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Friday Bird Droppings: Waiting for the stove to get hot

There hasn’t been a lot of action in MLB’s offseason so far, but it sure beats what happened one year ago today.

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Detroit Tigers v Baltimore Orioles
Work that phone, Mike Elias. Orioles fans are hungry for some offseason action.
Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Sorry, I have no news to break about any Orioles signings or trades. The club has remained quiet in the early goings of the MLB offseason, but then, so have most other teams. Only one notable signing occurred yesterday, with the Orioles’ division rival Rays signing veteran righty Zach Eflin, formerly of the Phillies, to a three-year, $39 million deal.

That’s a pretty nice chunk of change for a solid but not great hurler who ranked just 49th in MLB Trade Rumors’ free agent list. MLBTR’s Ben Clemens had projected Eflin to earn just a one-year, $9 million deal, so the fact that Eflin pulled in significantly more than that could mean that the starting pitcher market will be a bit pricier than anticipated. Will that affect the Orioles’ pursuit of a high-end or even medium-tier starter? Perhaps some day we’ll find out.

Still, a quiet offseason is nothing to complain about when compared to what happened one year ago today, when MLB owners began their lockout of the players after the expiration of the previous collective bargaining agreement. Those were dark times for baseball fans, who had no idea how long the work stoppage would last and whether it would delay or even cancel the 2022 season entirely. The weeks of contentious negotiations that followed between the owners and the Players’ Association didn’t exactly inspire confidence in the sport’s speedy return.

In the end, despite the lockout dragging on for more than three months, the two sides finally settled on a new CBA and the league, against all odds, managed to get a full 162-game season in. (The first week of scheduled games was wiped out, but all were made up later in the year.) The lockout, as awful as it was to experience at the time, wasn’t nearly as damaging for the league as it could have been.

On this not-so-fond anniversary, it’s nice to know that MLB teams, players, and fans have been able to return to business as usual this offseason. Let’s never do that work stoppage stuff again, okay?


Orioles could sign these 5 free agents — reasonably — to become a true contender - The Athletic
Dan Connolly favors the quantity over quality approach, suggesting that instead of signing one superstar free agent, the O’s should sign five lower-profile guys for the same price. None of those names particularly excites me, but what say you, Camden Chatters?

Lots of Oriole connections on World Baseball Classic’s Team Israel -
Team Israel’s WBC roster will feature not just Dean Kremer but former Orioles like Richard Bleier, Ryan Lavarnway, and Danny Valencia. Danny Valencia! (Obi-Wan Kenobi voice) Now that’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time...

Will O’s rumor mill heat up with arrival of Winter Meetings? - Steve Melewski
I sure hope so! The Orioles’ offseason has been snooze city so far.

One free agent pitcher meets many of the Orioles' preferences for pitch types and movement profiles: Kodai Senga
Jon Meoli thinks the Japanese free agent righty has an arsenal that would appeal to the Orioles, including a splitter dubbed the “Ghost Fork.” It’d be the best name for an O’s pitch since Cesar Valdez’s “Dead Fish.”

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! And happy 28th birthday to current O’s reliever Bryan Baker, who’s coming off a pretty successful first year with the Birds. With just one previous inning of MLB experience to his name, Baker was a mainstay in the O’s bullpen all year, posting a 2.70 ERA in the second half. Enjoy your day, Bryan, and we’ll see you in the spring.

Dec. 2 has been a busy day for Orioles trades. They’ve made 10 deals on this date in history, including two in the last three years, swapping Jonathan Villar to the Marlins in 2019 and Jose Iglesias to the Angels in 2020.

The most notable trade came in 1971, when the Orioles parted ways with the great Frank Robinson, dealing the Hall of Famer to the Dodgers in a six-player swap. It ended a legendary, six-year O’s career for Robinson, who led the Birds to their first championship with an MVP, Triple Crown-winning season in 1966.

And on this day in 2015, the Orioles traded backup catcher Steve Clevenger to the Mariners for veteran outfielder Mark Trumbo, a deal that paid unexpected dividends when Trumbo bashed his way to an MLB-best 47 home runs in his first year with the Orioles.