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Wednesday Bird Droppings: It’s non-tender deadline day

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Mike Elias and the rest of the Orioles front office have several big decisions to make today.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles-Workouts Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning Birdland,

We have reached yet another important milestone date of the MLB offseason, non-tender deadline day. By 8 p.m. ET tonight teams must decide whether or not they will tender contracts for the 2021 season to players with six or fewer seasons of big league service time.

The Orioles have already made two noteworthy moves regarding players that were deemed to be on the bubble in this process. First, slugger Renato Nunez was designated for assignment and then released last month. Then, just yesterday, the Orioles agreed to a one-year-contract with catcher Pedro Serverino to avoid arbitration altogether.

Nathan Ruiz of the Baltimore Sun laid out all of the team’s arbitration-eligible players earlier this week. You can expect that both Trey Mancini and Anthony Santander will be brought back, but the others are up in the air. That list is made up of Hanser Alberto, Shawn Armstrong, Yolmer Sanchez and Pat Valaika.

Tendering these players a contract today does not mean they all make it to Opening Day 2021 with the club. Remember a year ago when the O’s tendered a deal to Dylan Bundy only to trade him days later? Something similar could happen here, especially with Alberto or Armstrong.

Links & Notes

Players Avoiding Arbitration: 12/1/20 | MLB Trade Rumors
More info on the Severino deal as well as other action around the league as we approach today’s deadline on tendering contracts for 2021.

The non-tender date approaches for the Orioles | Steve Melewski
This is a nice look at the situation, including salary projections from multiple outlets. It also raises good questions about whether Sanchez can stick around or not. The fact he has a Gold Glove is nice, but it also increases the amount he would likely get in arbitration, and that’s not something the O’s are looking to get into.

Latest review of arbitration-eligible O’s | School of Roch
And here is Roch’s blog on the topic of the day. Basically, it all comes down to the Orioles balancing value and budget. If money were no object it is likely that all of these guys stick around. Not that they are all superstars, but they aren’t especially expensive and the team has one of the smallest payrolls in the game. But saving money and developing young players is the goal right now, and not all of these guys help accomplish that.

Orioles shouldn’t rush Adley Rutschman to the majors | BaltimoreBaseball.com
Everything we have heard about Adley Rutschman this offseason has been positive. The guy appears to be every bit of a stud. But the Orioles have no reason to bring him up just yet, and maybe not at all in 2021.

Orioles birthday

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

According to Baseball Reference, no Orioles were born on this day. So, here are some non-baseballers that celebrate today: actress Lucy Liu (1968), performer Britney Spears (1981), and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (1983).

Orioles history

1958 - The O’s acquire infielder Bobby Avila in exchange for pitcher Russ Heman.

1971 - Frank Robinson’s time with the Orioles comes to an end. The outfielder is traded to the Dodgers in exchange for four players (pitcher Doyle Alexander, pitcher Bob O’Brien, catcher Sergio Robles and outfielder Royle Stillman)

2013 - The Orioles send closer Jim Johnson to the Oakland Athletics in a deal that lands them infielder Jemile Weeks.