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Thursday Bird Droppings: A wild imagined version of the 2023 Orioles emerges

One FanGraphs writer rolled out an imagined roster he calls the “Meaty Orioles”

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New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles
As a now-old Twitter meme used to say, #BootyHadMeLike
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now four months and 13 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2023.

It is time for all of us to be introduced to a fun alternate version of the 2023 Orioles. FanGraphs writer Michael Baumann (not the same one as the pitcher) wrote an article yesterday in which he wondered how good the Orioles could possibly get if they went berserk with free agent spending this winter. His hypothetical big-money Orioles, which he called the “Meaty Orioles” in a slick pun, included the following signings:

  • Justin Verlander
  • Aaron Judge
  • Trea Turner
  • Brandon Nimmo
  • Carlos Rodón
  • Kodai Senga
  • Brandon Drury

The Meaty Orioles of Baumann’s imagination would have a 2023 payroll of $227 million dollars. It’s a fun exercise about how a team might leap from the lowest payroll in MLB this season to getting into luxury tax territory the very next season. Of course, there is no chance of this happening in reality for a variety of reasons.

The other fun part of the Meaty Orioles exercise is that other than Drury, if the Orioles signed any one of these dudes, that would be a hugely exciting development. That’s not too much of a wild dream. They could sign any two of them and still have a bottom-half payroll. They are one of just two teams out there with no guaranteed money committed for 2024. It only feels unlikely because we haven’t seen the Orioles do something big like this. The one real barrier is willingness to absorb high AAV risk.

Signing one of the players who’s going to want seven or eight years makes me nervous. Not every player is going to go through his 30s as poorly as Chris Davis, but it’s the rare player that’s going to be doing well in the later years of the contract. We don’t want to see the Orioles resources limited when it comes time to pay big arbitration money to Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson, and the players coming after them. If you’re optimistic about the coming wave of Orioles infield and outfield prospects, you might not even want to see their path blocked.

Also, the way the free agent market is this year, there are a number of options who should be in the three-to-four year range. I’m interested in the idea. I hope Mike Elias is interested enough to sign one of these medium-term commitment guys and make the 2023-24 teams even more exciting than they already were thanks to the arriving prospects. Today probably won’t be the day, but maybe one of the days between now and the start of spring training will be.

Around the blogO’sphere

Grayson Rodriguez calls it “an honor” to ascend to 40-man roster (Steve Melewski)
On making the Opening Day roster next year, Rodriguez said, “It’s full speed ahead. I’m focused on the big leagues.”

What Orioles 40-man additions can contribute in ‘23 (Baltimore Baseball)
Rich Dubroff looks at this week’s additions and what they might bring to the table on the team next year.

Orioles 40-man roster review, with new additions (The Athletic)
Continuing the 40-man roster theme, Dan Connolly takes stock of what’s there after this week’s added prospects joined the mix.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1953, the St. Louis Browns officially became the Baltimore Orioles.

There are a number of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2015 infielder Everth Cabrera, 2006-14 outfielder Nick Markakis, 2007-08/10 infielder Scott Moore, 2004 outfielder Darnell McDonald, 2005 outfielder Eli Marrero, 1985-86 reliever Brad Havens, and 1971/73 pitcher Orlando Pena. Today is Pena’s 89th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you as well! Your birthday buddies for today include: playwright Joost van den Vondel (1587), Möbius strip discoverer August Ferdinand Möbius (1790), World War II field marshal Bernard Montgomery (1887), director Martin Scorsese (1942), actor Danny DeVito (1944), baseball Hall of Famer Tom Seaver (1944), Saturday Night Live creator/producer Lorne Michaels (1944), longtime college basketball coach Jim Boeheim (1944), actor and drag performer RuPaul (1960), and actress Rachel McAdams (1978).

On this day in history...

In 1558, England’s Queen Mary I died at age 42 after a reign of five years, leading the throne to pass to her half-sister, Elizabeth I, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

In 1800, the United States Congress held its first session to take place in Washington, DC.

In 1894, serial killer H.H. Holmes was arrested in Boston.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon famously proclaimed, “I am not a crook.” The balance of evidence continues to suggest otherwise.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on November 17. Have a safe Thursday.