Good morning, Birdland!
The Rule 5 draft is one of the rare setups in professional baseball that is overwhelmingly pro-player. It gives older, fringy prospects that, for whatever reason, haven’t made it to the big leagues with their current organization an opportunity to do so elsewhere. And it’s not an awful deal for teams either. They get to pluck an outside talent for relatively cheap. The Orioles have been particularly active in this avenue over the last decade or so, plucking guys like Ryan Flaherty, Anthony Santander, and then just last year Tyler Wells.
Well, MLB’s executives wanna skip it this year. According to them, it’s just gonna be too difficult for them to pick a player and truly evaluate them in a truncated spring training. Plus, the shorter the season the easier it might be for a team to pull a fast one by placing a player on the IL for a massive chunk of the summer.
Perhaps a reasonable point is that due to the oddity of this offseason there are still a ton of major league free agents on the market. Attempting to wrap up free agency, hold a Rule 5 draft, and put together a roster in just a couple of weeks could be a bit difficult.
From the Orioles perspective, it means that players like Robert Neustrom, Blaine Knight, and Nick Vespi won’t be going anywhere. That could mean they make it to Baltimore in 2022 with the O’s after all. But we would need to have an end to the lockout first.
‘Does the game care about us?’ Orioles fans, Baltimore businesses feel sting of MLB delaying Opening Day | The Baltimore Sun
If you have spent any time on various social media sites in recent weeks you likely already know the sorts of comments from fans that are within this article. No, the game does not particularly care for fans, at least not in any way beyond their financial investment into the game. That’s why Rob Manfred continually links expanded playoffs to the fans whenever he speaks.
Catcher heads next part of international prospects list | Steve Melewski
It is so exciting to have a list of international prospects that actually have a chance to make a big impact in Baltimore someday. Of course, there are doing to be some misses, but the Orioles are going to find themselves a star one day.
This, that and the other | School of Roch
Roch notes that the Rule 5 draft is likely to be skipped this year along with some labor negotiations. This is EXACTLY what we wanna talk about at a time when we should be gearing up for a season!
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
- L.J. Hoes turns 32. The outfielder played in just three games for the Orioles from 2012 to 2013 prior to be traded to the Astros.
- Jake Arrieta is 36 this weekend. His career didn’t take off until after the Orioles traded him in 2013. During his tenure in Baltimore, Arrieta was 20-25 with a 5.46 ERA.
- Erik Bedard is 43. One of the most important players in Orioles history, the lefty was traded to the Mariners ahead of the 2008 season in exchange for a five-player package that included Adam Jones, Chris Tillman, and George Sherill.
- Jeffrey Hammonds is 51. He spent six seasons in Baltimore from 1993 through ‘98 before he was dealt to the Reds.
- José Mercedes is also 51. The righty appeared in 69 games for the O’s between 2000 and ‘01, serving as both a starter and reliever.
- Anthony Telford is 56 years old. He appeared in three different seasons for the Orioles (1990-91, ‘93), but played in just nine total games. He would go on to have a nice career as a reliever with the Expos.
This weekend in O’s history
1996 - Longtime Orioles manager Earl Weaver is elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.
2003 - A memo is sent to all players recommending that players be “reluctant to use any products” containing ephedra, a drug that is linked to the death of Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler.