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Monday Bird Droppings: Back to reality

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There remains no actual news, but perhaps the new year will get some gears in motion.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

The holiday period between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a glorious time where days of the week are nebulous, responsibilities disappear, and it seems like there is a football game of some kind on television every single minute of the day. But that time is over now, and we must re-engage with the world and return to our pre-holiday lives. Humbug!

The same can be said of Major League Baseball and the Players Association. They took a lengthy break to finish 2021 as the lockout hit its one-month anniversary over the weekend. If we are going to avoid any sort of delay to spring training, some significant progress will need to be made this month.

There remains quite a bit of player-related business to get done prior to Opening Day. Two of the biggest free agent fish, Carlos Correa and Trevor Story, remain unsigned. There is potential for a few big trades, especially with the Athletics entering fire sale mode. And there are finishing touches needed for even the smallest spenders.

There is a lot to get done, and now that the calendar has flipped to 2022 it does feel like the clock is ticking a bit faster.

Links

Prospects poised to bounce back in ‘22 | MLB Pipeline
Heston Kjerstad gets a mention here. He is a player that many are going to be watching closely this summer. If he is all the way back, then the Orioles have a corner outfield bat for a long time to come. If not, that would be a significant blow to the organization’s rebuild.

Because You Asked - No Way Home | School of Roch
Some mailbag goodness here. The note regarding Mike Baumann’s role this year is interesting. I see no reason why he should do anything but start in 2022, whether it’s in Baltimore or a Norfolk. Maybe he is a reliever ultimately, but I wouldn’t make that call yet.

A look at what we could see during the 2022 season | Steve Melewski
The Orioles are probably still gonna be pretty bad. The offense might be fun—even if Cedric Mullins isn’t Superman again—but the rotation stinks, whether Grayson Rodriguez debuts this year or not.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Mike Wright is 32 today. The right-handed pitcher was a third-round pick of the O’s in 2011, and went on to serve as a swing man on the staff from 2015 through 2019.
  • Jim Dwyer is 72. The outfielder had an eight-season run in Baltimore, where he posted a 119 OPS+ between 1981 and ‘88.

This weekend in O’s history

1955 - The O’s purchase outfielder Hoot Evers from the Tigers.

2011 - Orioles pitcher Alfredo Simon turns himself into police in relation to the fatal shooting of two people in the Dominican Republic on New Year’s Eve. He is eventually released as no link can be drawn between Simon’s weapon and the deaths.

2012 - The Orioles purchase outfielder Jai Miller from the Athletics.