There are now three months and 12 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2023. If you want to count down to spring training, too bad! The pitcher and catcher report dates are still not finalized. It could be less than two months, based on past patterns.
With the last week’s worth of signings, things have reached the point where there are almost no remaining free agent pitchers that would generate any excitement if the Orioles signed them. If you’re pessimistic about Nathan Eovaldi because of either his health, his FIP suggesting regression potential, or the cost of the draft pick, then there aren’t any left who would add immediate excitement to the roster. And if you’re not pessimistic about Eovaldi, then the contracts handed out to other pitchers should make you pessimistic about the Orioles signing a guy like that.
What we’re left thinking about is whether the Orioles are going to add another veteran, probably either uninspiring or with some kind of warts, into the rotation. Fellow recent Red Sox Michael Wacha and Rich “The Blister” Hill have been vaguely mentioned recently, including by MASN’s Roch Kubatko. So has the possibility of a reunion with Jordan Lyles. It’s just, like... I don’t even want to think about that last one. Or Hill, really.
It’s not guaranteed that the roster of right now will be the Opening Day roster. There could be a trade out of the O’s infield surplus, or even outfield surplus. They could feel the urge to sign someone with a proven ability to play first base to serve as a backup to Ryan Mountcastle and as a bench bat, rather than relying on like, Anthony Santander to play first. Weeks remain to change things, but not many free agents remain.
Around the blogO’sphere
Adam Frazier and the Orioles know what went wrong last season. Together, they can fix it. (The Baltimore Banner)
One nice thing about the current Orioles development regime is you can actually imagine they will be able to help get the most out of a given player. The last guys, uh, you couldn’t really imagine that.
Orioles’ path to postseason starts with incoming free agents exceeding last year’s class (The Baltimore Sun)
Kyle Gibson being better than Lyles and Adam Frazier being better than Rougned Odor is one thing the Orioles seem to be counting on for 2023. I hope they’re right.
How Adam Frazier signing impacts Gold Glover Ramón Urías (Orioles.com)
Outside of the immediate question of whether Frazier will be any good, I’m also wondering how him being around will affect the playing time mix we could have guessed would exist without him. I am really confused at, and dismayed by, the assumption that Frazier is headed for a starting role while Urías could be relegated to a utility role.
Orioles, Angels, Rangers have shown interest in Rich Hill (MLB Trade Rumors)
Please don’t do this to me, Mike Elias.
Baseball America’s JJ Cooper on the Orioles Rule 5 draft selection (Steve Melewski)
Cooper highlights some of the positives about Andrew Politi, while noting the challenge: Teams, especially the Orioles, like their non-back-end relievers to be guys who can be optioned to the minors when there’s a need for a fresh arm. Keeping a Rule 5 player, who can’t be optioned, complicates that goal.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
There are a pair of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2011 reliever Jeremy Accardo, and 1964 reserve outfielder Gino Cimoli.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: hymn composer and early Methodist Charles Wesley (1707), assassination victim Franz Ferdinand of Austria (1863), baseball Hall of Famer Ty Cobb (1886), Rolling Stones musician Keith Richards (1943), actor Brad Pitt (1963), wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin (1964), actress Katie Holmes (1978), and singer-songwriter Billie Eilish (2001).
On this day in history...
In 1892, Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker had its premiere performance in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
In 1916, during World War I, the French army advanced about three kilometers, forcing the German army to call off the series of attacks that made up the Battle of Verdun. Over the nine month battle, the two armies suffered a combined total of over 300,000 soldiers killed.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on December 18. Have a safe Sunday.