The Winter Meetings are being held in suburban Washington D.C., next year. If I’m still on the beat and haven’t gone completely insane, it will be nice to hop in my car after the Rule 5 draft and walk through my front door in about an hour.
I might volunteer to drop off the new player at Camden Yards, though it’s out of my way.
The Orioles left Nashville yesterday with only a Rule 5 pick, as if visited by the ghost of Winter Meetings past. They later claimed left-hander Edgar Olmos off waivers from the Cubs, long after they had departed the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.
They didn’t make it to the podium again, but it still felt like an aggressive four days - five if you count Sunday’s arrival and the Darren O’Day debacle.
Their seven-year, $150 million offer to Chris Davis became public, though the front office wasn’t carrying signs through the lobby to advertise it. They made it known that they wanted a left-handed bat and a couple of starting pitchers. They’ve been pushing hard for an outfielder.
O’Day reached an agreement and took his physical this week, an extremely important re-signing that shouldn’t be overlooked. CBSSports.com reported last night that the deal is official, with $1 million deferred in each of the four years. An announcement should come today or at Saturday’s FanFest.
There’s a lot of work to be done in the warehouse, but the money being made available is unprecedented in Baltimore. Adam Jones received the largest contract with his $85.5 million extension. Davis could crush it if he acts as aggressively as the Orioles.
A lingering question is how much of the $150 million will the Orioles reallocate. It’s clear that they’re still trying to make a big strike with their continued pursuit of Justin Upton. He isn’t sitting in the bargain bin.
Did the Orioles pull their offer to Davis? Not in the way that makes it an official breakup. They’re still allowed to text each other late at night.
If the Orioles haven’t spent their money on other players, Davis can take what’s been on the table. However, they’re not holding it for him. Each minute that passes increases the risk that someone else bites and Davis is done in Baltimore.
That’s exactly how it should be in these negotiations. The money is there, but it’s not going to stay there. Act accordingly.
If Boras wants to play his usual waiting game, that’s certainly within his rights. He understands the risks. He also may have a much clearer read on the market for Davis than the rest of us.
Teams that appear out on Davis can reverse field in the blink of eye. The Cardinals could be all in if Jason Heyward doesn’t return.
The Orioles won’t blink when it comes to this stare down. They still refuse to budge on their offer and are fine with thanking Davis for his 4 1/2 seasons in the organization and making new friends.
So what’s with all the left-handers? Over the past month, the Orioles have placed Olmos, C.J. Riefenhauser, Chris Jones and Chris Lee on the 40-man roster. They were interested in Tony Sipp before he re-signed with the Astros.
Is this southpaw depth or are they stockpiling in case they want to make a trade?
There’s no way that the Orioles will carry four left-handers in their bullpen. They really have only four spots locked up with O’Day, Zach Britton, Brad Brach and Mychal Givens. Brian Matusz remains a trade candidate or a potential starter, depending how their search pans out. I’d pencil him into the ‘pen.
The last word on the Rule 5 draft: The Orioles selected outfielder Joey Rickard from the Rays organization, but they also liked pitcher Wei-Chung Wang from the Brewers. They gave serious consideration to him, but it’s easier in 2016 to carry the outfielder than a bullpen guy.
The whole Dylan Bundy thing that I’ve written.
Wang, 23, is a left-hander from Taiwan who went 10-6 with a 3.54 ERA and three complete games in 25 starts for Single-A Brevard County. He reminds the Orioles of Wei-Yin Chen, except for the 10.90 ERA and 2.192 WHIP in 14 relief appearances last year for Milwaukee after making the opening day roster.
The Brewers selected Wang from the Pirates in the 2013 Rule 5 draft, in case you’re interested in writing his life story. Reserve a few chapters for Tommy John surgery and the 2004 Little League World Series.