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Saturday’s Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are not the cheapest team in the American League

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In Orioles news: the O’s add seven more international prospects, Diaz needs to bounce back and quotes from Elias.

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

February is right around the corner, which means that we are quickly approaching spring training. Although there will be a slew of additional signings and trades once clubs get to their particular Grapefruit and Cactus League bases, most of the major deals are done.

As such, MLB Trade Rumors rounded up the free agent deals given out by every American League team this off-season, and guess what? The Orioles didn’t spend the least!

The Yankees are at the top of the heap with $336.5 million given out to two players (Gerrit Cole and Brett Gardner). The Angels, White Sox, Twins and Blue Jays round out the top five spenders. Our O’s came in 14th (out of 15 teams) with $3 million spent on one player (Jose Iglesias). The club at the bottom of the list are the rebuilding Seattle Mariners, who gave out two low-risk contracts to Kendall Graveman and Carl Edwards Jr. for a total of $2.95 million.

This off-season has gone about as well as the Orioles could have hoped it would. They added a veteran shortstop for relatively little money. They made a few trades that netted them minor league depth. And they cut major league payroll. From a fan’s perspective, it has been extremely boring, and has not added much excitement to the upcoming season, but it is right in line with the plan laid out by the new regime last year, so at least there is consistency.

Links

Which Orioles jersey should you buy this season? - NBC Sports
I’m not much of a jersey guy, but the idea is to get yourself some gear that will stand the test of time. Considering the Orioles current roster situation, you are probably better off waiting a few years before spending $100+ of a jersey. In the meantime, grab yourself a Trey Mancini shirsey for $20, which will eventually become your “yardwork shirt” once Mancini is traded for two low-level prospects in July.

Hoping For A Big 2020 From Yusniel Diaz - Birds Watcher
Yusniel Diaz had a nice season in 2019. He posted a solid 135 wRC+ in 76 games with Double-A Bowie. It would be great if he could stay healthy for all of 2020 and put up a few months worth of impressive numbers in Triple-A. Even still, he is on track to be a major contributor at the big league level in 2021.

Orioles add to international signing class with 7 prospects out of Dominican Republic - Baltimore Sun
This means that the Orioles have now signed 34 international free agents in this signing period, and they still have about $1.5 million remaining in their cap for such transactions. It will be years before this class bears any fruit, but it does give the organization additional opportunities to improve the overall talent down on the farm.

Leftovers from Shorebirds Hot Stove Banquet - School of Roch
Do you like Mike Elias quotes? Because this article has got plenty of Mike Elias quotes!

Out of the top 100, but not out of the O’s future - Steve Melewski
Prospects are volatile. Guys like Ryan Mountcastle and Yusniel Diaz remain highly regarded in the grand scheme of things, but they have fallen off of some of the coveted “Top 100” lists across baseball.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

It’s the 54th birthday of Richie Lewis, a right-handed pitcher who began his career with two games as an Oriole in 1992 and then capped it with two more games as an Oriole in 1998. In between, he bounced to four different teams around the league.

Another short-time Oriole turns 56 today. Francisco Melendez spent just nine games with the O’s in 1989. The first baseman went 3-for-11 during his limited run in Baltimore.

Finally, Wally Bunker is 75 years old. The nine-year MLB vet spent parts of six seasons with the Orioles from 1963 through 1968, compiling a 3.40 ERA in that time.

2005 - The Orioles miss out on one of their most coveted free agents of the offseason as first baseman Carlos Delgado agrees to a four-year, $52-million deal with the Florida Marlins. He would be traded to the New York Mets less than one year later.