There are now three months and 15 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2023. It’s precisely fifteen weeks away from today.
The number of starting pitchers available to the Orioles has shrunk yet again. The latest lower-tier guy to sign came off the market last night as the Dodgers got an agreement with Noah Syndergaard. Jeff Passan was the first to report on the signing. Terms were later reported to be for one year and $13 million.
That’s not a lot of money! If the O’s are serious about making improvements to the rotation - or taking chances that could result in an improvement - and they’re not even able to win a bidding war at that price range, well... then they aren’t actually serious about signing another dude for the rotation.
The Dodgers may be a more desirable destination among equal bids, given their recent success and particularly their recent ability to revive the careers of guys who need to re-establish themselves. There’s nothing to be done about that until the Orioles reputation is burnished with more than just one 83-win season.
Indeed, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported that Syndergaard had multi-year offers that he eschewed in favor of the one-year bet on himself with LA. We can guess the O’s might have been in that multi-year group, but Syndergaard would rather take the one year and see if he can make more next year. Maybe he’ll be right. In the meantime, the Orioles rotation is still what it is.
Who’s even left? The Athletic recently ranked the top 25 remaining free agents. Several of these have signed in the last two days. The best pitcher, obviously, is Carlos Rodón. Below him is Nathan Eovaldi, and below him is Michael Wacha, who had a 3.32 ERA in 23 starts for the Red Sox this year. Rodón and Eovaldi are the last remaining pitchers who signing them would cost a draft pick; the Orioles would lose their CB round B pick in the 70 range.
It’s not very exciting. There’s always the trade market as a possibility as well, but a month ago you could tell yourself the Orioles were going to act to improve the rotation and there just aren’t many paths left for them to do that, so it’s harder to believe this will happen.
Around the blogO’sphere
The Orioles’ young core will help payroll ‘increase steadily.’ It won’t justify a meager mark in 2023. (The Baltimore Sun)
While I can accept that there was never a realistic chance of signing, for instance, Justin Verlander, I am less impressed that the Orioles couldn’t even get the winning bid for Chris Bassit (3 years, $63 million).
How the Orioles’ offseason went from ‘liftoff’ to an ‘upward arc’ (The Baltimore Banner)
Whether there even is an upward arc is going to depend a lot on whether the team improves on its 83 win record from last season. Otherwise we’re more like on a downward part of a cubic function, and nobody wants to deal with that.
Orioles continue to acquire outfield candidates (Baltimore Baseball)
Rich Dubroff runs through some of the fringe outfielders the Orioles have brought in to serve as minor league depth next season, including the most recent minor league signing, Nomar Mazara.
The free agent pitcher market continues to dwindle (Steve Melewski)
When I started this article yesterday afternoon, I wrote, “We’re pretty much down to having to talk ourselves into Noah Syndergaard and then suffering some disappointment when the Orioles don’t even sign him.” Now he’s out too so we’ve got to talk ourselves into, I don’t even know, Johnny Cueto?
First look at 2023 draft prospects (MLB.com)
For the first time in a while, the Orioles aren’t selecting in the top 5, so there’s no point getting excited about the top names. The O’s pick at #17, which makes University of Maryland infielder Will Shaw’s inclusion at #20 on this list an interesting one to have in the back of your mind next spring. (I promise I wrote this before Jonathan Mayo published an early mock draft suggesting that exact pick.)
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2019 six-game pitcher Ryan Eades, 2008-10 outfielder Luis Montañez, 2003 pitcher Rick Helling, and 1957 four-gamer Eddie Robinson. The four-time All-Star Robinson passed away only last year at the age of 100.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: apocryphal fiddler Nero (37), notable tower designer Gustave Eiffel (1832), actor Adam Brody (1979), and actress Camilla Luddington (1983).
On this day in history...
In 1791, the ten amendments of the Bill of Rights were ratified by the Virginia General Assembly, reaching the necessary threshold for them to take effect. Maryland was the second state to do so nearly two years prior.
In 1864, the two-day Battle of Nashville began, at the end of which the Union army had routed the Confederates and ended major fighting in the Civil War in the interior states.
In 1939, the film Gone with the Wind, based on the book of the same name, premiered in Atlanta, Georgia. Accounting for inflation, this remains the highest-grossing movie of all time, raking in nearly $4 billion in today’s dollars, edging out 2009’s Avatar by an adjusted $400 million or so.
In 1978, President Jimmy Carter made the announcement that the United States would grant diplomatic recognition to the People’s Republic of China and no longer officially recognize the Republic of China government based on Taiwan.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on December 15. Have a safe Thursday.