starting rotation candidate in the draft.

Rob Manfred talks Orioles struggles, MASN dispute: ‘Baltimore is a viable market’ (Baltimore Sun)
Museum enthusiast Paul Tagliabue may have a little competition for least liked professional sports commissioner in Baltimore sports history.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 2007, the Orioles traded Miguel Tejada to the Astros, receiving five players in return: Matt Albers, Michael Costanzo, Troy Patton, Dennis Sarfate, and Luke Scott. The deal didn’t end up having much impact on the next good Orioles team, but then again, the very next day Tejada was named in the Mitchell Report and within six months it was reported he was actually two years older than he had claimed.

One lone former Oriole has a birthday today: 2010 first baseman Garrett Atkins.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: businessman Henry Wells (1805), novelist Gustave Flaubert (1820), singer Frank Sinatra (1915), former Price is Right host Bob Barker (1923), Allman Brothers Band founding guitarist Dickey Betts (1943), actor Bill Nighy (1949), author Sophie Kinsella (1969), and actress Mayim Bialik (1975).

On this day in history...

In 884, the Frankish king Carloman II died in a hunting accident. This led to his cousin Charles the Fat succeeding to the throne. Charles the Fat was the last ruler of a united Frankish Empire.

In 1787, Pennsylvania ratified the United States Constitution, making it the second state to do so, five days after Delaware.

In 1950, Paula Ackerman led her congregation in religious services; this was the first time in the United States that a woman performed rabbinical functions.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on December 12 - or at least, until something happens later with the Rule 5 draft. Have a safe Thursday.