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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the winter meetings are lacking buzz

Going virtual is the right call, but we’ll miss the pizzazz and potential for chaos that only the in-person meetings can bring.

MLB: Winter Meetings Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Major League Baseball’s winter meetings kicked off yesterday. In a typical year, this week would be a welcome reprieve from the long, cold offseason, as GMs, managers, agents, players, media, and other assorted baseball folk would all gather in one place for a wild few days of wheeling and dealing — or at least rumors about wheeling and dealing. We’d be refreshing Twitter every five minutes for the latest juicy tidbits about which teams were seen meeting with which agents, or which big-name players were being bandied about in trade rumors, or which long-forgotten baseball hanger-on was spotted lurking in the lobby.

Instead, thanks to COVID, this year’s meetings are being held entirely online. That shouldn’t be too much of an obstacle for the decision makers themselves — GMs can just as easily hash out a trade on Zoom as they can in a hotel suite — but with media access severely limited, we don’t have the nonstop buzz and second-by-second updates about everything that might be happening. Instead we have to wait until...something actually happens. Can you imagine?

A couple of small Orioles-related things happened yesterday. The club claimed righty Ashton Goudeau off waivers from the Pirates, and cleared a roster spot for him by outrighting catcher Austin Wynns, who played 70 games with the Birds in 2018-19 but didn’t appear in the majors in 2020.

Also departing the Orioles yesterday was Dwight Smith Jr., who hit .238/.298/.405 with 15 homers in 122 games the past two years.

Best of luck, Dwight. His on-field career wasn’t memorable, but we won’t soon forget his impressive run at the helm of the video-game Orioles in the MLB: The Show Players’ League.


Orioles select Goudeau off waivers and outright Wynns - School of Roch
Roch Kubatko somehow resists the temptation to make a “waiting for Goudeau” joke, and his restraint is admirable.

Answering your Orioles questions -
Rich Dubroff tackles questions from readers. The last one is maybe from Captain America?

A look at a player who may be the next O’s top 100 prospect - Steve Melewski
Gunnar Henderson is rising on the prospects lists, no easy feat for a guy who hasn’t played professionally in more than a year. Then again, neither have his peers.

Revisiting O’s top 5 Winter Meetings deals -
What, the Dana Eveland trade didn’t make the cut?

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! And happy 52nd birthday to one of the best pitchers in Orioles history, Hall of Famer Mike Mussina. Spoiler alert: you’ll be seeing him soon as Camden Chat’s Top 50 greatest Orioles list counts down the remaining seven. Also celebrating a birthday today is 2002-04 infielder Jose Leon (44), who, um, did not make our Top 50 list. Sorry, Jose.

The Orioles have made a number of transactions on this date in history, none particularly earth-shattering. In 1983, they traded away one-time closer Tim Stoddard, who’d spent six year with the Birds, for infielder Wayne Gross. In 1988, they acquired outfielder Phil Bradley, who became a notable contributor to the 1989 “Why Not?” club. And in 1996, they signed four-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young runner-up Jimmy Key to a two-year deal. Key had a great first season with the Birds — 16-10, 3.43 ERA in an All-Star campaign for the wire-to-wire Orioles — but struggled with injuries in 1998, the last year of his career.