The Orioles’ offseason heated up right around the time Baltimore was receiving a foot of snow.
No, not all of us could be so lucky to go to Sarasota, Fla., and experience warm weather.
The Orioles dominated headlines by signing not one, but two free agent pitchers.
The first: Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon.
The second: right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez.
Let’s take a look at some national headlines about the Birds.
* Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wrote two days before the Yoon and Jimenez announcements that the Orioles would be willing to forfeit their first-round draft pick to sign the right person. Rosenthal says the Orioles have done such a good job of drafting and signing international players that missing out on a first-round draft pick won’t hurt the club as much as it may other teams.
* The Orioles’ offseason went from stone cold to sizzling, according to Cliff Corcoran of SI.com. Corcoran says the Jimenez signing doesn’t come without a gamble. Jimenez has had an up-and-down career. Corcoran wonders if Jimenez’s success last season with the Indians can be attributed to Cleveland pitching coach Mickey Callaway or if his mechanics really did improve. Overall, Corcoran says the Orioles made the right call in signing Jimenez.
* Chris Davis, Matt Wieters, Manny Machado, Nick Markakis, J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones make up one of the best cores of any team in baseball. ESPN’s Buster Olney says that the Orioles willingness to sign Jimenez shows the rest of the world they are ready to contend. Keith Law of ESPN also believes the Jimenez deal makes sense for the Orioles. Law says Kevin Gausman could benefit from the Jimenez deal because he can spend more time in the minors developing as a starter, which is where he is seen as most valuable for the Birds. (Note: Both links require subscriptions to view.)
* Now I’m sure you’re all tired of reading about Jimenez and Yoon, so I’ve found other items for you to check out. Back in January, the Orioles agreed to a contract with outfielder Tyler Colvin. Colvin failed his physical with the team, but chose to pursue other options in an attempt to find a major league deal. According to a tweet from Troy Renck of the Denver Post, Colvin could return to the Orioles on a minor league deal.
* Let’s talk fantasy baseball. Many have wondered whether Davis will be able to repeat his stellar 2013 campaign. Without going too much into what Michael Beller of SI.com said, just remember Davis has always had a track record of hitting homers. Read more here before your fantasy draft for the 2014 season.
* The popular Netflix original series “House of Cards” returned this past Friday. I won’t tell you how quickly I finished the season, but let me tell you it was a good one. In one episode, Kevin Spacey’s character, Vice President Francis Underwood, throws out the first pitch at an Orioles game at Camden Yards. Former Oriole and current National Nate McLouth is featured prominently during the national anthem. Click here to see the screenshot from the episode.
* Finally, I’m going to leave you with one of my favorite commercials from the 2011 season starring Jimemez.
Do you think the Orioles included a license plate for him?
We hope you’ve enjoyed the first week of spring training. Don’t forget to check MASNsports.com for breaking news, and of course for next week’s version of Bird Talk.