Checking on some key dates this week on baseball's calendar (updated with BBWAA finalists)

Major League Baseball’s general managers meetings are held this week, a three-day event beginning Tuesday in Scottsdale, Ariz. An appetizer for the Winter Meetings in December that are a buffet of activity.

The GM gathering isn’t the same media extravaganza and typically focuses on off-the-field matters, including any rules changes and medical issues. The Athletic's Jim Bowden said the postseason format, including the five-day break for the first- and second-seeded teams, will be evaluated. But executives can lay the groundwork for future trades and obtain a clearer read on the market.

Deals aren’t normally consummated, but the Braves sent veteran starter Jake Odorizzi to the Rangers last year for left-hander Kolby Allard. Texas won the World Series without Odorizzi, who underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in April.

The Orioles didn’t do anything significant last November, their only outside addition being outfielder Daz Cameron on a waiver claim from the Tigers. He didn’t play for them this year.

Executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias wants pitching because nobody can get enough of it, and the Orioles might find an upgrade for the rotation. If they won’t spend huge amounts in free agency, perhaps they can take on a bigger contract via trade.

This week starts the process, gauging availability and potential matches. What other teams want from the major league roster and the No. 1 farm system in baseball. With the untouchables identified.

Hands off Jackson Holliday and Heston Kjerstad.

Elias also can focus on a bullpen that won’t have closer Félix Bautista until 2025.

Free agency officially begins today, on the fifth day after the World Series. The window for teams to negotiate exclusively with their own free agents is over.

Now, it’s a free-for-all, with no special emphasis on the word “free.” Wallets are opening, some much wider than others.

The Orioles spent $10 million on starter Kyle Gibson last year and $8 million on second baseman Adam Frazier in a pair of one-year contracts that the club didn’t regret.

Teams must decide today whether to exercise the options on player contracts. The Orioles have none. They can sit this one out.

Today also is the deadline for teams to make the qualifying offer to their free agents, with players having until 4 p.m. on Nov. 14 to accept or decline. The offer is a one-year contract worth the average of the top 125 salaries, or $20.325 million this offseason. Players are eligible for it if they spent all of 2023 with the club and didn’t receive the offer in the past.

Again, the Orioles are spectators. They have five free agents – Gibson, Frazier, pitchers Jack Flaherty and Shintaro Fujinami and outfielder Aaron Hicks. Only Gibson and Frazier were with them the entire season and neither one is getting $20.5 million.

Finalists for the Baseball Writers’ Association of America awards will be announced tonight on MLB Network beginning at 6 p.m. Gunnar Henderson is the favorite among rookies in the American League, the only intrigue being his competition.

Henderson already won The Sporting News and Major League Baseball Players Association Players Choice Award as the league's top rookie.

The Red Sox’s Triston Casas is expected to make the final three. Are they joined by the Rangers’ Josh Jung, the Guardians’ Tanner Bibee or someone else? Did Orioles reliever Yennier Cano get any love?

I’ll reveal my ballot after the winner is revealed on Nov. 13.

Brandon Hyde is the favorite to be named AL Manager of the Year after finishing as runner-up in 2022 to the Guardians’ Terry Francona. He's won The Sporting News award the past two seasons.

Kyle Bradish could be a finalist for the AL Cy Young Award, a ballot that contains five names.

The Yankees’ Gerrit Cole is expected to win, but it would be a significant accomplishment for Bradish to receive votes, no matter where he finishes. Bautista’s chances were hurt by the elbow injury that necessitated Tommy John surgery.

An important reminder that voting concluded after the regular season. The playoffs didn’t factor into it.

The Orioles released the following minor league players, per the transactions page (and a social media post from pitcher Shelton Perkins):

Perkins, pitchers Alfred Vega, Raúl Rangel, Joe Kemlage and Omar Hernandez, catcher Meibrys Viloria and outfielder Teudis Cortorreal.

Update: As expected, Henderson and Hyde are finalists for BBWAA awards.

Henderson is competing against Casas and Bibee. Hyde is pitted against the Rangers’ Bruce Bochy and the Rays’ Kevin Cash.

Reliever Gregg Olson is the last Orioles Rookie of the Year, in 1989. Thirty-four years is the second-longest drought in baseball, behind the Padres’ 36 years.

Buck Showalter was the Orioles' last Manager of the Year in 2014.

Kyle Bradish wasn’t counted among the AL Cy Young finalists. The Yankees’ Gerrit Cole, the Blue Jays’ Kevin Gausman and the Twins’ Sonny Gray comprise the final three.

Bradish is expected to receive votes on the five-pitcher ballot after posting a 2.83 ERA that ranked fourth in the majors and a 1.04 WHIP that tied for third.

Gausman had a 3.16 ERA and 1.178 WHIP. He led the AL with 237 strikeouts, while Bradish fanned 168 batters.

Gausman registered a 3.4 bWAR. Bradish had a 4.9 bWAR.


A look at Austin Hays' 2023 season
Orioles go 0-for-3 in Gold Glove voting

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