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Thursday Bird Droppings: It’s option exercising season

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The Orioles have one choice to make early in the offseason: Whether to pick up Jose Iglesias’s 2021 contract option.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles will decide in a few days whether to exercise Jose Iglesias’s contract option.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 154 days remaining until the next scheduled Orioles game, which is Opening Day on April 1, 2021. Now that the World Series is over, there won’t be any other baseball happening to divert our attention until pitchers and catchers begin reporting - if all goes as planned - in February. Inferior sports will have to get us through the fall and winter, and with pandemic-altered schedules, even pro basketball and hockey are in their offseasons right now.

The next offseason day that’s relevant for the Orioles is that within five days after the end of the World Series, they will have to decide whether or not to exercise the $3.5 million 2021 option for Jose Iglesias.

Other teams have already started this process, with options declined for players like Colorado’s Daniel Murphy and St. Louis’s Kolten Wong. ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted yesterday that the general trend of options being declined has been expected through the game for months, with the stated excuse being that this will be brought on by the absence of 2020 ticket revenue plus lingering uncertainty about whether or how many fans will be able to attend in 2021.

We’ll see if the Orioles end up joining this cheapo trend. Murphy’s option was for $12 million, while Wong’s was for $12.5 million. That’s a different level than Iglesias’s option. But if the O’s decide they aren’t going to do it, then there’s nothing you or I can do to stop them.

Although Iglesias battled a few injuries in 2020, it seems like a no-brainer to pick up the option to me. It’s just so cheap for a player who can offer what he does. It’s not like the Orioles have a shortstop prospect knocking down the door to MLB at this moment who Iglesias could theoretically be blocking. Keeping him means one fewer question mark heading into 2021. It’ll be disappointing if this does not happen.

Around the blogO’sphere

What’s next for Orioles? (School of Roch)
In which Roch harkens back to the day where Eddie Gamboa and Jason Pridie were non-tendered by the Orioles, which also happens to be the day they traded Jim Johnson.

Orioles’ starting pitching improved in 2020 (Baltimore Baseball)
It’s fun that this is true! Though they’re going to need to improve some more if the team is going to be good.

Checking in with pitching coaches from the Bowie alternate site (Steve Melewski)
Some praise for recently acquired pitchers like Kyle Bradish and Kevin Smith.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 2013, Gold Glove award winners were announced, with the Orioles pulling home three: Manny Machado at third base, J.J. Hardy at shortstop, and Matt Wieters at catcher. They have one finalist for a 2020 Gold Glove: Anthony Santander in right field.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2012 pitcher Dana Eveland, 2000/04 reserve Karim Garcia, 1973-74 utility infielder Frank Baker, and 1967-71 pitcher Pete Richert.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: TV painter Bob Ross (1942), actor Richard Dreyfuss (1947), actor Dan Castellaneta (1957) actor Wynona Rider (1971), actor Gabrielle Union (1972), and Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio (1984).

On this day in history...

In 1618, early tobacco enthusiast Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded for allegedly conspiring against England’s King James, though there is some thought it was really just done to appease Spain.

In 1863, during the Civil War, the Union army under General Grant repelled a Confederate attack in the Battle of Wauhatchie. This allowed the Union to open a supply line to Chattanooga.

In 1929, the New York Stock Exchanged crashed in “Black Tuesday,” now recognized as the beginning of the Great Depression.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on October 29. Have a safe Thursday.