Notes on some Orioles promotions, Gibson and new Hall of Fame inductee

SAN DIEGO – Baseball executives and media are flowing into the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego today for the start of the Winter Meetings that were held virtually two years ago due to the pandemic and canceled in 2021 during the lockout.

The Orioles haven’t announced the signing of veteran pitcher Kyle Gibson to a one-year contract because he must pass his physical before the deal is official.   

Other business is conducted that extends beyond the major league and minor league roster.

The club is operating behind the scenes to promote and hire members of the scouting and analytics departments.

Kevin Carter and Will Roberston have been promoted from Pro Scouting Analyst to Senior Pro Scouting Analyst. Ben Reed is promoted from Pro Scouting Fellow to Pro Scouting Analyst.

On the international side, Christian Casanova will serve as an area scout in Caracas after working this year as Venezuela Video Fellow. Riliani Familia is promoted from Dominican Summer League Technology Fellow to Dominican Republic Scouting Assistant. And Maria Arellano’s title is expanded from Senior Manager of International Administration to Senior Manager of International Operations and Administration.

On the domestic side, Hendrik Herz and Chad Tatum are promoted from Amateur Scouting Analyst to Senior Amateur Scouting Analyst.

The Orioles have hired Glenn Dierkes as Senior Software Engineer, Julia Wapner as MLB Diversity Fellow. Gannon Traynor moves up from Mobile Developer Fellow to Junior Software Engineer.

James Hull was hired earlier this year as a Data Scientist.

* The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported today that Gibson accepted the Orioles’ offer over an identical one from another club based on three important factors.

Citing a source, Rosenthal said Gibson was drawn to the Orioles’ infield defense, the presence of catcher Adley Rutschman and the “pitcher-friendly environment” created by altering the dimensions in left field.

Orioles infielders were plus-15 in defensive runs saved, tied for sixth in the majors. Second base could be upgraded after Rougned Odor registered a minus-9 per

Ramon Urías is a candidate to play second base after winning a Gold Glove at third in the American League.

Gibson, 35, initially figures to slot near the back end of the rotation, but obviously could move up depending on other moves and spring training competitions.

* The 16-member Contemporary Baseball Era Committee made five-time All-Star Fred McGriff a unanimous selection to the Hall of Fame during today's meeting.

McGriff was named on every ballot as the only candidate to reach the 75 percent threshold necessary for election.

Don Mattingly received eight votes, Curt Schilling seven and Dale Murphy six. Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro each garnered fewer than four votes. Belle, Palmeiro and Schilling are former Orioles.

McGriff received my vote with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America until losing his eligibility. He’ll be joined in the Hall of Fame Class of 2023 by any electees who emerge from the BBWAA voting which is announced on Jan. 24.

The Tampa native, nicknamed “Crime Dog,” spent 19 seasons in the majors with the Blue Jays, Padres, Braves, Devil Rays, Cubs and Dodgers. He reached the 30-home run mark in 10 seasons and became the first player in history to hit 30 or more with five different teams.

McGriff totaled 493 home runs and had eight 100-RBI seasons. He finished in the top 10 of his league’s Most Valuable Player Award voting six times.

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