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Friday Bird Droppings: Waiting for the hot stove to start cooking

Hardly any teams have signed free agents so far, and the Orioles are no exception.

SPORTS-BBA-ORIOLES-HENDERSON-ROY-BZ Kenneth K. Lam/The Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Happy Day after Thanksgiving, everyone. If you don’t have to work today, hopefully you’re able to stay in bed a little later this morning to sleep off that food coma.

Don’t expect to see much hot stove MLB action during the holiday weekend. Traditionally it’s not a particularly active period for trades or free agent signings, partly because executives are otherwise occupied with their families, but also because it’s still early enough in the offseason that teams and players are still assessing the market.

So far, only three of FanGraphs’ Top 50 free agents have signed. Aaron Nola (#4) re-upped with the Phillies on a seven-year contract, Kyle Gibson (#25) departed the Orioles for a one-year deal with the Cardinals, and veteran righty Reynaldo López (#37) landed a three-year pact with the Braves. (The Cards also signed starter Lance Lynn, the 2023 leader in home runs allowed, who didn’t rank among FG’s top 50.)

So while the Orioles haven’t done anything yet, neither have most other teams. And that could remain the case for a while longer.

Links

I can’t put my finger on it, but I feel like there’s a theme with all of these Thanksgiving articles.

Some Orioles-related reasons to be thankful - School of Roch

O's fans can be thankful for a team that got to the top of the AL East - Steve Melewski

Plenty for Oriole fans to be thankful for - BaltimoreBaseball.com

One thing for every MLB team to be thankful for in 2023 - MLB.com

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! And happy 56th birthday to former Orioles right-hander and current MASN analyst Ben McDonald. Until four years ago, McDonald was the only player the Orioles had ever drafted #1 overall. (The O’s have since done it twice more, using #1 picks — quite wisely — on Adley Rutschman in 2019 and Jackson Holliday in 2022.) Enjoy your day, Ben!

Three other former Orioles were born on Nov. 24: Aussie lefty Damian Moss (47), right-hander Fred Beene (81), and the late outfielder Jim Northrup (b. 1939, d. 2011).

On this day in 1982, Cal Ripken Jr. was named AL Rookie of the Year, collecting 24 of 28 first-place votes to beat the Twins’ Kent Hrbek. Cal’s season was eerily similar to Gunnar Henderson’s just-completed 2023 Rookie of the Year campaign. Both were 22-year-old infielders who split their defensive work almost equally between shortstop and third base. Both hit exactly 28 homers; Cal had 65 extra-base hits and Gunnar 66. Henderson had a 125 OPS+, Ripken 115. And if Gunnar can go on to a career even remotely as good as Cal’s, he’ll be sitting pretty.