Good morning Birdland,
Yasiel Puig has been on the free agent market for over a year now, and although he remains without a contract just yet, it sounds like plenty of teams have checked in on him. The Orioles are one of those teams.
In a sense, it isn’t too surprising. The O’s explored the possibility of signing Puig during the shortened 2020 season, but ultimately his COVID-19 diagnosis prevented him from landing anywhere. But in another sense, the one in which the Orioles have a packed 40-man roster and more than enough pieces to fill up the outfield and DH spots, it is a bit of a head scratcher.
Provided that Puig is the same hitter from 2019, the guy can still handle himself at the plate. He hit .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs and 19 stolen bases between the Indians and Reds that year. He will be turning 30 in a couple of weeks, and one would imagine he still has plenty of gas in the tank.
But how does he fit on this team? He can’t play in center. Anthony Santander will certainly hold down one of the corner spots. That leaves Puig to “battle” with D.J. Stewart, Trey Mancini, Ryan Mountcastle, Yusniel Diaz, and Chris Davis’s contract for time in the opposite corner or DH.
Links & Notes
Ready to play, Puig drawing interest (sources) - MLB.com
Puig may be in a position where he only receives one-year offers. In that case, the O’s may be able to make a compelling case about playing in a small park and competitive division. But they would also have to guarantee playing time, which doesn’t seem like a certainty.
Now on the 40-man, Rylan Bannon readies for run at the roster | Steve Melewski
Rylan Bannon will be an interesting one to watch come spring. It has been widely reported that Hanser Alberto could be non-tendered. But even if he is ultimately retained for 2020, that doesn’t mean anything for future years, and Bannon is one of the prime internal candidates to take over at second base.
Mattson takes big step with placement on 40-man roster | School of Roch
The Orioles bullpen has some intriguing pieces in Tanner Scott, Hunter Harvey and Paul Fry. Issac Mattson could have a shot to make the club out of the spring and work his way into the mix for high-leverage opportunities.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
Jimmy Parades was a utility player for the Orioles in 2014 and 2015. He turns 32 today. Nate Karns appeared in four games, splitting time between the bullpen and the rotation. He celebrates his 33rd birthday.
November 25th has been a slow day in Orioles history, according to Baseball Reference. So, here a few things that happened on this day outside of Birdland:
1915 - Albert Einstein presents elements of his theory of general relativity to the Prussian Academy of Sciences.
1963 - President John F. Kennedy is buried. He was assassinated just days earlier.
1984 - The popular holiday hit “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” is recorded to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia.