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Monday Bird Droppings: Where the pickings are getting slim

Do you think the Orioles will make any more major league signings?

Oakland Athletics v Baltimore Orioles Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Happy Monday, Camden Chatters! The offseason rolls on and it looks like we might have to settle for the acquisitions of Kyle Gibson and Adam Frazier. I know there is plenty of time before the start of next season (three months, 11 days), but there really just aren’t many names out there that seem like difference-makers.

Over the weekend the last big shortstop signed, as Dansby Swanson agreed to a seven-year contract with the Chicago Cubs. The only free agents left out of FanGraphs’ top 20 ranked players are starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi (15) and relief pitcher Taylor Rogers (19).

I have been trying to talk myself into thinking Eovaldi could be a good fit for the Orioles, mostly because I want them to do something else. But I just feel blah about that and think at this point they might as well roll with what they have (or maybe make a trade) rather than bother with a pitcher like Eovaldi. That’s not to say I think Eovaldi is bad, because I don’t. But he’s not exciting and hopefully one of the young players already on the team can provide as much value as he would.

Even the old guys are getting signed as the Red Sox agreed to a contract with 38-year-old Justin Turner. Since breaking out in 2014, Turner has had a great career after a slow start that saw both the Orioles and Mets give up on him. Turner will functionally replace JD Martinez, who is heading to Turner’s previous team, the Dodgers.

Another veteran player who could have helped the Orioles, Michael Brantley, is heading back to his previous team. The Astros re-signed Brantley to a one-year, $12 million deal.

Are there any free agents still out there who you think would help the Orioles in 2023? You can check out the remaining unsigned players over at the FanGraphs tracker. Or are you so over being disappointed that you don’t even care anymore? That’s also valid, but sad.


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Birthdays and History

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have three Orioles birthday buddies.

Mike Fetters (58), who had a 16-year major league career, spent 1999 with the Orioles as a relief pitcher. It wasn’t his best season, as his ERA of 5.81 was quite a bit higher than his career mark of 3.86.

Doug Johns (55) spent just four years in the majors, two with the Orioles. From 1998-1999, Johns made 63 pitching appearances for the Orioles with a 4.52 ERA. That mark was just about league average because it was the 90s.

Chito Martinez (57) was an outfielder who played for the Orioles part-time from 1991-93. I don’t remember much about his play on the field, but I remember he had a gorgeous autograph. In middle school I liked to go to baseball card shows to get player autographs. Most players scribbled something nearly illegible, but not Chito. I appreciated that.

On this day in 1976, an airplane crashed into Memorial Stadium just 10 minutes after a playoff game between the Steelers and Colts ended. The pilot and three police officers were injured in the crash. For more info and to see a picture of the plane in the upper deck, check out this story. The author notes that it was lucky that the Steelers beat the Colts by 26 points because it meant there weren’t many fans left in the stadium. Wild.

In 1991, the Orioles signed pitcher Rick Sutcliffe to a contract. Sutcliffe would go on to start the first regular season game played at Camden Yards and make 64 starts for the Orioles in a two-year period.