Good morning, Birdland!
The off-season continues chugging along, awaiting the first major move to burst open the floodgates. If a trade is the one to do the job, the Orioles certainly seem positioned to be involved.
It seems like every other off-season roundup type of article from a national outlet mentions the Orioles as a potential major player this off-season. Why? Because they were unexpectedly good a season ago AND they are prospect-rich! It’s time to go all in.
This is all true…to an extent. The Orioles do need to capitalize on their success, and leveraging a deep farm system is a good way to do it. But we shouldn’t expect Mike Elias to clean out the cupboard in one winter.
The Orioles’ GM has been pretty consistent with a message of mindful growth and building a talent pipeline. The plan isn’t for the Orioles to burn up like a supernova, but rather sustain their shine for years to come.
To me, that means that the top of the prospect chart is off limits. Gunnar Henderson, Grayson Rodriguez, and Jackson Holliday will not be moved. From there, it’s about depth and internal analysis.
Something has to give on the infield. They have too much talent for too few positions. It doesn’t make much sense to start the season with all of Jorge Mateo, Ramón Urías, Jordan Westburg, and Joey Ortiz. You could say something similar in the outfield, where Colton Cowser is nearly ready, but there is a long jam of players plus a few more interesting youngsters on the way.
All of that may lead to one solid package involving an infield prospect or two, an outfield prospect, and a current major league regular in order to land a rotation piece or a starting second baseman. But any more than one huge trade seems unlikely. That said, I’m would be happy to be proved wrong.
Everything to know as O’s prepare for Winter Meetings | MLB.com
The Winter Meetings kick off on Sunday. That could be the first time we actually hear some hot-and-heavy rumors involving the Orioles. Their front office is notoriously tight-lipped, but player agents are likely to be more open to give media contacts some info to pump up the profile of their clients. However, that comes with a caveat. Be careful where you get your information. Ken Rosenthal, Jeff Passan, and the local beats are usually rather responsible with the rumors they report. Jon Heyman and Bob Nightengale (among some others) are...less so.
A few notes on impact of minor league options | Roch Kubatko
Roster flexibility is good to keep in mind when the Orioles make decisions. I am particularly interested to see how this impacts the infield situation, where Urías, Mateo, and Tyler Nevin are all out of options. Obviously, Nevin has the most precarious roster spot, but it could be dicey for all three if the O’s do the expected by adding a veteran, everday-caliber infielder and/or promote a prospect like Ortiz. That could make the O’s trade scenarios a bit more interesting.
These 8 clubs have prospect crop to swing big deals | MLB Pipeline
The O’s make another appearance on one of these lists. It’s almost like they are getting too much respect this off-season. Stop it!
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
- DJ Stewart is 29 today. The Orioles’ 2015 first-round pick spent parts of five seasons with the big league team from 2015 through 2022, but struggled to ever really establish himself. He became a free agent earlier this month.
- Mark Lewis turns 53. In 2000, he played in 71 games for the O’s, making appearances at third base, second base, and shortstop as the team’s utility infielder.
This day in history
1959 - The O’s send pitchers Billy Loes and Billy O’Dell to the Giants in exchange for pitcher Gordon Jones, outfielder Jackie Brandt, and catcher Roger McCardell.
2000 - Mike Mussina, a free agent for the first time, signs a six-year contract worth $88.5 million with the Yankees, departing the Orioles in favor of a division rival.