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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the winter meetings fun is over

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A few teams made major noise in San Diego, though of course the Orioles weren’t one of them. Now, it’s back to the long, cold, winter slog.

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

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

MLB’s winter meetings are over. Ideas were discussed, trades were talked, fun was had, and now the 30 teams have gone their separate ways and left San Diego. Uh, except the Padres, I suppose.

This year’s meetings were highlighted by the three best free agents on the market — Stephen Strasburg, Gerrit Cole, and Anthony Rendon — all agreeing to lavish new contracts with the Nationals, Yankees, and Angels, respectively. Strasburg and Rendon inked identical seven-year, $245 million deals, while Cole cashed in with an incredible nine-year, $324 million pact, the largest in MLB history for a pitcher (topping the record set by Strasburg a day earlier).

Cole’s Yankees debut, in all likelihood, will come at Camden Yards against the Orioles on Opening Day next March 26. That’s going to be, um, fun.

Speaking of the Orioles, they didn’t do much of significance at the winter meetings, which isn’t a big surprise. (What, you were expecting them to sign Gerrit Cole?) Their player additions were limited to a pair of Rule 5 picks and waiver claim Marcos Diplan.

Mike Elias and his staff will now resume their offseason work in Baltimore, and they’ve got plenty on their plate, considering the club currently has just three starting pitchers and no everyday shortstop, among countless other holes. Let’s see what the rest of this winter has in store.

Links

Orioles leave Winter Meetings without making more moves; Hyde discusses Severino, Sisco - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Mike Elias says, among other things, that the Orioles present “a great opportunity for backup catchers.” Get excited, folks!

Orioles Winter Meetings recap | MLB.com
Joe Trezza recaps what the O’s have accomplished and what they still need to do, including the fact that they want “at least eight rotation candidates in Spring Training.” Something tells me a few of those candidates will end up being, like, Tom Eshelman and Chandler Shepherd.

Orioles select Bailey and Rucker in Rule 5 draft - School of Roch
Director of pro scouting Mike Snyder offers his thoughts on the two new Rule 5 picks. With as much roster maneuvering as the O’s typically do in a season, I don't see both of these guys lasting the whole year, but Bailey might be more likely to stick than Rucker.

Can Asher Wojciechowski Do Enough To Stick Around With Orioles In 2020? - PressBoxOnline.com
That’s “No. 3 starter Asher Wojciechowski” to you. The 2020 Orioles, ladies and gentlemen! Matt Kremnitzer analyzes whether the 31-year-old journeyman can be a useful part of the rotation next season.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Two former Orioles were born on this day, though neither is still with us: 1955 infielder Hank Majewski (b. 1916, d. 1991) and 1956-59 right-hander Billy Loes (b. 1929, d. 2010). It’s also the birthday of outfielder and AL integrator Larry Doby (b. 1923, d. 2003), who was briefly a member of the Orioles during the 1957-58 offseason but never appeared in a game for them.

On this date last year, the Orioles selected Richie Martin and traded for Drew Jackson in the Rule 5 draft. I think all of us remember exactly what we were doing on that momentous day.