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Saturday Bird Droppings: A week of deadlines in MLB looms

The Orioles probably won’t make an exciting move in the next seven days, but they are almost guaranteed to do...something.

Division Series - Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles - Game Two Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

The virus-shortened GM Meetings concluded this week with predictably little fanfare. No major moves were expected, and in fact none materialized. But that could change in the next week or so.

The deadline for players to be offered arbitration is less than a week away. Any players at risk of being non-tendered in that time could instead seem themselves traded to a team that values them and would prefer to avoid the free agency process. For the Orioles, the two names most likely to be surrounded by those sorts of rumors are infielders Ramón Urías and Jorge Mateo

Things could go the other way as well. Perhaps the Orioles see a chance to snag a player on the fringes of another roster for relatively cheap. Mike Elias is known to get creative, especially when filling out his pitching staff. If the price is right, it could be an opportunity to add a player with years of control and upside. But this isn’t the avenue for roster-altering moves.

On Tuesday, two other deadlines will come and go.

First, players that have received the qualifying offer (one year, $20.325 million) must decide whether to accept or reject it. Only seven players will have this chance: Shohei Ohtani, Cody Bellinger, Josh Hader, Blake Snell, Aaron Nola, Sonny Gray, and Matt Chapman. It would be rather surprising to see any of them accept.

Later in the day, it’s time for teams to protect eligible players from the Rule 5 Draft. As Mark covered on the site earlier this week, the Orioles have some candidates, but the options aren’t exactly overwhelming. They will probably add a name or two, because why not? But it should leave them plenty of room to bring in outside talent throughout the offseason.

The week ahead is likely to be a busy but relatively unexciting one. Arbitration can sometimes lead to contract extensions, and this time last year is when notable free agents Tyler Anderson and Anthony Rizzo signed with their current teams. But most of the juicy stuff comes post-Thanksgiving.


Orioles, Tucker Davidson Agree To Pre-Arbitration Contract | MLB Trade Rumors
Davidson is a 27-year-old southpaw with no minor league options remaining. We probably shouldn’t be pencilling him into the Opening Day roster just yet.

Notables from the 2023 Orioles season | Baltimore Baseball
It really was a fun summer. Don’t let the sour way in which it ended to ruin how you enjoyed the historic season that our team just had.

Can a first-division team carry a struggling rookie on the roster? | Steve Melewski
The Orioles proved that you can, for a short time anyway. Gunnar Henderson had a slow start in ‘23. Adley Rutschman struggled for about a month out of the gate in ‘22. Hopefully the struggles that Colton Cowser had this past year will lead him to breakout in 2024.

Attempting to wrestle possible Orioles rumors | Roch Kubatko
“Oh, you think the Orioles might sign an exciting free agent? Psh, idiot!”

Orioles arbitration FAQ: What you need to know about Baltimore’s first big offseason decisions | The Baltimore Sun
Everything you might want to know about arbitration as it pertains to the Orioles.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • J.R. House is 44 today. He played a little first base, third base, and catcher in a brief stint with the 2007 Orioles.
  • The late Ike Delock (b. 1929, d. 2022) was born on this day. The righty pitched in seven games for the 1963 O’s.

This day in O’s history

1953 - Jimmy Dykes is named manager of the Baltimore Orioles, replacing Marty Marion, who had been skipper for the organization’s final season in St. Louis.

1970 - Orioles slugger Boog Powell is named AL MVP after a season in which he hit .297 with 35 home runs.

1982 - For the first time since 1968 the Orioles have a new manager. Joe Altobelli takes over for the recently-retired Earl Weaver.

2014 - Buck Showalter is named AL Manager of the Year after guiding the Orioles to an AL East title.