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Weekend Bird Droppings: The Orioles are filling up their 40-man roster

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Mike Elias left just one open spot on his team heading towards the non-tender deadline.

MiLB: JUL 28 Omaha Storm Chasers at Toledo Mud Hens Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

One of the more interesting off-season deadlines from the Orioles’ perspective has come and gone. The team protected all of the no-brainers plus a pair of wild cards from the Rule 5 draft. Although there is no guarantee, this does clear the path for D.L. Hall and Kyle Bradish to make their way to Baltimore sometime in 2022. For a club that desperately needs any sort of pitching talent they can get, especially starters, that is quite exciting.

Beyond this point, the current offseason is in doubt. December 1 is the non-tender deadline. This is the same day that the current CBA expires. It’s going to be the worst professional day for a few players that get cut loose and have no way to sign back on with a new team.

It is odd to me that the non-tender deadline takes place after the Rule 5 protection deadline. The Orioles already took care of their most obvious non-tender candidates when they outrighted Pedro Severino and Pat Valaika a few weeks ago. But there are still some question marks about what they could do with Anthony Santander, Jorge López, and Paul Fry. I’m not so sure any of them will be non-tendered, but it is possible.

For now, the Birds have one roster spot open. That gives them some flexibility to patrol the waiver wire or to simply leave open ahead of the Rule 5 draft. I know this is crazy, but they could even use it to sign a major league free agent.

Links

Orioles add six prospects, including DL Hall, to the 40-man roster | Camden Chat
Talk of who teams will and won’t protect always ends up a bit bigger than the actual ramifications of the moves themselves. Odds are that if a player hasn’t forced their way into the major discussion by this point in their career, they may never do so. At least that’s the risk the Orioles are going to take with a handful of intriguing names of theirs that could be gone if/when the Rule 5 draft takes place.

Orioles Claim Lucius Fox From Royals | MLB Trade Rumors
My ears perked up at this move only because I recognized Fox as a somewhat interesting prospect of the last few years. Of course, there is a reason the Royals weren’t terribly keen to keep him. The Orioles will be his fourth organization since turning pro in 2016, so it’s unlikely he turns into a star, but the skills remain for an interesting bench player, which certainly still has value.

Taking a closer look at the Orioles’ additions to the 40-man roster | Baltimore Baseball
Logan Gillaspie is the name that sticks out as a slightly odd inclusion for the Orioles. But it could just be that he has a similar profile to the type of player they may have taken in the Rule 5 anyway. Doing things this way makes it easier. They can keep Gillaspie in the minors to work on things rather than doing everything possible to protect him from big league lineups.

More gains for minor league players, plus other notes | Steve Melewski
Lots of good points here on the state of minor league baseball and how MLB could help out. I think I have mentioned this here before, but I’m not sure: I had an internship with the IronBirds out of college doing video production. Even that team, likely one of the better-off minor league franchises considering the involvement of the Ripken family, seemed to operate on a shoe-string budget most days, so I can only imagine what some of the other teams have to deal with. If the billionaires that own franchises want to maintain a steady pipeline of talent, they need to pony up.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Jason Garcia is turning 29. The former Rule 5 pick pitched in 21 games for the 2015 O’s, to this point his only major league experience.
  • David Washington is 31 years old. He played in three games for the 2017 Orioles.
  • Quintin Berry celebrates his 37th birthday. The outfielder made his way into 10 games with the 2014 team
  • Jo-Jo Reyes is also 37. The southpaw pitched in 9 games for the 2011 Orioles.
  • Mark Eichhorn turns 61. He spent the 1994 season coming out of the Orioles’ bullpen, producing a 2.15 ERA over 71 innings.
  • The late Herm Starrette (d. 2017) was born this weekend in 1936. He spent his entire three-season career with the Orioles from 1963 through ‘65, appearing in 27 games along the way.
  • Another posthumous birthday celebration for Don Leppert (d. 2021), who was born this day in 1930. His lone big league season was 1955 in Baltimore.

This weekend in O’s history

1977 - Eddie Murray is named AL Rookie of the Year. The Orioles slugger posted a .283/.333/.470 batting line to go with 27 home runs in his first taste of big league action.

2012 - The Orioles trade outfielder Robert Andino to the Mariners in exchange for outfielder Trayvon Robinson.