Good morning Birdland,
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around Major League Baseball, and by that I mean that very few major moves are happening. Now, it’s not as if no business gets done this time of year. A fairly recent example would be the trade that sent Aroldis Chapman from the Reds to the Yankees. It occurred in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
For the Orioles fans this is old hat. Our team has made it a tradition to wait until January at the absolute earliest before they start getting serious about free agent options. It’s more of the same this offseason as they aren’t expected to be major players for any of the big names.
This year it looks like just about every team in the league is going to try their hand at the waiting game. The top of the free agent class remains unemployed. Of the first 25 names on Baseball Reference’s list of top agents, only three have signed a deal for 2021, and that includes two guys who simply accepted the qualifying offer from their 2020 club.
As it goes most seasons, the first domino needs to fall. Once Trevor Bauer picks a destination, the rest of the starting pitching market will fall into place and then the Orioles can fulfill their vulture roll and pick at the scraps.
Links & Notes
Valdez provides a valuable lesson on January signings | School of Roch
Cesar Valdez was a really neat story in 2020. The 35-year-old had gone three years in-between stops in the big leagues, and showed up with the O’s by posting a 1.26 ERA over nine appearances. He deserve a shot at a role in their ‘pen for 2021.
4 things to know about O’s new RHP Wells | Orioles.com
All you need to know is that between him and myself we are growing #teamTyler in Birdland. We had a good run with Tyler Wilson a few years ago. It’s time to start building once again.
Checking in on where former Orioles are landing in free agency | The Baltimore Sun
The Orioles didn’t have any significant players hitting free agency this winter, and therefore they have not lost any significant players to free agency. Instead, they chose to cut loose guys like Jose Iglesias, Renato Nunez and Hanser Alberto. That’s...something?
2021 ZiPS Projections: Baltimore Orioles | FanGraphs
Would it surprise anyone to see that Anthony Santander is expected to be the Orioles offensive leader in 2021? Probably not. How about if Pat Valaika was second? Or if Kevin Smith led the way on the mound? Well, that either means something went really right or really, really wrong.
Director of player development Matt Blood on players skipping levels | Steve Melewski
What it means to skip a level is going to be different next year than ever before in baseball. Some young players spent the summer at an organization’s alternate site. Many others missed a season completely and relied on their own workouts to stay ready. It’s tough to really know what that will turn into on the field in 2021.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
Just one former Oriole was born on this day. The late Dave May (b. 1943, d. 2012) was an outfielder for the O’s from 1967 through 1970. He hit .216/.291/.314 across 223 total games before he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Dick Baney and Buzz Stephen in June, 1970.
1980 - Outfielder Jim Dwyer signs on with the Orioles.