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Sunday Bird Droppings: The baseball world waits for Yoshinobu Yamamoto

The Japanese phenom’s team is expected to post him for a potential MLB contract tomorrow.

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Chiba Lotte Marines v Orix Buffaloes - Pacific League Climax Series Final Game 1
The Orioles aren’t going to sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but it’s fun to think about it anyway.
Photo by Sports Nippon/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 130 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2024.

We don’t really have another particular deadline to gear ourselves up for this week. Last week had both the day to protect players from the Rule 5 draft, in which the Orioles chose to add no more players onto the 40-man roster, and the day to tender contracts for next season, in which the Orioles chose to tender everyone.

Of interest to the baseball world generally is that Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto is expected to be posted by his NPB team, the Orix Buffaloes, tomorrow. That will start a 45-day window where he’s allowed to negotiate with MLB teams to sign a contract here. The 25-year-old righty is arriving at a still fairly young age and is expected to get a substantial contract. One prediction, by FanGraphs’s Ben Clemens, is for a seven year, $196 million contract.

Obviously, given every bit of behavior from Mike Elias since taking over as Orioles GM, and from John Angelos since being inserted as the managing partner of the Orioles, there’s no reason to believe the Orioles are going to be significant players for Yamamoto. We haven’t seen Elias give out a multi-year free agent contract even one time. The franchise hasn’t spent more than $50 million on a player since the Alex Cobb signing before the 2018 season. It’s beyond imagination that this is the one.

Somebody’s going to sign him. Maybe it will end up being an Orioles division competitor, or a team they will need to compete with for a wild card spot, or in a postseason series. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens there. Since Yamamoto is going to be on a limited duration 45-day posting window, that means the signing is guaranteed not to drag out far into January. He could be the market setter around which the starting pitching market revolves.

When will something significant happen for the Orioles? It could happen any time! There is not anything stopping them right now from trading players or signing players. But it probably won’t be today.

Around the blogO’sphere

Ten most interesting players added to baseball’s free agent pool after non-tenders (The Athletic)
Are you interested in any of these guys? Do you think the Orioles will be? We just saw the Orioles take a chance on a frequently-injured, lately-disappointing Cardinals starting pitcher in Jack Flaherty. Dakota Hudson would fit that mold.

Sorry, that’s the only interesting fresh one for today.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2020 catcher Bryan Holaday, 1988 two-game pitcher Dickie Noles, and 1966-68 catcher Larry Haney. Today is Haney’s 81st birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: 20th president James A. Garfield (1831), baseball Hall of Famer Roy Campanella (1921), fashion designer Calvin Klein (1942), actress Meg Ryan (1961), and gold medal gymnast Kerri Strug (1977).

On this day in history...

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln’s 271 word speech (you know it as the one that begins “Four score and seven years ago”) was heard by anyone who sat through a 13,607 oration delivered by pastor Edward Everett.

In 1942, Soviet forces launched Operation Uranus, a counterattack against German forces in the city of Stalingrad. Within four days, the German armies in the area were completely encircled. They held on until February before surrendering.

In 1969, the Apollo 12 mission landed on the moon. Astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean became the third and fourth men to walk on the surface.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on November 19. Have a safe Sunday.