What might be still to come for the Orioles

Hey, Birdland and all readers here, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season. 

We can make no promises, but the time leading up to Jan. 1 should be pretty quiet around baseball. We'll see if that holds.

But here are a few more questions about the Orioles as the New Year soon arrives.

Is a big trade still coming?: The Orioles have yet to pull off a deal where they trade from their deep pool of prospects. They have the No. 1-ranked farm in the game, and surely their top 30 list and beyond will draw the attention of all teams in the sport.

Is a big trade for a frontline pitcher in their future? The Orioles were unable or unwilling to sign a top-of-rotation starter. Could that pitcher be had via a deal?

While some names have been floated as trade possibilities, sometimes several others could be had that we just don't hear about as the teams do a good job of protecting themselves from the rumor mill on some of their players.

Did anyone hear or read anything about the Orioles adding Kyle Gibson, Adam Frazier, Mychal Givens or James McCann before the moves were official? Nope.

How will the infield shake out?: It's crowded in the Baltimore infield right now, between players already on the 40-man roster and some minor leaguers at the higher levels. More players than playing time, so how will this all play out? Will rumors of Jorge Mateo drawing trade interest lead to an actual deal? If yes, will Gunnar Henderson become the everyday shortstop? Yep, lot of questions here.

Is Frazier going to be a regular, or someone who can move around the diamond while getting his at-bats that way? Where does it all leave Ramón Urías, who won a Gold Glove, by the way? And how about Jordan Westburg and others now on the farm?

Our first topic mentioned here - a possible trade - could involve this second topic of the infield depth at some point.

Will next year be tougher for the Orioles?: This question will be interesting to see answered during the 2023 campaign. How could it be easier? Well, easy is likely the wrong word here, but the Orioles will play 24 fewer games against American League opponents next season, and that could help their efforts to win more than 83 games and make the playoffs.

The new balanced schedule includes 13 games against each division foe. Each team will play six games against six opponents and seven games against four opponents in the same league, for a total of 64 games. Each team will also play 46 interleague games.

It should be fun to see the Orioles face every other team in the majors during the season. And yes, that could lead to a decreased strength of schedule since there will be fewer division games. Of course, the same applies to the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays and Jays, so their win totals could go up as well. 

Note from Steve: I hope everyone really has a special holiday season with family and friends. I will take a few days off from the blog - just a few. So when you don't see a fresh story tomorrow or the next day, don't worry. Nothing is wrong, just taking a day or two away from the writing end.

Please do still come here every day with any and all comments and questions, and I may be around some as well with my two cents. I'm never bashful about that, as you know. See you with fresh material in three or four days.

Orioles gift suggestions during the holiday season
Mailbag leftovers for breakfast

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.masnsports.com/