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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Orioles head to arbitration with Trey Mancini, John Means

The O’s came to an agreement with Tanner Scott, they beat the Pirates, and made their first cuts.

Minnesota Twins v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

The arbitration deadline came and went on Tuesday. This was the time by which players and teams needed to agree to a salary for 2022, or go through the arbitration process.

The Orioles had three players that this concerned: Trey Mancini, John Means, and Tanner Scott. They were only able to come to an agreement with Scott, a $1.05 million deal.

That means that the Orioles will now need to go through the arbitration process with Mancini and Means. Each side proposes a salary, then they argue in front of an arbiter for why the player deserves that salary, and the arbiter picks one. Usually this only serves to anger the player.

Teams tend to try and avoid arbitration for that reason. Usually the gulf between the two is minimal—as is the case here—and it isn’t worth annoying a player that you would like to keep around.

The optics of the Orioles haggling over less than a million dollars, especially with Mancini, are awful. The team currently has the lowest payroll in the sport, has been quite bad on the field for the last five years, and does not have many household names on the roster. Their reputation for actively trying to lose can’t get much worse.

Mancini is a beloved figure in the sport, both because of his courageous fight back from a colon cancer diagnosis, and the fact that he genuineley seems like one of the nicest guys you could know. It feels inevitable that he will be traded or lost to free agency after this season. The least you could do is give him the reasonable salary he has requested.

In general this is probably one of those things that doesn’t really matter. Other teams go through arbitration. The Yankees are going to with Aaron Judge, which is arguably a massive deal. We are just waiting for the Orioles to do something defensible when it comes to assembling a roster.

Links

Orioles observations on John Means’ first spring outing, Tyler Nevin at third base and power from prospects | The Baltimore Sun
My observation is that the Orioles infield is going to be an adventure this year. I’m not sure that’s a good thing, but it’s expected given that three of the positions are entirely up for grabs.

Mancini and Means remain unsigned, Orioles make camp cuts | School of Roch
It feels so soon to have cuts, but then I remembered that this off-season was a nightmare, and the season opens in, like, two weeks.

Means shrugs off early trouble in first outing of spring | MLB.com
I wont overreact to Means struggling a little bit, but I will overreact to Kyle Stowers hitting an absolute bomb. Can’t believe the Orioles have the next Cody Bellinger on the roster. Pretty neat.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Sailsbury-born Bruce Howard turns 79. The righty pitched in 10 games for the 1968 O’s.
  • The late Lee May was born on this day in 1943. He had a six-season run in Baltimore from 1975-80, including two seasons in which he received MVP votes.
  • Another posthumous birthday for Sam Bowens, born in 1938. He was an outfielder for the Orioles during the late-60’s.

This day in O’s history

It’s been a slow day in the history of the O’s, so here are some things that have occurred outside of Birdland:

1775 - Patrick Henry gives his famous “give me liberty, or give me death” speech in Virginia.

1868 - The University of California is founded in Oakland.

1964 - NASA launches Gemini 3, the first two-man space flight.

2021 - A container ship runs aground in the Suez Canal, blocking it for six days.