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Saturday Bird Droppings: The Renato Nunez era with the Orioles is over

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As expected, Mike Elias is starting to make some big changes to the Orioles roster.

Baltimore Orioles v New York Mets Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

One of the significant offseason deadlines arrived yesterday. Teams needed to protect any eligible players from next month’s Rule 5 draft by placing them onto the 40-man roster. The O’s added six young players, but had to cut one veteran to make room. Renato Nunez was the unfortunate veteran.

Nunez has had a significant role on the team since arriving in mid-2018. His OPS+ the last three years was 114, 101, 121 to pair with 50 home runs over 263 total games. There is no question that the guy can hit the baseball.

The trouble for Nunez is that he is close to unplayable in the field. That would OK if he was also an elite hitter, but he’s not. On top of that, the roster is full of players with similar profiles and more upside.

It’s possible the Orioles could trade Nunez. But if he gets through waivers then he will become a free agent. That could possibly allow the O’s to re-sign him at a lower salary, but in all likelihood Nunez’s time in Baltimore has come to an end.

Links

Talking about creating more action in the game | Steve Melewski
This is a blog that complains about the three true outcome nature of modern baseball. I get it. It does create less action. But it is also what analysts have shown gives teams the most value. Teams won’t change who they go after until the structure of the game itself changes. How would that happen? Likely moving the mound and changing the baseball. That might take some convincing of game purists.

Elias explains why Núñez was DFA’ed in roster moves | Baltimore Baseball
It’s pretty easy to understand. The youth movement is coming, and Elias wants to protect any player that he thinks could become vital parts of the next good O’s team. Nunez had proven that he wasn’t going to do that.

Ravens, Orioles superfan Mo Gaba to be featured on ESPN’s ‘Sunday NFL Countdown’ | The Baltimore Sun
More Mo is never a bad thing. I’m not sure if I am prepared to be crying on a Sunday morning, but that’s where we’re at.

The Orioles’ rebuild is about finding who sticks. Renato Núñez won’t be the last who doesn’t. | The Baltimore Sun
There probably won’t be many trades for the Orioles this offseason, but that doesn’t mean some of the “older” players won’t be cut or moved in some other way to make room for others that are deemed more promising.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

Former Rule 5 draft pick Jason Garcia turns 28 today. The right-handed pitcher appeared in 21 games for the 2015 Orioles, his only season spent in the big leagues. He posted a 4.25 ERA over 29.2 innings.

Quintin Berry celebrates his 36th birthday. The outfielder spent time with 14 different organizations in his career but made it to the majors with just five of them, including the 2014 Orioles. He appeared in 10 games for the O’s, but recorded just two plate appearances, serving mostly as a pinch runner and defensive replacement.

It’s the 60th birthday of Mark Eichhorn, a right-handed pitcher that played 11 seasons in the majors. He spent the 1994 in Baltimore, appearing in 43 games and accumulating a 2.15 ERA out of the Orioles bullpen.

This day in history

1977 - Orioles first baseman Eddie Murray is name AL Rookie of the Year, beating Athletics outfielder Mitchell Page.

2011 - The O’s sign infielder and former first-round pick Matt Antonelli. He would never play a game for the Orioles.