Armchair general managers remained on call throughout the World Series. Can't put away the cell phone or shut the laptop.
There's lots of work to do. Never mind that your salary isn't enough to tip the DoorDash driver.
You're in it for the love of the game.
I already posed three questions: whether you’d re-sign first baseman Jesús Aguilar, whether you’d pick up Jordan Lyles’ $11 million option and whether you’d trade an outfielder.
Here are two more:
Would you stay in-house for a backup catcher?
I’m removing Robinson Chirinos from “in-house” designation because he’s set to become a free agent, but for the purposes of his exercise, feel free to argue for re-signing him.
The Orioles outrighted Aramis Garcia to Triple-A Norfolk last Sunday and he elected free agency. The 40-man roster still holds Anthony Bemboom, Cam Gallagher and Mark Kolozsvary as possible backups to Adley Rutschman.
Keeping four catchers on the 40-man seems unlikely, but there used to be six.
Bemboom’s contract was selected from Norfolk last month, putting him back on the 40-man roster and keeping him away from minor league free agency. The Orioles later signed him to a one-year contract.
If you’re tabbing early favorites, he’s it.
Update: The Orioles outrighted Bemboom on Friday, according to the team's transactions page. He's no longer on the 40-man roster, but is expected to accept the assignment and remain in the mix for the backup job.
Brett Cumberland and Jacob Nottingham remain on Norfolk’s roster.
Maverick Handley, a sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft, spent the 2022 season with Double-A Bowie and is eligible for the Rule 5 draft. So are Cumberland and Cody Roberts.
One alternative is to select a catcher in the Rule 5 draft, going against the idea of carrying a veteran behind Rutschman. It would be a rarity in club history, with Lou Palmisano the last catcher chosen by the Orioles back in 2008.
Don’t remember Palmisano? It’s OK. The Orioles acquired him from the Brewers and traded him to the Astros.
MLBTradeRumors.com provides the following list of major league free agent catchers, with 2023 ages:
Tucker Barnhart (32)
Curt Casali (34)
Jason Castro (36)
Robinson Chirinos (38)
Willson Contreras (31)
Austin Hedges (30)
Sandy Leon (34)
Omar Narváez (31)
Roberto Pérez (34)
Kevin Plawecki (32)
Austin Romine (34)
Gary Sánchez (30)
Christian Vázquez (32)
Mike Zunino (32)
The Orioles will keep tabs on the waiver wire if they aren’t happy with any other options. They could attempt to swing a late trade after reporting to spring training.
Pedro Severino was selected off waivers from the Nationals on March 23, 2019. Billed as a good catch-and-throw guy who didn’t live up to his defensive reputation.
Jesús Sucre signed as a free agent on Feb. 5, 2019 and lasted only 20 games, his final appearance in the majors on April 26.
Ernie Whitt’s final season in the majors was 1991 after the Orioles signed him on April 7 and released him three months later.
Another one of those guys who makes you pause and ask, “Wait, he was an Oriole?” The 12 years with Toronto might be to blame.
So, who’s backing up Rutschman on opening day?
Would you attempt to re-sign Rougned Odor?
It happened again last weekend. Twice, to be exact.
Two neighbors endorsed the Orioles bringing back Odor, with the caveat that he isn’t the starting second baseman.
I’ve heard it from other fans, too. They like Odor as a left-handed bat coming off the bench. They place a large amount of importance on his influence inside the clubhouse.
The clutch hits in the late innings and the double plays turned stick in their minds, but I sense that his leadership and popularity are the biggest factors.
Odor loved his time in Baltimore. I can’t speak for him, but he’d probably like to find regular work in free agency. If it exists, of course. He batted .207 with a .632 OPS.
Second base is an unsettled position. The Orioles don’t have an obvious replacement, but there are a few options. You’ve heard the names – Ramón Urías, Terrin Vavra, Jordan Westburg.
Urías won a Gold Glove at third base, but he didn’t commit an error in 76 chances at second.
Odor isn’t moving around the field in a utility role. He’s a second baseman who can go to third but isn’t comfortable doing it.
Would you re-sign Odor to compete for a starting job at second?