Good morning, Birdland!
The new year isn’t exactly off to a blistering start, but given the number of big names still available—both via free agency and trade—January promises to be a month full of news in MLB.
The Orioles have remained quiet outside of signing Craig Kimbrel nearly a month ago. That has left the same holes on their roster that existed back in November. However, there was at least one report on Tuesday that indicated that Mike Elias and his team are still hard at work on reinforcing their rotation.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi provide some minor updates on the Orioles yesterday morning. He described them as “very active” in trade conversations and then connected them specifically to Dylan Cease, Jesús Luzardo, and Edward Cabrera. Going one step further, Morosi said that he would be “moderately surprised” if the team failed to add one “credible” starter before Opening Day.
Now, let’s address the elephant in the room that is Morosi. He is the reporter that really fanned the flames of the “Shohei is on a flight to Toronto” rumor from earlier in the offseason. We know that turned out to be bogus, and Morosi has since apologized for the screw-up. In general, his reporting tends to be founded in real information.
As for this specific report, while it may be noteworthy to a national audience, there isn’t much new information to Orioles fans. We had all pretty much assumed that the big name free agents weren’t happening, despite a vague connection to Aaron Nola back in the fall. So that leaves a trade as the only other good option to improve the team.
Cease is a name that has swirled around these parts for months—maybe even a year at this point. His poor showing in 2023 may complicate the way in which the Orioles (or other suitors) value him in comparison to the White Sox. The Marlins and their strong stable of arms have always seemed like a logical trade parter for the hitter-heavy Orioles. Anthony Santander was at the center of past potential packages, but now a prospect-laden deal would make more sense.
For my money, the two Miami pitcher represent far better value that Cease. They are both younger and with more team control. Plus, you can argue (particularly for Luzardo) that they are better than Cease. The Marlins being in the NL makes it an even easier pill to swallow. The only hangup could be their new leadership structure.
Miami’s president Peter Bendix has only been on the job since November. Prior to taking this job he was GM with the Rays since 2021 and in that organization in various roles dating back to 2009. I’m sure Elias is familiar with Bendix, but perhaps not as the chief decision maker within an organization.
It still seems like the Orioles will add someone, and Elias seems inclined to get someone with as much upside as possible. That would likely eliminate the pitchers that would be free agents after 2024 (Shane Bieber, Corbin Burnes). But the O’s boss is working on his own timeline, so it might still take a while to iron something out.
Will Craig Kimbrel change or alter his pre-pitch routine this season? | Steve Melewski
No? Kimbrel indicates that he may work quicker this year, which could be an adjustment he is making to better align with the changing roles and pitch clock. But it still seems like he will have the trademark wing working.
Baseball Digest All-Star Rookies | MLB.com
This isn’t a thing that anyone should really care about. But man, there ain’t much happening. We take what we can get. There’s Orioles on the team, so that’s cool.
Seven things for Orioles fans to look forward to in 2024 | The Baltimore Sun
It should be another fun year in Baltimore.
The all-free-agent team: As offseason hits next phase, who’s still on the market? | The Athletic
A nice refresher on who all is available. The Orioles should probably still be in the market for another reliever, and maybe even a utility infielder depending on the moves they make. Other than that, it’s going to be trades and internal solutions for the team.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
- Mike Wright Jr. turns 34. An Orioles draft pick in 2011, the righty would pitch in parts of five seasons with the big league club from 2015 through 2019.
- Jim Dwyer celebrates his 74th. He had an eight-season stint with the O’s from 1981 through 1988. In that time he posted a 119 OPS+ and won a World Series.
This day in O’s history
1955 - The Orioles purchase outfielder Hoot Evers from the Tigers.
2011 - Alfredo Simon surrenders to police in the Dominican Republic after a fatal shooting on New Year’s Eve.
2012 - The Orioles make two moves. They purchase outfielder Jai Miller from the Athletics and they lose Brandon Snyder to the Rangers.