Good morning, Camden Chatters.
We were told the MLB offseason was going to be absolutely bonkers once the lockout ended. And in the four full days that the league has been back in business since the new CBA was signed, that frenzied spree of player moves has lived up to the hype.
We’ve seen a few big-name free agents come off the board, including Clayton Kershaw returning to the Dodgers and Carlos Rodon joining the Giants. We’ve seen trade after trade go down, with the Reds selling off every player of value — including Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez to the Mariners yesterday — and the Twins pull off a madcap flurry of acquisitions and sell-offs, dispatching Isiah Kiner-Falefa (whom they’d just acquired the previous day) and Josh Donaldson to serve as the Yankees’ new left side of the infield.
Yesterday saw perhaps the biggest trade yet, with the Braves acquiring All-Star first baseman Matt Olson from the Athletics, all but ending Freddie Freeman’s tenure in Atlanta. The former MVP Freeman is part of a still-crowded free agent market along with Trevor Story, Kris Bryant, and, yes, Carlos Correa, whom the Astros have reportedly stepped up their pursuit to re-sign. I’m starting to think the Orioles aren’t going to sign Correa, you guys.
As for the Orioles? Well, they signed a free agent of their own yesterday, albeit not a particularly exciting one: 37-year-old backup catcher Robinson Chirinos. And they have their eye on at least one pitcher, according to Raul Ramos of Con Las Bases Llenas.
Baltimore Orioles made an offer to left hander Danny Duffy. He could certainly help the Os.— Raul Ramos (@RamosRauli) March 14, 2022
Ramos, by the way, is the same reporter who previously suggested the Orioles would offer Correa upwards of $325 million. Somehow I find his Danny Duffy tweet a bit more realistic.
With spring training camps officially underway and Opening Day just over three weeks away, the frenetic pace of trades and signings doesn’t figure to die down anytime soon. Even if the Orioles aren’t prominently involved, I’m enjoying the ride as a baseball fan.
And with baseball officially back in action, it’s time to close the book on my series of Camden Chat Sporcle quizzes. I started writing these back in December as a time-filler when the lockout began, never expecting that it would drag out for more than three months. Here’s a complete list of all the Orioles-related quizzes we posted on Camden Chat the past few months.
And we’ve got one final quiz for you. All you have to do is pick the higher number for each Orioles-related pair of numbers. But it might not be as simple as it sounds. Check it out!
Orioles' Elias says Rutschman's Opening Day roster spot will be based on merit, not a rule - BaltimoreBaseball.com
I’m not saying Elias is lying, but if Rutschman’s Opening Day spot really were based on merit, Elias could’ve finished that sentence by saying, “...and so we’ve already decided he’ll be on the roster.” The guy is big league ready, period, full stop.
Grayson Rodriguez sets goal for MLB debut in 2022 - MLB.com
Grayson might not be quite as big league ready as Adley, but it won’t be long until they become Orioles teammates. That is going to be a great day, you guys.
A recent insider’s guide to following Orioles spring training as an outsider - Maximizing Playoff Odds
Jon Meoli, a former Orioles beat writer now turned outsider, teaches us how to parse through the cliches and coach-speak that come out of spring training every year. But not one mention of “he’s in the best shape of his life”?
Mancini and Mullins strengthen bond over health crisis - School of Roch
Cedric Mullins says he didn’t publicly reveal his Crohn’s disease diagnosis because he didn’t want to overshadow Trey Mancini’s return from cancer. Folks, Cedric Mullins is a treasure.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! And happy 63th birthday to Baseball Hall of Famer, Orioles Hall of Famer, and Maryland native Harold Baines, who flashed his silky-smooth swing in parts of seven seasons with the Birds. Enjoy the day, Harold. Other former Orioles with birthdays today include 1993 third baseman Mike Pagliarulo (62) and 2007-08 utility man Freddie Bynum (42).
On this day last year, the Orioles agreed to terms with veteran third baseman Maikel Franco, officially signing him the next day. Franco was supposed to give the O’s a semi-competent bat with some pop at the hot corner, but he failed to achieve those unspectacular goals, batting a woeful .210 with a .609 OPS and 11 homers in 104 games before the Orioles cut him loose in August. Franco is currently in Washington Nationals camp as a non-roster invitee.