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Friday Bird Droppings: Where we’re looking for keepers on the 40-man roster

Most current members of the Orioles will probably be a distant memory by the time the team is ready to compete again.

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles
Ryan Mountcastle: probably a keeper.
Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

It’s been a long, slow offseason for the Orioles, and it’s unlikely the Birds will be making any big name acquisitions to change that fact. Still, as Rich Dubroff writes on, the O’s could make a few adjustments to their 40-man roster by the time spring training opens, bringing in some unheralded free agents or waiver claims.

It makes sense. The Orioles do still have a few glaring holes on their club — at shortstop, for instance — and, frankly, their current 40-man roster includes plenty of fringe-at-best players who could easily be removed without batting an eye. Take a look at the roster as it stands now. There are almost certainly a few players who won’t ever make an appearance for the Orioles, and some who won’t even make it another two months. There are some whose names I don’t even recognize. (Are we sure “Ashton Goudeau” is a real person?)

To take this thought exercise a step further, how many of the players currently on the 40-man do you think will still be members of the Orioles the next time they’re a contending team? Less than half? Less than a quarter? I’m not sure there’s any player on that list who I could 100 percent guarantee will be around for the long haul. Maybe a Ryan Mountcastle or a Dean Kremer. But even relatively young, successful players like John Means or Anthony Santander could find themselves in a different uniform by the time the Orioles are ready to be contenders again. Anything and everything is on the table with Mike Elias running the show.

I’m looking forward to the 2021 season, just as I look forward to every Orioles season. But don’t get too attached to any of these guys. In all likelihood, the roster that starts this year will look dramatically different from the roster of the next great Orioles team.


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Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have four O’s birthday buddies, including the one and only Ubaldo Jimenez (37), who tried to make a comeback with the Rockies last year but retired after he was cut at summer camp. Other Birds born on this day are righty relievers Aaron Rakers (44) and Dave Leonhard (80) and the late Maryland native Bobby Young (b. 1925, d. 1985), who was the first player ever to bat for the Orioles, leading off the franchise’s inaugural game on April 13, 1954.

On this day in 2006, the Orioles traded one-time closer Jorge Julio and pitching prospect John Maine to the Mets for veteran right-hander Kris Benson, best known for being married to Anna Benson. The trade didn’t work out for the Birds, as Benson posted an uninspiring 4.82 ERA in his only healthy year with the Orioles while Maine strung together a few solid seasons for the Mets.