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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles finally made a move

After weeks of little to no action, the O’s shelled out $3 million to sign a major league shortstop yesterday.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates
Look at that perfect fielding form! Jose Iglesias ain’t one of the best shortstops in MLB for nothing, folks.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Our prayers have been answered. Well, maybe “prayers” is a little strong. But our request for the Orioles to do something worth discussing has at last been fulfilled. The O’s added their first major league position player free agent of the winter, signing veteran shortstop Jose Iglesias to a one-year, $3 million deal with a 2021 option.

On paper, it seems like a perfect fit. The O’s had a giant hole at the shortstop position after Jonathan Villar was traded and Richie Martin showed he wasn’t ready for primetime. Iglesias slots in nicely as the everyday starter, and with his skills on the defensive side of the ball, he could make life a little bit easier for an Orioles pitching staff that needs all the help it can get. And while he’ll clearly be a downgrade from Villar offensively, he’s not an embarrassment in the batter’s box, either.

It’s exactly the type of signing Mike Elias should be making at this point. Iglesias is cheap, he fills a need, and he’s not blocking any major league-ready prospects. He’ll make the 2020 Orioles marginally more watchable. And as an added bonus, it likely eliminates any possibility of the O’s signing Addison Russell.

Could there be more Iglesias types of acquisitions for the Orioles in the remaining weeks before spring training? I wouldn’t mind that at all. It sure is nice to have something to talk about after a dreadfully boring O’s offseason so far.


Source: Orioles agree to terms with Iglesias - School of Roch
According to Roch Kubatko, the Orioles declined to pursue Iglesias last year because of his poor clubhouse presence, but he apparently repaired that reputation in Cincinnati last year. Maybe all that Skyline Chili improved his mood.

What will O’s Opening Day roster look like? -
Joe Trezza offers his predicted 26-man Opening Day roster now that Iglesias is in the fold. I agree with many of his picks, but it’s confusing that they’re referred to as “locks.” How can all 26 spots be considered locks in January?

Orioles’ international scouting department grows from ‘blank slate’ in first year under director Koby Perez - Baltimore Sun
Jon Meoli examines the massive improvements to the Orioles’ international scouting efforts under the new regime. It’s almost as if ownership’s previous policy of avoiding the international market at all costs was a terrible, terrible idea. Who knew?

An Orioles reunion with Andrew Cashner remains a sensible idea -
I mean, sure. Cashner probably couldn’t be worse than some of the jamokes the Orioles threw onto the mound last season.

Building outfield depth for the Orioles - Steve Melewski
Melewski runs down the Orioles’ options in the outfield. It might be a bit generous to call guys like Dwight Smith Jr. and Stevie Wilkerson “depth,” but I guess it does fit the technical meaning of the term.

Orioles birthdays

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have three O’s birthday buddies, including 1974-77 righty Ross Grimsley (70), who can currently be heard opining about the Orioles on the radio; righty Francisco Rodriguez (38), a six-time All-Star whose half-season in Baltimore in 2013 was a dud; and outfielder Kyle Hudson (33), who played only 14 big league games, ending with him scoring the tying run in the epic Robert Andino Game that knocked the Red Sox out of playoff contention in 2011. Not a bad way to go out.