Good morning, Birdland!
Well, that whole idea that it’s been a slow offseason for the Orioles got blown up on Tuesday evening. That’s when John Ourand of Puck News reported that the Angelos family had reached an agreement to sell the team. The new ownership group would be led by native Baltimorean and billionaire David Rubenstein, but also someone named Mike Arougheti and a few local celebrities, Cal Ripken Jr. included.
Mark recapped all of the specifics on the site yesterday, so head over there for the details of the deal.
As for how the Orioles are impacted in the short term, it is likely very little. Importantly, it does not sound like the deal is totally done yet. The rest of the league’s owners need to weigh in, and there could be some red tape to sort out.
But even if Rubenstein was deemed the “control person” this moment, there is limited time to get significant things done this winter. Spring training starts in two weeks. While there are still some big fish (Blake Snell, Jordon Montgomery, Cody Bellinger) on the free agent market, they don’t all make sense for the Orioles. And one would hope that even an injection of cash wouldn’t cause Mike Elias and the front office to entirely abandon the philosophy that got them here.
What a new ownership group—especially one with this sort of money—should allow for is flexibility in future seasons. No longer should Elias be forced to operate on a shoestring budget and trade enticing prospects for one or two years of a decent starting pitcher. Instead, maybe the team could actually sign a big name free agent. There should be a few available next winter.
If Rubenstein really wants to make a splash, the thing that would endear him to Orioles fans right away is an extension for Gunnar Henderson, Adley Rutschman, Grayson Rodriguez, or even Jackson Holliday. Of course, it takes two to tango, and the O’s cannot force these players to sign long-term deals. But it has become frustrating to see so many other teams give their promising youngsters these sorts of contracts while the Orioles continue to just play out the string.
In any case, hopefully this means that this era of Orioles baseball can go from intriguing to historic. It won’t happen overnight, but yesterday felt like a step in the right direction.
Five things to know about Orioles’ expected new owner David Rubenstein | The Baltimore Sun
The guy collects historic documents like I collect Orioles bobblehead giveaways. I don’t get all of them, but I make sure I have the cool ones. Remember the Melvin Mora and Brian Roberts bobbles that shook hands? Got ‘em both.
- Free crab fries for everyone!
- Lift the age limit on “Kids Run the Bases.” Excluding 30-year-old men is unfair, and that’s what I told the usher.
How Coulombe and Webb intend to improve, Mullins itching to have healthy season | Roch Kubatko
Love to hear from Danny Coulombe and Cedric Mullins. Oh, and Jacob Webb is there too.
Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!
- Cole Irvin turns 30 today. The southpaw’s first season with the Orioles in 2023 did not go as anticipated, but he bounced back from a rough start to become a valuable swingman in the second half.
- Joel Bennett is 54. He pitched in two games for the 1998 Orioles.
This day in O’s history
2010 - Melvin Mora’s 10-season run with the Orioles is officially over. The longtime third baseman was released by the team earlier in the offseason and instead signs a free agent deal with the Rockies on this day.