There are now 123 days remaining until the currently scheduled Orioles Opening Day 2021. Three months from now, the O’s Grapefruit League schedule is set to be underway. A lot could still happen between now and then.
The interesting thing for the coming week is the Wednesday deadline where teams have to decide which of their arbitration-eligible players they want to tender 2021 contracts. Most of the time this is a formality, but after the pandemic’s impact with a shortened season where no fans could attend, there’s a belief that teams will be more aggressive about trying to shed payroll in the form of players who, in an ordinary year, would likely be brought back.
The Orioles have already dealt with one of these players themselves, when they decided to designate Renato Nunez for assignment over a week ago in order to have another space on the 40-man roster to protect a prospect from the Rule 5 draft. At the time, GM Mike Elias said the Orioles wouldn’t be tendering Nunez into 2021 anyway. In a few days, we’ll know if they want to move on from any others as well.
It’s also possible that the Orioles could tender a player a 2021 contract and still trade him before next season. Last offseason, the O’s tendered Jonathan Villar and Dylan Bundy and both were traded in a matter of days.
Around the blogO’sphere
O’s free agent pitching additions could have familiar look (Steve Melewski)
Reading into the tea leaves of recent Elias comments, Steve predicts that minor league signings like Wade LeBlanc and Tommy Milone will be what the Orioles pursue this offseason as well.
Orioles 40-man roster full of youth, flexibility, and Mike Elias additions (Baltimore Sun)
In short, it’s a good thing to have a 40-man roster full of players who are very close to being able to show whether they can be a part of the next good Orioles team. To be determined, of course, how many of them make it farther than this.
Each team’s most intriguing Rule 5 prospect (Orioles.com)
After protecting six guys, this article lists the most intriguing Orioles prospect eligible as Brett Cumberland, who is not someone I will be losing sleep over remaining in the Rule 5 draft pool.
McKenna: “Whenever that opportunity arrives, I’m ready for it” (School of Roch)
Outfield prospect Ryan McKenna might be an injury away from getting a chance, unless he somehow lights Triple-A on fire next year and forces his way into the picture. I wouldn’t complain in that second case.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Today in 1967, the Orioles made a six-player trade with the White Sox that sent future Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio to Chicago, the team the Orioles acquired him from in 1963, and brought Don Buford to Baltimore.
In 1975, Brooks Robinson and Paul Blair each won the final Gold Gloves of their careers. For Brooks, it was the last of 16 Gold Gloves, as he’d won every year since 1960. Blair won his eighth Gold Glove overall, and seventh consecutive award.
There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2017-18 outfielder Craig Gentry, 2008 catcher Guillermo Quiroz, 1989-90 pitcher Brian Holton, and 1990 reliever Joe Price.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: first female governor Nellie Tayloe Ross (1876), novelist C. S. Lewis (1898), author Madeleine L’Engle (1918), movie man Joel Coen (1954), actor Don Cheadle (1964), actor Anna Faris (1976), and former University of Maryland standout footballer Stefon Diggs (1993).
On this day in history...
In 1394, the Korean king of the time, Yi Seong-gye, moved the capital to Hanyang, which today remains South Korea’s capital, Seoul. This dynasty reigned until 1897.
In 1807, the king of Portugal, John VI, fled the country before Napoleon’s armies could capture Lisbon. The court was re-established in Brazil for a time.
In 1863, the Union Army under Ambrose Burnside repelled an attack by the Confederates at Fort Sanders, which helped keep Knoxville under Union control.
In 1972, Atari’s Pong was released. It is recognized as the first video game to be commercially successful.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on November 29. Have a safe Sunday.