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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the first day of the offseason hurts a little bit less

There are 157 days until the Orioles open the 2015 season. Here's your roundup from around Birdland on the first day of the offseason. Winter is coming.

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends. Well, that World Series happened, and it happened without the Orioles. I'm still sad about it.

At 9am today, the Orioles pending free agents will officially become free agents. Check back here at that time for a breakdown of who is now a free agent, although we should all keep in mind the classic bit of philosophy from The Onion, "Prince Fielder Wondering If He Has Truly Free Agency."

In the meantime, here are the best links Birdland has to offer on this first day of baseball's offseason:

The Hypothetical Cost Of The Orioles' Starting Nine In 2015 (Press Box)
Stan the Fan runs down his predicted starting nine for the 2015 Orioles and how much they would all cost. He seems to think Cruz is going to remain with the Orioles, which is hard for me to imagine.

Orioles Optimism: The New Normal - Baltimore Sports Report
Our friends over at the Baltimore Sports Report think that optimism about the Orioles is the new normal. Obviously, they haven't met me, but they could well be right. It's true that the O's have earned some credit over the last few years.

Quietly, Hunter becomes one loud force for Orioles | Comcast SportsNet Baltimore
Rich Dubroff notes what Tommy Hunter has meant to the Orioles. Will they offer him arbitration in his final eligible year?

Orioles should trade for Justin Morneau as Chris Davis insurance - MLB Daily Dish
One of our SB Nation counterparts makes the argument that the Orioles should get Justin Morneau as insurance in case Chris Davis continues to struggle. Perhaps you will be persuaded more than I was.

Elsewhere in SB Nation MLB, news about a former Orioles prospect pops up...

Red Sox top-10 prospects list unveiled by Baseball America - Over the Monster
Baseball America rates Eduardo Rodriguez as the #4 prospect in the Red Sox system. The Andrew Miller trade feels pretty good right now, but we could end up looking back and regretting it in four years or even sooner.

Today is the birthday of former Oriole Luis Matos. It's also the birthday of yesterday's World Series champion Joe Panik.