Good morning, Birdland!
Pitching is the theme for the Orioles this week. Rumors are swirling that the front office is still trying to add to their starting rotation, exploring options in the both the free agent market and via trade.
Ken Rosenthal quickly mentioned the O’s in his article for The Athletic on Tuesday. According to his sources, the team is working the trade market, and they spoke with free agent Zack Greinke earlier this offseason. There are no specifics on the trades discussed, but Rosenthal does say that it appears unlikely that Greinke will end up in Baltimore.
In that same bullet point Rosenthal mentions the Orioles have looked into signing Jurickson Profar as well, but again it probably won’t happen. The timeline of when they looked into Profar is unclear, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
A former top prospect, Profar is entering his age-30 season, and although he has experience at every position on the diamond except for pitcher and catcher, I’m not so sure he can be considered a utility player at this point. He was used exclusively in the outfield for the Padres last season and has not played on the left side of the infield since 2018. His glovework was well-regarded once upon a time, but that skill seems to have eroded more and more each year. For all intents and purposes, he’s a corner outfielder with some extremely limited position flexibility in a pinch.
Fortunately, Profar knows what he’s doing at the plate. He doesn’t strike out much, he doesn’t chase pitches too much, and he gets on base at a decent rate. Would he be an overall improvement over Austin Hays or Kyle Stowers, though? Eh, maybe? It’s certainly not obvious, and so it doesn’t make a ton of sense to sign him to a major league deal.
But the fact that Mike Elias is even looking into it may be informative. Or at least it allows us to speculate a little bit.
If they do think he is a non-shortstop utility type, then that could mean Ramón Urías is being floated in trades. If he is outfield only, then the same could be true of Hays, Stowers or even Anthony Santander. But that also brings us back to the comments Elias made in November. The Orioles say they aren’t trying to deal players currently in the big league mix, so are the prospects being prepped for a big deal?
The reality is likely something much more boring. Profar is an intriguing player, so why not call his agent, see what he might be asking for, and then throw ideas around the warehouse? The worst that can happen is the agent tells Rosenthal the conversation happened in order to boost his client’s perceived value.
Until we have real news to talk about extrapolating on two sentences in a Rosenthal column is the best we can do.
Will a unit that was a real strength in 2022 be that again for Birds? | Steve Melewski
It really comes down to Félix Bautista. If he can repeat what he did last year then everything else should fall into place behind him. There are some obvious regression candidates, but the Orioles have added to the bullpen a bit with Mychal Givens and the Rule 5 pick plus the possibility of Tyler Wells going back to relieving.
New lawsuit claim: John Angelos and mother ‘plundered’ tens of millions from ailing Orioles owner Peter Angelos | The Baltimore Sun
Sounds like everything is going great in the Angelos household! An allegation like sure feels like it would complicate any potential sale of the team, so we could be waiting a while on that front.
The DL Hall Story | Orioles.com
Later this week the Orioles will be releasing what appears to be a short film on DL Hall’s background. I’m a sucker for these sorts of things, so I’m sure it will be pretty neat. The trailer is available now.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
- Richie Lewis turns 56. He started his career with a two-game stay on the 1992 Orioles and wrapped things up with two games for the 1998 Orioles. In between, the pitcher bounced around various big league bullpens.
- Francisco Melendez celebrates his 59th. His stint with the Orioles lasted just nine games in 1989.
- Wally Bunker is 78 years old. The righty was a productive member of the Orioles pitching staff from 1963 through ‘68, tossing over 700 innings and boasting a 3.40 ERA in that time,
This day in history
2005 - The Orioles fall short in their reported pursuit of first baseman Carlos Delgado. The free agent instead signs a four-year, $52 million deal with the Marlins.