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Saturday Bird Droppings: Waiting out the trade market


MLB: General Manager’s Meetings Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Good Morning, Birdland!

Trades are happening! The Mariners sent Robbie Ray to the Giants in exchange for Mitch Haniger and Anthony DeScalfani. The Rays added Towson University product Richie Palacios from the Cardinals in a deal for reliever Andrew Kittredge. And then the M’s and Rays got together by swaping José Caballero and Luke Raley.

To this point, the Orioles have largely been the Squidward of the offseason, watching a league full of Spongebobs and Patricks running around with fun, new players. Is this metaphor making any sense?

There is no official deadline on when the Orioles need to have a trade done. This could bleed into spring training, and I’m not sure Mike Elias really cares. If the team does indeed go the trade route, the player they acquire will presumably already be on a throwing program with their current squad. There shouldn’t be a significant delay in getting ready for the season if they are traded in mid-March rather than mid-January.

Elias’ top concern seems to be getting appropriate value. Clearly, he doesn’t feel like the offers bandied about to this point would provide that. The O’s GM has earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to evaluating talent. So while the team’s need for a rotation upgrade isn’t going away anytime soon, they also shouldn’t just make a move to say they made a move.

For now, the Orioles have the upper-hand in negotiations with the White Sox or anyone else. Essentially every significant starting option that was on the trade market to begin the offseason remains on the table now. It’s not Dylan Cease or bust. They have options. Elias is acting as such, which seems prudent even if it may be somewhat frustrating from a fan perspective to not have roster clarity.


Yankees Interested In Dylan Cease | MLB Trade Rumors
If all previous rumors are believed to be true, the Orioles continue to be the top suitors for Dylan Cease. But no deal has materialized yet. So, of course, now the Yankees have “sincere” interest out of absolutely nowhere. Perhaps that is true. But it also feels like a case of the White Sox attempting to inflate Cease’s potential market in an effort to get the Orioles to blink. To me, Cease is not a pitcher worthy of overpaying for.

Submitting some early Orioles predictions | Roch Kubatko
Roch guesses that the O’s will not add a pitcher that overtakes Kyle Bradish atop the rotation. Perhaps I’m overvaluing Bradish, but I don’t believe that any of the names we have recently heard about (Cease, Jesús Luzardo) would usurp him as “ace” anyway, so perhaps that still means they add a quality arm.

5 free agents whose markets could heat up soon |
Marcus Stroman is the one name on this list that could make some sense for the O’s. He’s not exactly an innings eater at this point in his career, but the innings he does throw will be solid. In this current iteration of the team’s rotation Stroman would likely fit into the number three slot.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Kevin Gausman turns 33. The O’s top draft pick in 2012 turned in six seasons as a member of the team’s pitching staff from 2013 through 2018 before being dealt to the Braves at the 2018 trade deadline.
  • Brian Bass is 42. Between 2008 and ‘09 the righty appeared in 53 games for the O’s.
  • Norm Charlton is 61 years old. He pitched in 36 games out of the Orioles’ bullpen during the 1998 season.
  • The late Lenny Green (b. 1933, d. 2019) was born on this day. He had two stints with the O’s, first from 1957 through ‘59 and then again in 1964.

This day in O’s history

2009 - The Orioles sign Yomiuri Giants righty Koji Uehara to a two-year, $10 million deal.

2017 - The O’s and M’s make a swap. Yovani Gallardo heads to Seattle, and Seth Smith lands in Baltimore.