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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Elias says O’s are “working the phones” for free agents

The offseason rolls on, moves are happening, Hyde is the runner-up, and the 40-man roster bulks up.

Detroit Tigers v Baltimore Orioles Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

The offseason is truly upon us. Players are signing. Trades are happening. And the Orioles are standing pat, at least for right now.

None of the big names have signed just yet. But there have been a few players that seemed like a fit for the Orioles’ needs that have come off the board.

Joc Pederson is headed back to San Francisco after taking the qualifying offer. It’s the same story for Martín Pérez, who returns to the Rangers. Plus, Tyler Anderson put pen to paper on a three-year deal with the Angels.

The Anderson deal (three years, $39 million) may be the most pertinent because it informs what the market will look like for mid-tier starting pitchers, a section of the free agent pool that the Orioles are expect to swim in. Chris Bassitt will get more, but someone like Taijuan Walker or Sean Manaea probably gets a little less.

Regardless, it’s an amount of money that the Orioles can afford, and they should spend it to support what looks like a talented young core for years to come. According to Mike Elias, his team is “working the phones” to pull off a few moves.

Of course, simply making moves doesn’t always mean they are exciting moves. The Orioles made several free agent signings a year ago, adding Jordan Lyles, Rougned Odor, and Robinson Chirinos. While those acquisitions made sense for 2022, a similar slate of signings this year would be infuriating.


Even with latest 40-man additions, O’s can aim higher in rotation, infield | Baltimore Sun
Oh, they had better aim higher! I cannot say that I expect the Orioles to sign one of the big shortstops. But it would be fun! And no, it does not matter to me that the team seems to have a healthy chunk of young talent at the shortstop position. Having too many talented players at one position is not a problem. It’s a luxury, and when it comes at shortstop you can pretty easily move those players around the diamond.

Looking back on yesterday’s Orioles news | Roch Kubatko
It was a busy day in Birdland with the most impactful being the 40-man decisions. Grayson Rodriguez is finally on the 40-man roster, and it feels so good! If he is healthy, there is no reason he won’t be on the team’s Opening Day roster in 2023.

The strongest and weakest free agent positions |
It is a good offseason to need a starting pitcher or a shortstop, which is exactly why the Orioles should go and get both! It’s less ideal for a second baseman, which makes a trade or a promotion more likely at that spot.

2023 Contemporary Baseball Era Committee Candidate: Rafael Palmeiro | FanGraphs
Should Raffy be in the Hall of Fame? Well, if mustache strength is at all a consideration, then it is a no-brainer. Or if my mom has a vote. She was a big Palmeiro fan!

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Fernando Cabrera turns 41. The former pitcher spent parts of two seasons with the O’s from 2007 through 2008, accumulating a 7.28 ERA over 38.1 total innings.
  • The late Julio Lugo (d. 2021) was born on this day in 1975. His Orioles stint came in 2010, when he had a 61 OPS+ over 93 gams.
  • A posthumous birthday for Buster Narum (b. 1940, d. 2004). He pitched in seven games for the 1963 Birds.

This day in history

1961 - The Orioles acquire infielder Johnny Temple from Cleveland in exchange for Ray Barker, Harry Chiti, and Art Kay.

2018 - The Orioles hire Astros Scouting Director Mike Elias to be their new GM, replacing Dan Duquette.