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Weekend Bird Droppings: The MLB transaction freeze has been lifted

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New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

When baseball went on pause in late March as a result of the ongoing pandemic, that included major league transactions. Teams weren’t allowed to make deals, release players and sign new ones.

Now that the league has announced a restart of the season they have also lifted the freeze on transactions. As of Friday at noon, clubs are once again free to sign players and make trades. That could mean that former Orioles like Andrew Cashner and Mark Trumbo are able to find work. Trumbo could be especially interesting to all of the National League teams that now need a DH every day.

The Orioles’ need for pitching remains a concern, although it is less so considering the season will last just 60 games. Cashner would be a fine fit, or the O’s could just go into the season with what they have, and hope to paper over the holes that emerge in a two-month campaign.


Orioles getting ready for roster redesign - School of Roch
Things are about to get weird. The rosters for “Spring Training” max out at 60 players. Then, the Orioles will be able to keep 30 of them for Opening Day before whittling it down to 28 players two weeks later and then down to 26 two more weeks after that.

A Conversation With Former White Sox and Orioles IF/OF Don Buford - FanGraphs
There is tons of interesting stuff in here. Buford talks about his entire career, including his time with the Orioles and his relationship with several well-known names in the club’s history.

How will the Orioles’ top prospects fit in during training camp? - Baltimore Sun
The Orioles will have some of their top-rated youngsters at Spring Training 2.0, but don’t expect them right away. They need to fill the big league squad first, and then worry about developing the prospects.

Orioles allowed to use Camden Yards for training camp and games; possibility of fans under discussion - Baltimore Sun
I understand that in-person attendance is an important part of the revenue flow for live sports, and for some fans experiencing a game live is the best part of fandom, but maybe we all just concede that it’s not in the cards until this pandemic is fully quelled. Deal?

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday this weekend? Happy birthday!

  • Jim Johnson is 37. The longtime reliever took part in eight seasons with the O’s from 2006 through 2013, including a standout 2012 season in which he posted a 2.49 ERA and saved a league-leading 51 games over 68.2 innings. Johnson was traded to the Oakland Athletics prior to the 2014 season.
  • Utilityman Oscar Salazar turns 42 today. He appeared in 51 games as an Oriole between 2008 and 2009. He was dealt to the Padres in 2009 in exchange for pitcher Cla Meredith.
  • Jeff Conine celebrates his 54th. Although he is known as “Mr. Marlin” he did spend a significant portion of his career with the Orioles. From 1999 through 2003 and then again in 2006, Conine compiled a .287/.341/.441 batting line and 6.9 bWAR as an Oriole.
  • It is the 57th birthday of outfielder Nelson Simmons. The Washington D.C. native played 16 games for the 1987 O’s.
  • Former infielder Jackie Gutierrez is 60. Gutierrez played 61 games with the Orioles between 1986 and ‘87, posting -1.8 bWAR in that time.
  • It is also the birthday of the late Lou Kretlow (b. 1921, d. 2007), who was part of the early O’s teams in 1954 and ‘55.
  • Finally, the late Don Baylor (b. 1949, d. 2007) also has a birthday this weekend. The 1979 AL MVP started his career with the Orioles from 1970 through 1975, accumulating 10.4 bWAR in the process.

This day in history

1955 - The O’s deal second baseman Bobby Young to the Cleveland Indians for infielder Hank Majeski.

1957 - Orioles pitcher Ray Moore hurls the team’s fourth straight shutout, an American League record.

1967 - O’s outfielder Frank Robinson is hurt in a collision with White Sox infielder Al Weis. Robinson begins experiencing double vision and misses 28 games.

1985 - The Orioles acquire second baseman Alan Wiggins from the Padres for pitcher Roy Lee Jackson. Wiggins had just completed his second stay at a drug rehabilitation center, and the Padres refused to allow him to play for them again.

1997 - Outfielder Geronimo Berroa is dealt to the O’s from the Athletics for pitcher Jimmy Haynes.

2000 - B.J. Surhoff extends his hitting streak to 21 games, going 5-for-6 as his Orioles beat the Red Sox 8-7 in 11 innings.