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Wednesday Bird Droppings: It’s minor league Rule 5 Draft day

There will be actual baseball news today, albeit quite small.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles-Workouts Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

Get hype! It is the day of the offseason calendar you’ve all been waiting for. It is minor league Rule 5 Draft day!

The Winter Meetings are a little different this year. There can be no moves related to an organization’s 40-man roster as that would involve members of the players union, and team owners have locked them out. So, the Major League phase of the Rule 5 draft will not take place, at least not right now.

However, MLB does not treat minor leaguers the same as those in the bigs. They treat them much, much worse. And because they are not part of a union, teams pretty much do whatever they want to with them. That includes the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft.

Eligibility for selection in the draft is the same as the Major League phase. The only difference is protection. In order to be protected from the minor league phase, a player must be placed on a team’s 38-man Triple-A roster. But they don’t have to stay there all year, just long enough to get past this draft, and then they can be moved back to the appropriate level. The same goes for players being selected. They will be placed on a Triple-A roster today, but they can be moved off of it later. Baseball America gives you a better breakdown of how it all works.

I have no clue who the Orioles will take, or if they will take someone at all. It feels likely that they will, because why not? Odds are there is someone out there left unprotected that Mike Elias and his crew find intriguing enough to take a flyer on. The Orioles also might lose a player or two. But the odds of any seismic moves occurring today are quite low. Even still, we have been deprived of real baseball news for nearly a week now, so we will take what we can get!


Despite MLB lockout, Orioles have chance to add talent at margins with this week’s minor league Rule 5 draft | The Baltimore Sun
Jon Meoli gets Orioles-specific with his coverage of the minor league Rule 5 Draft, even naming a few players that the O’s might find interesting.

Former Orioles manager Buck Showalter is reportedly interviewing for the Mets job. What kind of fit would he be? | The Baltimore Sun
This was first news over the weekend, but it heated up yesterday as apparently Max Scherzer has made it known that he wants Buck Showalter to be the Mets next skipper. I think it would be great to see Buck back in a big league dugout, especially with such a talented roster.

Orioles’ goal: Turn highly rated farm into major league wins | Steve Melewski
This includes a conversation with Jim Callis from MLB Pipeline, and they talked about when the O’s could be back in contention. Callis says 2023 has a chance to be special for the O’s. I would agree, at least offensively I think the team is going to be really interesting by then. I’m still worried about the pitching by then, but Elias might surprise me and pull off a couple moves in the time before we reach Opening Day of that season.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • José León turns 45. The former corner infielder had a three-year run with the Orioles from 2002 through 2004. He was a backup, only appearing in 88 games, and posted a 55 OPS+.
  • Mike Mussina is 53 years old. The Hall of Famer is one of the best pitchers in Orioles history. From 1991 through 2000, the righty had a 3.53 ERA, won 147 games, and threw over 2,000 innings. While he never won a Cy Young, he came close on multiple occasions and did earn several All-Star appearances and four Gold Gloves while with the O’s.

This weekend in O’s history

1996 - Free agent pitcher Jimmy Key signs a two-year deal with the Orioles.