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Saturday Bird Droppings: MLB’s offseason begins this weekend

The World Series concludes in the next day or two, Cave agrees to ‘23 contract, Servideo is healthy, and Kjerstad impresses in Arizona.

Peter Schmuck: Orioles fans should expect change, hope for modest improvement when back at Camden Yards next season Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

The offseason is nearly here. It could start as soon as tonight. The Astros lead the Phillies 3-2 in the World Series, and they are back at home to try and finish things off in Game 6 this evening. But at the very latest, MLB’s winter gets underway sometime in the next 48 hours.

As an Orioles fan, that is terrific news! Mike Elias has been building the excitement around this offseason for several months now. He has flat out said that the plan is to dramatically expand the club’s payroll. He said the team is back in the AL East fight and ready for liftoff. Plus, the insiders around the league seem to believe the Orioles are serious about signing some notable names. The time for all of that to come to fruition is nearly here.

If previous off-seasons are to be viewed as a guide, the early portion will be a little slow. It’s all about picking up options, offering arbitration, making qualifying offers, and getting the 40-man roster in order ahead of the Rule 5 draft. All of those are important, but not terribly compelling.

The good stuff tends to kick off post-Thanksgiving, right around the Winter Meetings. This year those meetings run from December 4 through 7. That could be about the time a trade or signing of some significance can usually be anticipated.

However, any Jordan Lyles stans will want to be on high alert this week. Once the World Series ends, the Orioles have five days to pick up or decline his option for the 2023 season. That is the team’s first big decision of the offseason. My guess is that it will be declined, but that is based entirely on gut feeling.


Orioles, Jake Cave Avoid Arbitration | MLB Trade Rumors
The report indicates that this a split deal, which means his pay will oscillate depending on if he is in the minors or majors. This makes sense as Cave still has an option remaining, and right now the Orioles’ outfield is fairly full. Another hidden nugget in here is that Chris Ellis has elected free agency.

Servideo back in good health and working to stay that way | Roch Kubatko
It’s good to hear things are getting back on track for Anthony Servideo. He did seem like an intriguing talent coming out of the 2020 draft, and his walk rate in limited pro action is impressive. Hopefully he can get a full season under his belt in 2023.

What to know ahead of the O’s offseason |
A nice little primer for what is ahead the next few weeks and what should be a compelling offseason in Birdland.

Orioles prospects Heston Kjerstad, Noah Denoyer named Arizona Fall League all-stars | The Baltimore Sun
There might be some hype building back up around Heston Kjerstad following this offensive surge in Arizona. He seems to be rediscovering his power, which is perhaps his loudest tool. It would be great to see him climb back into Top 100 prospect discussions following such a long layoff.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Josh Lucas is 32 today. The right-handed pitcher appeared in nine games for the 2019 O’s, allowing 10 earned runs over 15.2 innings of work.
  • Javy Lopez turns 52 years old. Part of the Orioles’ free agent spending spree prior to the 2004 season, the catcher spent the next three seasons in Baltimore, compiling a .293/.343/.468 slash line with 46 home runs before he was traded to the Red Sox in August, 2006.

This day in O’s history

1958 - The Orioles move GM Paul Richards from the front office to the dugout. Richards is replaced in the GM role by future Hall of Famer Lee MacPhail.

1976 - Jim Palmer is name AL Cy Young with 22 wins over 315 innings pitched.

1997 - O’s skipper Davey Johnson is named AL Manager of the Year and resigns from his position the same day. The resignation is the result of a spat with ownership that followed the handling of a fine on second baseman Roberto Alomar.