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Monday Bird Droppings: The Orioles spring training starts tomorrow

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Opening Day may be 45 days away, but Orioles spring training, as Annie sang, is only a day away.

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 45 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day. The uniform number 45 belonged most recently to Mark Trumbo and also saw use by Erik Bedard. No player who has used this number has ever had an Orioles tenure longer than four seasons.

After the weekend’s Birdland Caravan activities, pitchers and catchers will be heading to Sarasota so they can report tomorrow. Spring training is almost here! Those pitchers and catchers who weren’t part of the caravan will also be heading to Florida, of course. It’s going to be a party.

If last spring is any indication, the shape of the Orioles roster could still change a bit even after spring training begins. Any manner of waiver wire addition could roll in at any point - catcher Pedro Severino was brought on board almost at the very end. Mike Elias still sounds like he could sign a starting pitcher on the fringes of the market.

Elsewhere in the baseball world, it seems that the whole Mookie Betts trade saga will not drag into part of a second week. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on Sunday evening of a new trade agreement between the Dodgers and Red Sox, with the Twins still getting in on the trading but no longer sending pitcher Brusdar Graterol to Boston. Graterol now goes to LA.

For pitching whatever fit they pitched, the Red Sox get another top 100 prospect for their trouble from the Dodgers. The trade itself gains an amusing wrinkle as a result, as prospect Jeter Downs heads from LA to Boston along with Alex Verdugo, who was in the original version of the trade, and catching prospect Connor Wong. LA still takes David Price and a lot of his salary off of Boston’s hands.

As an Orioles fan, it’s frustrating to see the Red Sox get the future value there. They’ll be cashing in on these young players when the Orioles start getting good. It’s also frustrating because I think back to how Dan Duquette did not trade Manny Machado prior to the 2018 season, when he would have had a full year with his new team and led to draft pick compensation if he left as a free agent as well. Duquette probably cost the O’s some talent.

Maybe before all is said and done, Yusniel Diaz, Dean Kremer, Rylan Bannon, and Zach Pop will leave O’s fans without cause for regret. The fifth piece in that trade, Breyvic Valera, has already long since been shuffled out of the organization.

Around the blogO’sphere

Elias: Spring training roster ‘good indication for the future’ (Baltimore Baseball)
According to Elias, a number of the O’s young players could make the team out of spring training, or else be “knocking on the door” in Triple-A.

How will Orioles make room for Triple-A starters? (School of Roch)
With as many high minors starting pitching prospects as the O’s have, Roch foresees there might be some overflow at Norfolk. If the O’s have more than five guys with potential for spots in that rotation, that would not be a bad problem to have.

Cedric Mullins retooled swing for Orioles return (Orioles.com)
Mullins dropped off the radar pretty quickly last summer, but if his work with a trailblazing private hitting instructor pays off, he could force himself back into the picture.

Elias confident O’s employees with Astros ties won’t be connected to sign-stealing scandal: ‘It’s been a disturbing series of events’ (Baltimore Sun)
Hoping the confidence is “no one was involved” rather than “no one is going to be publicly named.”

More on the Orioles international efforts with Koby Perez (Steve Melewski)
International scouting director Koby Perez is another guy who always sounds like he’s on top of what’s going on. I appreciate that he’s straightforward about the limitations of starting on an international signing class late, including the coming 2020 class. He still seems positive about the players the O’s did sign.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2009-11 infielder Cesar “Maximum” Izturis, 1997-99 catcher Lenny Webster, and 1954/56-69 pitcher Billy O’Dell. O’Dell passed away in 2018 at the age of 85.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: author Boris Pasternak (1890), author E.L. Konigsburg (1930), gold medal swimmer Mark Spitz (1950), Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan (1967), actress Elizabeth Banks (1974), actress Stephanie Beatriz (1981), and actress Chloe Grace Moretz (1997).

On this day in history...

In 1258, the Mongols invaded and captured Baghdad, bringing an end to the Islamic Golden Age.

In 1763, France and Great Britain signed the Treaty of Paris, ending the French and Indian War. In the treaty, France ceded Quebec to Britain.

In 1940, cartoon characters Tom and Jerry made their first appearance in a short titled Puss Gets The Boot.

In 1967, the 25th amendment, which cleared up matters of presidential succession, was ratified upon passage by Nevada. Maryland was the 28th to ratify, passing the amendment the previous year.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 10 - or at least, unless something happens later. Have a safe Monday.