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Weekend Bird Droppings: MLB set for a flurry of early offseason moves

Will the Orioles be involved? Almost certainly not.

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Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

This offseason is shaping up to be the weirdest in recent memory. The CBA negotiations are looming over everything. It feels like the entire industry is just about certain the month of December, at least, is going to be off limits to getting business done, and that means the hot stove is gonna need to get up to temperature real quick before it hibernates for the holidays and beyond. This metaphor is getting mixed, but you understand.

GM’s wrapped up their annual meetings this week, and little actual news has emerged. But there was a feeling afterwards that teams are ready to make big moves and fast.

As a general baseball fan, that’s exciting! Football and basketball transaction news in their off-seasons is so fast and fluid. All of the most noteworthy signings and trades seem to happen in a matter of hours. Baseball has always been different, and far too drawn out. It has gotten better recently. Notable free agent pitchers inking multi-year deals in the middle of spring training is less common, etc. But still, it could stand to pick up the pace.

The bummer of it all is that we are Orioles’ fans, so this impacts us very little. Are the Orioles going to sign a mediocre starter to a two-year deal sooner than they would have without a CBA breakdown? Maybe. But honestly, do you care that much?

Perhaps you do. I will admit that there will be a minor dopamine rush in my brain when the O’s sign someone who I actually believe can throw 140 passable big league innings next year. But it won’t truly matter. This is another offseason of transacting on the margins while the future of your team marinates in the minors. That’s fine. It’s the plan. And signs are pointing to that being a logical path. But it doesn’t make the winter very interesting.


Birdland Playback: John Means Makes History |
In what was an overall difficult season, this was a magical day, and it deserves to be relived not only this offseason but for years to come.

Orioles prospects using instructional camp to build bonds, habits and get ‘1% better every day’ | The Baltimore Sun
I’m an Orioles fan, but I try to not drink the Kool Aid (yeah, yeah, I know it was Flavor Aid!) too much and stay relatively objective. That said, there sure is a lot to like about the team’s farm system, and it has been mighty excited about the next couple of seasons as promising talents start to re-emerge in the big league lineup.

Why MLB seems headed to a lockout, & how that’ll create a free-agent frenzy | ESPN+
There are some notes in here on how, specifically, the arbitration process could change for players. But who knows if this is even close to the final product. It could be the sort of proposal that is meant to leak and generate feedback. Who knows!

MLB offseason cracks open with shortstops galore, tanks and teardowns and, oh yeah, labor stress | The Athletic
More notes on the CBA talks. The bad news is that a lockout is inevitable. But the good news is that it doesn’t sound like it will delay next season. Plus, it could make for a fun November of free agents signing prior to the current CBA being ripped up.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Freddy Galvis turns 32. The shortstop is fresh off of a partial season spent in Baltimore prior to being dealt to the Phillies at the deadline.
  • Wade Miley is 35. The left-handed pitcher appeared in 43 games, all as a starter, between 2016 and 2017. He pitched to a 5.75 ERA over 211.1 total innings.
  • Josh Bell turns 35 as well. Acquired from the Dodgers in exchange for George Sherrill, the corner infielder had a 32 OPS+ over 79 total games with the O’s between 2010 and 2011.
  • Pat Hentgen is turning 53. The right-handed pitcher spent three seasons in Baltimore from 2001 through 2003, accumulating a 4.26 ERA over 245 innings.
  • Curt Schilling is 55. He pitched with the Orioles from 1988-90.
  • Larry Harlow is celebrating his 70th. Between 1975 and ‘79, the outfielder was worth 1.0 bWAR.

This weekend in O’s history

1973 - O’s hurler Jim Palmer collects the AL Cy Young Award. He had just wrapped a season in which he won 22 games with a 2.40 ERA.

2005 - Executive VP Mike Flanagan explains that the Orioles are “heading in a different direction” and therefore will not bring back Sammy Sosa or Rafael Palmeiro.