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Wednesday Bird Droppings: A predictably slow offseason continues

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There isn’t much to report in Birdland or elsewhere in baseball for that matter.

Toronto Blue Jays v Detroit Tigers Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Good morning Birdland,

The offseason is underway, and I’m not sure it’s fair to say it is in “full swing,” but it is at least showing signs of contemplating a swing. A few players have already sign or re-signed. Andrew Heaney is headed to the Dodgers following a disastrous second half with the Yankees, and T.J. McFarland goes back to the Cardinals on a one-year deal. Congrats to the former Oriole for getting $2.5 million guaranteed after failing to crack the big leagues until July of this past season.

Even our O’s have done something, claiming a pitcher with a somewhat interesting profile off waivers. Bryan Baker brings a massive frame (6-foot-6, 245 pounds), two minor league options, and the momentum of a solid minor league season (1.31 ERA over 41.1 innings) with him to Baltimore. He looks like a fit in the team’s bullpen, which could desperately use some talent following a difficult spell to end 2021.

Other than that, there has not been much big news out of the annual GM meetings, which conclude on Thursday. It’s understandable. The CBA negotiations loom over everything, and it’s not entirely clear what set of rules players of teams should be operating under. That makes any significant discussions to have in anything other than the abstract.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, for our Orioles, this off offseason should not impact the team’s plans a whole lot. They are likely to be small players on the big league front, both with trades and free agents, regardless, and a work stoppage would not impact minor leaguers since they are not yet part of the union. There is a much bigger conversation to be had there regarding the rights of minor league players, and that could end up with them being a part of the CBA moving forward, but at the moment they are not.

But so far, this offseason has been about as slow as most offseasons in baseball. The big free agents don’t sign right away. Big time trades are rather rare. And most of the movement is done on the margins. HOT STOVE, BABY!

Links & Notes

Thoughts on acquiring Baker and latest version of 40-man roster | School of Roch
The O’s current 40-man roster is made up of hitters that look almost identical to the batch that ended 2021, and a pitching staff that is now missing some familiar names and needs a lot of help before the 2022 season rolls around.

Orioles first-round pick Colton Cowser thrived in his first taste of pro ball. He’s excited to build on that success. | The Baltimore Sun
I like Colton Cowser’s profile. He sounds like the type of guy that is going to stick around the big leagues for a decade plus. He makes contact, hits the ball with authority at times, and can play some defense. Sounds like a candidate to hit near the top of the order for a long time to come. Fingers crossed!

Fact/Opinion: If O’s Spend, Stroman Should Be Top Target | Eutaw Street Report
Buying arms in free agency is a dangerous game, especially for a club that is a still a bit away from contending. Eventually the Orioles will need to supplement internal talent with external investment, and it should be significant. Marcus Stroman is a really good pitcher, so I wouldn’t hate the move. But I also don’t see it as a fit given where Stroman is in his career (entering his age-31 season), the contract he deserves ($20-25 AAV for 3+ years) and the status of the Orioles’ pitching staff (barren). I would love to be proven wrong, though.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

No former Orioles’s players were born on this day, but comedian Sinbad (b. 1956), football coach Mike McCarthy (b, 1963), actress Ellen Pompeo (b. 1969), and musician Miranda Lambert (b. 1983) were.

This day in history

This has not been a particularly eventful day in Orioles’ history, according to Baseball Reference. So, here is what’s happened outside of Birdland on this day in history:

1951 - The North American Number Plan is introduced, allowing direct-dial, coast-to-coast telephone service in the United States to begin.

1958 - New York diamond merchant Harry Winston donates the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution.

1969 - Sesame Street debuts on National Educational Television.

1983 - Windows 1.0 is introduced by Bill Gates.