There are now three months and 26 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2023.
The annual MLB winter meetings begin today in San Diego. Unlike last year, when there was no chance of anything major happening due to being in the early days of the lockout, we are back to the norm where there could be a flurry of activity. The Orioles have already started warming up the stove themselves, with yesterday’s news of the pending-physical signing of veteran pitcher Kyle Gibson.
This is not the big signing or trade that will make anybody more excited about the 2023 Orioles. At best, he’ll be a decent veteran presence in the back end of the rotation. At worst, he’ll pitch the same in 2023 as he did in 2022, when he ended up with a 5.05 ERA. The Orioles, coming off an 83-79 season, are past the days where they should need to bring in guys who had a 5+ ERA. Gibson was, we can hope, victimized by an awful Phillies defense and should fare better in front of the O’s defense and the deep left field wall.
I think the Gibson signing probably means that anyone out there who was dreaming of the Orioles making a signing of like, Carlos Rodón and Jameson Taillon can put that to rest. Gibson is probably the second-best pitching acquisition there will be. I sure hope he’s not the best. That would be depressing.
Maybe the Orioles will still be in play on Rodón. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweeted that they are one of the many teams in on him. That doesn’t mean very much, but it’s more than we’ve had to interest us over the last several offseasons. Perhaps they’ll settle for someone like Chris Bassitt instead. That won’t be as exciting either, although it should still lead to a better rotation next year than the one we saw this year.
This stuff doesn’t necessarily have to get figured out over the next few days. There’s no reason to freak out if it doesn’t. The Orioles aren’t in trouble until every guy who might improve the rotation has signed. That’s obviously not the case yet. The Rangers grabbed the big-ticket Jacob deGrom off the shelf and that’s all that’s happened so far. Other top-tier guys or mid-tier guys could sign this week and leave the O’s with fewer options. Or everyone might be waiting around longer.
Around the blogO’sphere
What Orioles fans should look for from winter meetings (Baltimore Baseball)
Rich Dubroff also thinks you shouldn’t freak out if the Orioles don’t sign anyone this week. He also cautions that Mike Elias has run a tight ship, so don’t put a whole lot of stock in rumors. This is good advice as well. Although on the note of rumors...
Orioles met with Noah Syndergaard (MLB Trade Rumors)
There was, apparently, a Zoom meeting on Friday. My suspicion is that the signing of Gibson scratches the O’s off as a remaining suitor for Syndergaard, but I’ve been wrong before and will be wrong again.
Pérez provides example of hugely successful waiver claim (School of Roch)
Not many waiver claims are interesting the moment they happen. The Orioles have had a decent knack in the last couple of seasons for making them into interesting players, though.
Orioles search for additions to 2023 rotation (Orioles.com)
Of the three options laid out here - marquee free agent, lefty option, and trade target - the Kyle Gibson signing fits into zero of them. So, y’know. At this point I’m hoping for a marquee free agent, although I’m not sure how marquee Bassitt should count as.
Bellinger to Baltimore: Just a dream or a more realistic possibility? (Steve Melewski)
I don’t understand why anyone would dream about this or why they would consider it a realistic possibility.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Today in 1968, the Orioles received pitcher Mike Cuellar in a three-for-two swap with Houston that sent former Rookie of the Year winner Curt Blefary to the Astros.
In 1974, they acquired Ken Singleton from the Expos, sending Dave McNally to Montreal.
In 1988, they sent Eddie Murray to the Dodgers. The 1989 team could have used him as a 1B/DH. So it goes.
There are a pair of former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 1989-90 reserve outfielder Stan Jefferson, and 1994 closer and baseball Hall of Famer Lee Smith. It’s Smith’s 65th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: game show host Wink Martindale (1933), actress Marisa Tomei (1964), rapper Jay-Z (1969), and model Tyra Banks (1974).
On this day in history...
In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson left the United States to participate in the World War I peace talks in Versailles. In doing so, he became the first president to travel to Europe while in office.
In 1945, a 65-7 vote in the Senate approved US participation in the United Nations, which had been established in October.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on December 4. Have a safe Sunday.