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Saturday Bird Droppings: Hot stove heating up

The Orioles added two first basemen, the Winter Meetings are looming, and the first big move of the offseason.

Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

We have our first seismic move of the offseason. Jacob deGrom is joining the Texas Rangers on a five-year, $185 million deal that also includes a sixth-year option that could raise the value to $222 million.

It’s not a huge surprise that the Rangers were the ones to land deGrom. They showed last offseason that they were willing to splash some cash in free agency. And it was known that deGrom was going to get a beefy salary. But it is fair to question the decision to hand out a five-year pact to a player that is brilliant but oft-injured. The 34-year-old has not thrown more than 92 innings in a season since 2019.

The Rangers are still, on the whole, rather bad. They won 68 games a season ago, and adding deGrom isn’t going to vault them ahead of the Astros, or maybe even the Mariners, in the AL West. But it sure is fun! And if the two-time Cy Young winner can stay healthy then it does paper over some of the holes that do exist on their roster.

The Orioles were never really considered to be part of the deGrom sweepstakes, but they are said to be talking to some of the other notable arms on the market. This signing will have reverberations on the efforts to sign those players, particularly Carlos Rodón, who would be right to ask for an even higher AAV than what deGrom received. Not to mention, the Mets will be sure to pursue the likes of Rodón and Justin Verlander to replace their departed ace.

There is plenty of room on the Orioles’ current payroll to give out a $35+ million AAV deal, but I will remain skeptical of their willingness to do so until I see it happen.

For now, the only confirmed recent moves we have to dissect are the depth signings of Franchy Cordero and Lewin Diaz. The Cordero deal, in particular, feels like a fine upside move. His batted ball metrics are excellent. He just also strikes out a whole bunch, and that seems unlikely to change at 28 years old. But on a minor league deal it’s essentially no risk.


Orioles Checking In On Free Agent Shortstops | MLB Trade Rumors
This is a Jon Heyman-originated rumor. Make of that what you will. But the Orioles should check in on the free agent shortstops! They are all really good, and the Orioles need to add an impact bat somewhere, regardless of the emergence of Gunnar Henderson. Adding a bat would not stop them from also adding an arm. Walk and chew gum, folks.

Pérez provides example of hugely successful waiver claim | Roch Kubatko
Cionel Pérez went under the radar nationally as Félix Bautista nabbed headlines as the closer. But Pérez was mighty effective, even though some of his numbers are screaming for regression next season. But one thing that you cannot take away from him is a huge improvement at limiting walks, something he had really struggled with prior to 2022.

Orioles roundtable: Four questions heading into MLB winter meetings | Baltimore Sun
I’m not sure the Orioles will pull off a big move at the Winter Meetings, but they should be building the foundation for one. My guess is that a trade for a a pitcher comes together sometime between now and Christmas. Adding a Corbin Burnes-type ace would be amazing!

The Jake Cave era has come to a close. We will remember it fondly. Daz Cameron seems like a guy that will appear in about 12 games for the 2023 Orioles, when Ryan McKenna hits the IL for a brief time. So, it’s nice that he will stick in the organization a bit longer.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Konner Wade turns 31. He pitched in seven games for the 2021 Orioles, allowing 16 earned runs over 12.1 innings.
  • The late Chico Salmon (d. 2000) was born on this day in 1940. His Orioles career spanned four seasons from 1969 through 1972 as a backup infielder.
  • Clay Dalrymple is 86 today. After a long stint in Philadelphia, the catcher joined the Orioles from 1969 through ‘71.

This day in O’s history

1957 - The O’s send pitcher Ray Moore, infielder Billy Goodman, and outfielder Tito Francona to the White Sox in exchange for outfielder Larry Doby, pitcher Jack Harshman, pitcher Russ Heman, and infielder Jim Marshall.

1974 - The Orioles add infielders Enos Cabell and Rob Andrews in a swap with the Astros for first baseman Lee May and outfielder Jay Schlueter.

2014 - Free agent outfielder Nick Markakis signs a four-year, $44 million deal with the Atlanta Braves, marking the end of his career with the Orioles.