The questions begin at Birdland Caravan

The three-day Birdland Caravan begins this morning with the “Justin, Scott and Spiegel Show” from 5:30-10 a.m. at Banditos Taco & Tequila in Columbia.

Like I’ve always said, it’s never too early for a margarita. I’m having it etched on my tombstone.

Executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias and manager Brandon Hyde will be available to media later in the day at the warehouse, along with seven coaches and six players. Further proof that grilling can be done in the middle of winter.

Elias won’t need to repeat last year’s statement that the rebuild was behind the Orioles. The 101 wins and division title provided all the evidence.

The No. 1 media request will be an update on the search for a starting pitcher. Whether Elias remains confident that he can land one via trade or free agency. Whether a pitcher for the top of the rotation is a realistic pursuit. Whether the asking price in trades is astronomical and prohibitive.

Are the markets playing out differently than he anticipated?

Are there any other areas that could be addressed? Maybe an extra infielder or an outfielder besides Daniel Johnson, who signed a minor league deal Tuesday. Perhaps another reliever, which leads to the question of whether the team might pivot from its plan and instead try to further strengthen the bullpen.

Four players remain unsigned who could go to arbitration hearings - outfielder Austin Hays, first baseman Ryan O’Hearn and relievers Danny Coulombe and Jacob Webb. Are negotiations ongoing, as they were with reliever Cionel Pérez, who signed Monday and received a club option for 2025?

Tyler Nevin came back to the organization Monday evening in a cash transaction with the Tigers. He’s out of minor league options. He’s on the 40-man roster. What gives?

A good guy with good minor league numbers. And a good story idea for spring training.

Elias was under the weather and didn’t meet with the small media gathering at the new Dominican Republic academy. He wore a mask and spoke to the crowd before leaving. Would be nice to get his thoughts on the facility and its impact on international recruitment.

It’s all positive, of course. A real game-changer for the organization.

I’d like to know if there are any offseason surgeries or injuries we should be told about, though the team usually passes along news of procedures, like Bruce Zimmermann’s core muscle surgery in October. Félix Bautista says his right elbow feels good. Dillon Tate is throwing and working out. Those boxes are checked.

Hyde spoke at the opening ceremony in the Dominican, but he’ll have a much larger audience today. He can pass along the Bautista update again and offer his thoughts on the signing of closer Craig Kimbrel. He can talk about the changes to his coaching staff, with Drew French hired as pitching coach and Mitch Plassmeyer promoted to assistant pitching coach.

There isn’t much to say about the roster because it’s far from set. Hyde doesn’t know whether Jackson Holliday is on it, or which backup infielders and outfielders are heading north. Doesn’t know the exact composition of his rotation and bullpen.

Doesn’t matter. I have a feeling that he’s going to be asked anyway.

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