Orioles minor league players don't have wait around for the end of a season to get a promotion to the next level. Players such as infielders Jordan Westburg and Gunnar Henderson and outfielder Kyle Stowers played at three levels in 2021.
Westburg and Henderson began with low Single-A Delmarva and later moved onto high Single-A Aberdeen and to Double-A Bowie. They ended the season in the playoffs with the Baysox. Stowers started with Aberdeen, later moved to Bowie and then to Triple-A Norfolk for his final 22 games.
Managers can move up levels also, obviously not within the year but before the next one.
At the highest levels of the O's farm this coming season, we'll see players and managers moving on up. Buck Britton will manage at Triple-A Norfolk after two years at Bowie and Kyle Moore will move from Aberdeen to Bowie for 2022.
With the Baysox, Moore could be reunited with numerous players he managed in 2021 at Ripken Stadium with the IronBirds. Henderson and Westburg are two and other possibilities include JD Mundy, Zach Peek, Brandon Young and Garrett Stallings, to name just a few.
"That's a benefit for sure of going up with the players," Moore said during a Zoom interview Monday. "Been fortunate to move a level a year. And I just think when you are trying to create a culture in the clubhouse, and create a culture with the ballclub, that familiarity really helps with expectations. Just so the players know what I expect as a manager and the expectations are really high. From the beginning, everyone knows that.
"Accountability also factors in. There is no guesswork with accountability and what they expect the manager to hold them accountable on. A lot of these guys will already know what I stand for. And also you have to throw in psychological safety. Because of the elite relationship I've developed with these guys over time, I'd like to think they can come and tell me anything. If that is truly the case, as a manager you keep your finger on the pulse better when you have that. No one is walking on eggshells. We want those three things - culture, accountability and psychological safety."
An interesting take by Moore on how moving up with a group of players can be of benefit to him, those players and the organization as a whole.
I will have more from Moore coming up and my full Zoom interview with the skipper will show up here very soon.
Moore managed at short-season Single-A Aberdeen in 2018, at Delmarva in 2019 when the Shorebirds went 90-48 and was to manage at then high-A Frederick in 2020 before the minor league season was canceled. His high Single-A Aberdeen club went 58-61 last season, a year when the IronBirds sent over 20 players to Double-A.
More dollars for younger players: The need to funnel more dollars to younger players in the majors seems to be something owners and players agree should happen. Now it's a matter of how and how much, as part of their ongoing labor negotiations.
Major League Baseball has proposed raising the major league minimum for all pre-arbitration players to $630,000 per season. In another proposal, MLB has set a salary of $615,000 for players with under one year of service time, $650.000 for players from one to two years' service and $725,000 for two to three years.
There is also a bonus pool for players, by their performance/stats, to do better than that.
On MLB Network's morning show yesterday, some examples were provided of what some young players that are not yet arbitration-eligible could earn in 2022 under these proposals.
Reigning National League Cy Young Winner Corbin Burnes of Milwaukee would get a bonus of just over $2 million bringing his total salary for the 2022 season to $2,626,000. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of Toronto, who posted an OPS of 1.002, would earn $2,099,400. San Diego's Fernando Tatis Jr., a third-place MVP finisher, would be playing for $2,890,286 next season. The 2021 AL Rookie of the Year, Tampa Bay's Randy Arozarena, would earn a salary of $581,200 with a bonus of $729,000 for a total of $1,310,200.