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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Orioles roster could look quite different in two weeks

Mike Elias and crew will have to make some big roster decisions before the end of the year.

MLB: JUL 03 Orioles at Rays Photo by Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning Birdland,

As expected, there have been relatively few player-related moves around Major League Baseball so far this offseason. That includes the Orioles. But that should change soon due to two upcoming deadlines.

First, teams have to protect all eligible players from the Rule 5 draft by this Friday at 5 p.m. For the O’s, that means adding the likes of Yusniel Diaz, Michael Baumann, Zac Lowther and others to the 40-man roster. Conversely, it means that we will get the first look at the field of players from which Mike Elias will be able to select in the Rule 5 draft on December 10. The O’s have the fifth overall pick.

Second, teams have to make decisions on arbitration-eligible players and whether or not they will offer them a contract for 2021 or not. That deadline arrives on December 2 at 8 p.m. The O’s could have some tough calls to make. Pedro Severino, Hanser Alberto, Renato Nunez, Pat Valaika and Shawn Armstrong may all be at risk of being cut loose.

It’s unlikely that anything highly consequential will take place over the next couple of weeks. But that doesn’t mean these deadlines are without intrigue. At the very least it gives us something to speculate about, and who doesn’t love that.

Links & Notes

How it looks to get O’s prospects back into minor league season | School of Roch
There is some news in here for those of us intrigued by minor league player movement. Sounds like the plan is for Adley Rutschman to start 2021 with Double-A Bowie while Yusniel Diaz will head to Triple-A Norfolk. Both could make their big league debuts in the upcoming season, although Diaz is more likely to do so.

Is a frigid free agent season looming? | Steve Melewski
Probably. The Orioles are almost certain to avoid any big splashes, but it’s not impossible to imagine some of the bigger budget organization’s giving out a few contracts that they believe will get them over the top.

2020 Non-Tender Candidates |
The deadline for teams to decide on tendering eligible players a contract for 2021 is December 2nd at 8 p.m. ET. There are a few O’s that may not make the cut and, therefore, become free agents. This includes Pedro Severino, Renato Nunez, and Hanser Alberto among others.

Here’s why Theo Epstein isn’t coming to Baltimore | NBC Sports Washington
I struggle to believe that any Orioles fan with half an idea of the team’s current trajectory actually thought they would go after Theo Epstein. However, I’m not much of a sports radio listener, and it wouldn’t be too surprising to hear a caller on that platform bring up the idea.

Orioles birthday

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

The late Steve Bechler was born on this day in 1979. The right-handed pitcher appeared in three games for the 2002 Orioles, and he was poised for a full rookie season in 2003. Tragically, he died that spring training from heat stroke with contributing factors from use of the weight-loss drug ephedra.

Longtime journeyman lefty Jamie Moyer turns 58 today. The southpaw spent 25 seasons in the big leagues, including three seasons in Baltimore from 1993 through 1995. He posted a 4.41 ERA over 75 appearances with the O’s.

Orioles history

1954 - The Orioles and Yankees complete a 17-player trade. The O’s add outfielder Gene Woodling and catcher Gus Triandos among others.

1964 - O’s third baseman Brooks Robinson is named the AL MVP, beating out Yankees slugger Mickey Mantle.