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Thursday Bird Droppings: With Welington, the Orioles are all set to defeat Napoleon

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So it happened after all. The Orioles signed Welington Castillo, pending a physical. In today's links, more on the new rookie hazing rules, a lot on Castillo's signing and its effects, and an old friend gets a deal with the Cubs.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

There are now 109 days remaining until Orioles Opening Day 2017. Many of those days will be a desolate wasteland for baseball news, and worse, many more of them will be spring training. But for today, there's something happening: The Orioles signed Welington Castillo after all.

Are you happy with the signing, or is it something with which you have beef? Do you think that it's weird that the Orioles gave out a player option even though they are opposed to opt-outs?

The thing I keep thinking about is how it's going to be weird with no Matt Wieters on the Orioles, as this signing probably closes the door to his return. I was actively opposed to the Orioles re-signing Wieters, yet I still expected them to do it. Perhaps Dan Duquette didn't feel like waiting around for Scott Boras this winter. The other thing that's weird is that I'm going to have to force myself to write Welington with just one 'l' for as long as Castillo is around.

Not that the signing is final as of this writing. Castillo is supposed to wage his battle against the dreaded Orioles physical today. Even for the Orioles, the physical is usually just a formality... usually. There can be exceptions. And if anyone is going to find an exception, it's probably going to be the O's. At least there are no lost draft picks involved, whatever happens.

Let's hit up the links.

Around the blogO'sphere

More thoughts on Welington Castillo agreement - School of Roch
Roch notes that Castillo's signing is probably the end of Wieters being with the O's. He's already started in on how this won't be a popular move in the Orioles clubhouse.

Welington Castillo Isn't The Orioles Best Catcher - Fangraphs
Jeff Sullivan on the Orioles is always worth reading - although his message may not be the one you want to hear today.

Matt Wieters' market has been slow to develop (Xu likely for WBC) - Steve Melewski
So far, nobody wants to sign Wieters. Which probably means it's good that they didn't extend him the qualifying offer again.

MLB makes the correct call regarding rookie hazing - ESPN
Buster Olney approves of the new rules about rookie hazing and he has an anecdoate from the Orioles of the mid-1990s to support that position.

Plenty of power still on tap in buyer's market - The GM's Office- ESPN
Here's professional bad idea-haver Jim Bowden offering the take that the Orioles are the likely destination for both Mark Trumbo and Curtis Granderson. Jim, that would be a lot of millions of dollars for the Orioles at this point in time.

Meet the Danny Espinosa All-Stars - ESPN
Lots of ESPN today. A blogger must work with the links one can find on a given day. The Danny Espinosa All-Stars are so named for low-average players who are good at doing other things, like, say, Chris Davis and hitting dingers.

Koji Uehara Deal With Cubs Is Done - Bleed Cubbie Blue
Ex-Oriole alert! I still love Koji, you guys. And Koji still brought us Davis and that all worked out pretty well.

Birthdays and anniversaries

On this day in 2003, the Orioles drafted Jose Bautista - yes, that one - from the Pirates in the Rule 5 draft. Don't feel bad though, because it would be five years and four more team changes before Bautista ever posted a positive WAR.

There are two former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2008-10 outfielder Luis Montanez and bad 2003 starter Rick Helling. Long-time Camden Chatters, all together now:

Lou can hit. Deal with it.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today include: Notorious fiddler and emperor Nero (37), Eiffel Tower co-designer Gustave Eiffel (1832), Esperanto creator L. L. Zamenhof (1859), The O.C. actor Adam Brody (1979), and Downton Abbey actress Michelle Dockery (1981).

On this day in history...

In 1256, the Mongols led by Hulagu Khan entered and destroyed a Hashshashin stronghold - this word is the source of the still-used word "assassin" - at Alamut Castle in modern-day Iran.

In 1791, the Bill of Rights became law upon ratification by the Virginia General Assembly.

In 1890, the Lakota leader Sitting Bull was killed by U.S. Army forces at Standing Rock Reservation. This later led to the Wounded Knee Massacre. Standing Rock is still in the news today, you may have heard.

In 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, repealing the 18th Amendment and ending Prohibition of alcoholic sales, manufacture, and transportation in the United States.

In 1939, the film Gone with the Wind, which remains the highest-grossing film of all time when adjusting for inflation, premiered in Atlanta, Georgia.

**

And that's the way it is in Birdland on December 15 - unless something happens later, like, you know, Welington Castillo passing his physical. Here's hoping, because I can't take another failed physical. Have a safe Thursday. Go O's!