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Saturday Bird Droppings: The virtual Winter Meetings are a wrap

The Orioles entered last week with two open spots on their 40-man roster. They left with a packed squad.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles - Game One Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

Typically it’s pretty easy to pick on a rebuilding team during the winter meetings. While the potential contenders in the year to come make big moves and hand out contracts, the rebuilders do things on the margins, trading for minor leaguers and kicking the tires on one-year deals. But in 2020 it feels like every organization is moving at a sloth-like pace.

Players were on the move this past week, but the pace was anything but frenetic. Trevor Bauer and J.T. Realmuto remain unsigned. And no one seems closer to the World Series than they were a few days ago.

The Orioles may have actually filled one of their needs via the Rule 5 draft. Mike Elias was on the hunt for a back-end rotation piece. They found two options in Mac Sceroler and Tyler Wells. Will either of them work out? It’s anyone’s guess. Should this stop the team from also adding a veteran hurler on a cheap deal? No, it should not.

No progress was made, on the surface at least, regarding the team’s shortstop position. Jose Iglesias is gone and there is no obvious internal replacement. It’s possible Elias had some talks with agents, but nothing has been made public.

Any move the Orioles make at this point will likely need to be accompanied by another. Their 40-man roster is full, so unless they nab a player on a minor league deal with a spring invite then they will have to cut someone else loose. The possibility of a minor league deal is realistic, but it’s still a bit early in the offseason for many players to agree to such a compromise. It could be another month or two before we know who will be competing for both the shortstop and fifth starter jobs in Baltimore.


The Orioles’ week in review | School of Roch
There were some changes down in the minor leagues, the O’s add two pitchers and lost two more in the Rule 5 draft, and there remains an opening at shortstop.

Remembering last time the O’s lost two in the Rule 5 | Steve Melewski
Perhaps it will make Orioles fans feel better that the last time this happened the two players plucked were right handed pitchers Pat Egan and Pedro Beato. Egan was returned in March and never made it to the big leagues. Beato stuck for the whole year with the Mets and went on to play for three other teams, but hasn’t appeared in an MLB game since 2017. There is always a small chance that a superstar gets taken in the Rule 5 draft, but it’s far more likely that these are marginal moves that won’t have huge ramifications.

Wei-Yin Chen Agrees To Deal With Hanshin Tigers | MLB Trade Rumors
It was a tough stint in Miami for former O’s hurler Wei-Yin Chen. He signed a five-year, $80 million deal with the Marlins prior to the 2016 season. But he battled injuries and uneven play for most of that time. The now-35-year-old will look to turn his career around back in the Japanese league.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

Only one former Oriole is celebrating a birthday today. Garrett Atkins turns 41. The former corner infielder made his way into 44 games for the 2010 O’s, hitting just .214/.276/.286 with one home run. He would be released in July of that season.

This day in history

1993 - First baseman Rafael Palmeiro signs on for five seasons with the Orioles.

1997 - Free agent outfielder Joe Carter signs a deal with the O’s.

1999 - The Orioles trade infielder Jeff Reboulet to the Royals for a player to be named later.

2007 - Shortstop Miguel Tejada is deal from the Orioles to the Houston Astros in exchange for Luke Scott, Matt Albers, Troy Patton, Dennis Sarfate and Michael Constanzo.