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Monday Bird Droppings: The winter meetings are here

Let the signings begin!

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Baltimore Orioles
“I really need to sign a player so Camden Chat can stop using my picture so often”
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, Camden Chatters. The winter meetings are here! General managers, players, agents, media, and more are in San Diego ready to wheel and deal.

So what will Orioles GM Mike Elias do in San Diego? The only big move, if you want to call it that, so far has been the signing of starting pitcher Kyle Gibson. Gibson will provide some stability to an unproven rotation, but he can’t be the only move the Orioles make this off-season. So what can we hope to see this week?

As much as I want to hope it’s true, we know the Orioles aren’t going to sign the Trea Turners of the world. They’re not going to sign Justin Verlander. But I do expect they’ll sign another pitcher, and Anthony Castrovince of predicts it will be Jameson Taillon.

Taillon turned 31 a few weeks ago and has spent the past two seasons and has been...fine? His ERA has been exactly league average and his WAR has pegged him as a solid, but not necessarily a good player. If that is the signing that the Orioles make for their big free-agent starter, I’ll be slightly disappointed. Maybe that’s on me, but Taillon strikes me as a guy who will probably put up the numbers that we hope the guys the Orioles already have will, but not much better.

On the other hand, maybe that’s discounting what the Orioles already have. John Means will hopefully be back halfway through the season. Grayson Rodriguez should be with the team all year. And the other starters from 2021 did show some promise even if it was uneven, and any one of them could step up to help solidify the rotation. So maybe in that case, a pitcher like Jameson Taillon would fit in nicely with an already improved rotation.

Being a fan of a team that is expecting to be good is tough. Can they just sign Verlander?


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Birthdays and History

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have four Orioles birthday buddies, including Gary Roenicke. Roenicke, who was named 41st greatest Oriole by this fine publication, turns 68 years old today. Roenicke was a left fielder for the Orioles from 1978-1985.

It’s also the birthday of former Orioles Gene Harris (58), Bill Swaggerty (66), and John Papa (82).

On this day in 1998, the Orioles signed first baseman Will Clark to a two-year contract. Clark was pretty good for the Orioles, putting up an OPS+ of 128 in 1999 and playing well in 2000 before being traded to the Cardinals where he finished out the year, and his career.