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Tuesday Bird Droppings: The Orioles are pitcher shopping

The O’s are rumored to be interested in trading for a veteran starting pitcher, perhaps even Corbin Burnes.

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Milwaukee Brewers v Cincinnati Reds
Could the Orioles acquire Corbin Burnes? Probably not. But maybe!
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

So far, the MLB offseason has crawled along at a snail’s pace. But with the winter meetings a week away, the action may be starting to pick up. Yesterday brought the most prominent free agent yet to switch teams, with former AL MVP José Abreu leaving the White Sox, the only team he’s played for in nine MLB seasons, to sign with the world champion Astros. Abreu will be 36 by Opening Day but still seems to have plenty of gas in the tank, and he’s a nice upgrade at first base/DH for a Houston team looking to repeat its title.

As Camden Chat’s Alex Church wrote two weeks ago, Abreu might have been a good short-term fit with the Orioles, who could use another big bat in the lineup and some Ryan Mountcastle insurance at first base, but that won’t be happening now.

No matter. Plenty of big fish remain on the market. A whopping 43 players from FanGraphs’ top 50 free agents list, including all of the top 10, are still unsigned (Abreu ranked #12). The O’s have every opportunity to upgrade their team through free agency.

That’s not even to mention any trade acquisitions they could make, which, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, could be significant. In his hot stove roundup, Rosenthal writes that the O’s “cannot be ruled out on a trade for any starter who might be available,” including former NL Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes.

Imagine? Corbin Burnes as an Oriole? The thought of it seems too good to be true, and almost certainly no trade will come to fruition. But if there’s any team in MLB that has the prospect package to deal for one of the game’s best pitchers, it’s the club with the top-ranked farm system.

The O’s are in a position to shock the baseball world with a huge move or two this offseason. They probably won’t, but it’s fun to dream.


A pre-Winter Meetings look at the Orioles’ needs -
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Mike Elias certainly has a type, doesn’t he? His drafts have been heavy on polished college hitters with good plate discipline, and so far the focus on OBP is paying off.

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Roch Kubatko has questions about Keegan Akin and Bryan Baker. I guess two questions is, technically, “a few.”

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Tate says his favorite way to spend an off day is “doing nothing. I’m a pro at it.” Careful, Dillon. You’re encroaching on my territory.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Former Orioles born on Nov. 29 include outfielder Craig Gentry (39), Guillermo Quiroz (41), and right-handers Brian Holton (63) and Joe Price (66).

On this date in 1967, the O’s swung a big trade with the White Sox, dealing Hall of Fame shortstop Luis Aparicio back to Chicago, from whom they’d acquired him five years earlier. It capped an outstanding five-year stint with the Birds in which Aparicio had won two Gold Gloves, appeared on two All-Star teams, twice led the league in steals, and won a World Series ring in 1966. The Aparicio trade cleared room for young defensive wizard Mark Belanger at shortstop, and in the deal the O’s acquired Don Buford, who went on to become an Orioles Hall of Famer himself.