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Thursday Bird Droppings: The offseason is officially here for everybody

The 2023 season reached its end last night.

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SPORTS-BBA-ORIOLES-ELIAS-SPORTSPLUS-BZ Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Hello, friends.

There are now 147 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2024. None of those days will have MLB games. It all ended last night as the Texas Rangers finished off their first title in franchise history with a Game 5 victory. In the end, the Orioles did lose to the team that got hot in the postseason. I don’t feel a whole lot better with that knowledge, but it would have been worse if the O’s had lost to some team that faceplanted in the next round.

The Orioles snuck a little piece of roster maneuvering in yesterday afternoon, with another waiver claim going their way. The team claimed outfielder Sam Hilliard, a 29-year-old lefty batter who played in 40 games with the Braves this season, batting .236/.295/.431. The O’s winning this claim means that every other team passed on the chance to claim Hilliard. He’s played all three outfield spots in his career, mostly center and left field.

With no openings on the 40-man roster, the Orioles created room by designating reliever Joey Krehbiel for assignment. Krehbiel, who turns 31 next month, appeared in six games at the big league level for the O’s this year, with a 1.80 ERA in five innings. It was clear with how the team used him, or didn’t use him, through this season that he was not one of the guys who might turn into a trusted reliever, so it’s not a surprise to see them DFA him. That means the Orioles have ten days to trade Krehbiel or pass him through waivers.

As with the previous waiver claim during the postseason, pitcher Tucker Davidson, we might never think about this guy again. The outfield is pretty well set already, or at least seems to be, between returning 2023 players and prospects. I don’t think some competition for Ryan McKenna is a bad thing.

The season ended with Hilliard on the 60-day injured list due to a heel injury. A career .718 OPS hitter even though four of his five big league seasons were for Colorado, Hilliard, like every waiver claim, doesn’t have going on for him in his career numbers to generate any excitement with his arrival. On the other hand, Ryan O’Hearn’s career didn’t amount to much either and he blossomed here. When they don’t have to give up much to make the claim, there’s no harm in putting in the claim.

Around the blogO’sphere

As World Series finishes, Orioles begin to shape 2024 roster (Baltimore Baseball)
Rich Dubroff runs through some of the immediate post-playoffs roster formalities, which include players becoming free agents and 60-day injured list guys who must be returned to the roster, before considering questions that will play out over the rest of this month.

How did the Orioles do with free agent signings this season? Let’s grade them. (The Baltimore Banner)
The Banner’s Orioles staffers handed out grades to both offseason and in-season pickups, so it includes Kyle Gibson, Adam Frazier, Mychal Givens, and Aaron Hicks. I am surprised by the variety of grades for both Gibson and Hicks.

In playoffs, Gunnar Henderson faced a player he has often been compared with (Steve Melewski)
If Gunnar ends up on a Corey Seager-like trajectory (32 WAR and 19 playoff home runs before turning 30) then things will have probably gone pretty well for both him and the Orioles in the intervening years.

This one doesn’t directly involve the Orioles, but it is of interest to anyone who finds baseball team finances in general to be fascinating.

Padres recently took out $50 million loan to help cover payroll (The Athletic)
The Padres, according to this article, are rather polarizing within the game due to their carrying a large payroll in a smaller market.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2022 three-game pitcher Denyi Reyes, 2012-13 infielder Wilson Betemit, 1998-2005 pitcher Sidney Ponson, 1990-92 hitter Sam Horn, and 1980 six-game pitcher Paul Hartzell. Today is Hartzell’s 70th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: explorer Daniel Boone (1734), French queen Marie Antoinette (1755), 29th president Warren G. Harding (1865), author Lois McMaster Bujold (1949), and rapper Nelly (1974).

On this day in history...

In 1889, North Dakota and South Dakota were admitted to the United States, becoming the 39th and 40th states of the union.

In 1920, a radio station in Pittsburgh delivered its first broadcast, announcing results of that year’s presidential election. The station, KDKA, is recognized as the world’s first commercial radio station. Today, the station is the flagship for Pirates radio broadcasts.

In 1983, the bill creating Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday was signed into law by President Reagan.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on November 2. Have a safe Thursday.