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Thursday Bird Droppings: Next year’s Orioles suddenly look different

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The Orioles surprisingly traded Jose Iglesias on Wednesday night, and they non-tendered Hanser Alberto, too.

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 120 days remaining until the next scheduled Orioles game. It’s true! Opening Day is now less than four months away, unless 2021 also experiences disruptions to the beginning of the season. It seems like we are now on a trajectory to reasonably hope that no such disruption will happen.

Today is a day to digest the moves that the Orioles made on Wednesday evening. There was one move that was more expected, that they did not tender Hanser Alberto a 2021 contract, and one that was a surprise. The surprise is that the O’s traded shortstop Jose Iglesias to the Angels for pitching prospects Garrett Stallings and Jean Pinto. For a little more about the moves and the newest Orioles minor leaguers, check out my post from last night.

If the waiver claim of Gold Glove winner Yolmer Sanchez from a few weeks ago had visions of an improved infield defense dancing through your head, that may be a bit on hold now. Iglesias is out of that picture now. Getting better at second base while probably getting worse at shortstop is, at best, a wash.

Following the decision not to tender Alberto a 2021 contract, GM Mike Elias told Orioles reporters, “Part of our job is to operate within the framework of the collective bargaining agreement,” and also, “we’re still in the phase of accumulating talent.”

These are both in the category of Elias lines that, like the classic where he said he did not want to put undue emphasis on things that are not strategically relevant, might be true, but is probably not going to get people rushing out to buy 2021 season tickets. I’m looking forward to when “winning this season” is the thing that is strategically relevant. Next year is not looking like that is going to be the year.

In fairness to Elias, as that Wednesday interview continued, he recognized as much:

He’s got that right. This isn’t fun.

Around the blogO’sphere

Orioles sign Sanchez (School of Roch)
Sanchez’s arrival really seemed to seal Alberto’s fate here, and that only became more pronounced when Sanchez agreed to a $1 million salary for 2021.

After spending 2020 in native Australia, Alexander Wells ready for major league shot (Baltimore Sun)
I’m looking forward to seeing what Wells can do, and I hope that he pitches well enough that the Orioles have no choice but to give him a shot.

Taking a look at the Pedro Severino agreement (Steve Melewski)
With Adley Rutschman hopefully not so far away, the Orioles won’t be handing out any long-term catching deals to other players. But they can still stick with what they’ve got already for another year, at least.

Non-tender deadline tracker (MLBTR)
Seriously, a lot of dudes got kicked to the free agent pile last night. Two teams chucked five players each and another two teams chucked four each. The Orioles tender action was comparatively tame.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 2014, Nick Markakis officially became a former Oriole when he signed a four-year contract with the Braves. As we are all well aware by now, this decision, defensible at the time, does not look so good in retrospect.

There are a pair of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 1969-71 reserve infielder Chico Salmon, and 1969-71 reserve catcher Clay Dalrymple. Today is Dalrymple’s 84th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you as well! Your birthday buddies for today include: early presidential painter Gilbert Stuart (1755), Pillsbury founder Charles Alfred Pillsbury (1842), author Joseph Conrad (1857), Black Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne (1948), actor Julianne Moore (1960), and actor Amanda Seyfried (1985).

On this day in history...

In 1800, there was an Electoral College tie for president between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. Elsewhere in the world, the French defeated the Austrians in the Battle of Hohenlinden, leading to the end of the War of the Second Coalition and about six months of European peace before the War of the Third Coalition broke out.

In 1967, South African surgeon Christiaan Barnard completed the first human heart transplant. His 53-year-old patient regained consciousness after the surgery, which had not been guaranteed, and survived for another 18 days.

In 1973, the probe Pioneer 10 beamed the first close-up pictures of Jupiter back to Earth.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on December 3. Have a safe Thursday.