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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Awaiting the promised flurry of moves

There has been some movement among teams, and more should be on the way.

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Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles

Good morning, Birdland!

I’m not sure I would classify what has happened in baseball this week as a flurry as much as a dusting. Clearly, teams are prioritizing pitching. Eduardo Rodriguez got his big deal with the Tigers, the Angels added Noah Syndergaard on a one-year deal, and then José Berríos inked a lengthy extension with the Blue Jays. But the biggest names all remain unsigned with little indication as to what happens next.

What will be interesting to watch this week is if teams try to pull off any moves with players that they expect will be difficult to hold onto in the Rule 5 draft. The Orioles are primed to work in that area of the market with eight openings on their 40-man roster. It’s tough to see them protecting eight of their own guys, although it is possible.

Instead, what may make more sense is trying to pull off a trade for a player or two that is on the fringes of other teams rosters in exchange for a younger prospect that the O’s may not regard as highly. Of course, they would have to make it worth that team’s while. After all, clubs get $100,000 if they have a player selected in the Rule 5 draft, so its gonna take more than a bag of balls to convince.

From the Orioles perspective, they would also have to be sure they are getting someone better than the prospects they expect to be available in the Rule 5. Although there is something to be said about getting a similar type of prospect and being allowed to keep them in the minors. I’m not sure what the value of that flexibility is, but I would imagine the Orioles know exactly what it is, and it is in a spreadsheet somewhere.


Connolly: Orioles’ hiring of two hitting coaches with no big-league experience seems shortsighted | The Athletic
This was the article du jour that got Orioles’ Twitter buzzing, and deservedly so. Connolly is critiquing the team’s decision to hire two young hitting coaches that played very little or no professional baseball within the context that much of the current coaching staff has a similar background. For me, unless there is some data out there to show me that having a coach with major league experience means a team wins more games or a player is more productive, I’m not terribly interested in that argument. It feels like the kind of thing we cling to because “that’s how things were done,” but it’s entirely made up. In fact, Fuller has been part of an overhaul in the organization’s hitting philosophy that has seen its minor leaguers add loads of power to their game in recent years. That seems more relevant than whether or not he ever got a big league call-up.

Rebuilding Orioles stay course with hitting coach hires, even as Tigers make moves to compete now | The Baltimore Sun
That Tigers pitching staff is going to be a problem. It will need to be since their offense was in the bottom-third for runs scored last year. Anyway, I’m fine with the Orioles’ offseason to this point. Eduardo Rodriguez or others in that realm are not realistic targets of the team this year. There had better be major league level pitching options added at some point during the winter and early spring, but it does not need to be done on that scale.

More of this, that and the other | School of Roch
Odds and ends with the most interesting note being on the passing ofJulio Lugo and his brief history with the Orioles.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Everth Cabrera is 35 today. The longtime Padres infielder wrapped up his time in MLB with a 29-game stint on the 2015 Orioles.
  • Orioles legend Nick Markakis celebrates his 38th birthday. From 2006 through 2014, Markakis was a steady influence on the club’s outfield, posting a 113 OPS+, winning two Gold Gloves, and generating 26.0 bWAR for this career. He retired last offseason after six years with the Braves, just missing out on a World Series ring. He will be a deserved inductee into the Orioles’ team Hall of Fame one day.
  • Scott Moore is also 38. Between 2007 and 2010, the infielder made his way into 61 games with the O’s.
  • Darnell McDonald turns 43. His journeyman career began with 17 games as a member of the 2004 Orioles.
  • Eli Marrero celebrates his 48th. The versatile utility-man had a 22-game cameo with the 2005 Birds, spending most of his time that year in the outfield.
  • Brad Havens is 62 years old. The southpaw came out of the Baltimore bullpen from 1985 through 1986, accumulating a 5.27 ERA over 54 appearances.
  • Orlando Peña is 88 today. A pitcher in the big leagues for parts of 14 seasons between 1958 and 1975, the righty played in 16 games for the Orioles between ‘71 and ‘73.

This weekend in O’s history

1953 - The St. Louis Browns officially become the Baltimore Baseball Club Inc, and the board changes its name to the “Orioles.”

1999 - Free agent pitcher Mike Trombley signs a three-year deal with the Orioles.