Another important offseason date that doesn’t really impact the Orioles arrives on Monday.
Teams no longer will have exclusive negotiating rights with their own free agents. Other executives can start courting them.
The Orioles won’t attempt to re-sign Mark Trumbo, so it doesn’t matter to them.
Monday also marks the deadline for teams to issue the $17.8 million qualifying offer to free agents. The Orioles obviously won’t do it with Trumbo. And teams can exercise or decline options and opt-outs for the 2020 season.
Players must decide by Nov. 14 whether to accept.
The Orioles must resist becoming bored.
An important date for the Orioles is Nov. 20, the deadline for setting 40-man rosters prior to the Dec. 12 Rule 5 draft that closes the Winter Meetings in San Diego.
Only players from outside the organization can be added after the 20th.
The deadline to non-tender arbitration-eligible players is Dec. 2, and that’s also a biggie for the Orioles, who have seven decisions to make involving Jonathan Villar, Mychal Givens, Dylan Bundy, Trey Mancini, Hanser Alberto, Miguel Castro and Richard Bleier.
Mancini is the true no-brainer in the group. Of course he’ll be tendered a contract, with MLBTradeRumors.com projecting his salary at $5.7 million.
Most or all of the players on this list will be tendered, with Villar the one who’s sparking the hottest debate. Any raise is going to be an issue for the cost-conscious Orioles, and Villar is projected to make $10.4 million.
Non-tender him, attempt to trade him, sign and attempt to trade him. What’s it going to be?
* Finalists for the Baseball Writers’ Association of America awards will announced on Monday beginning at 6 p.m. on MLB Network.
The Orioles don’t have a dog in most of the fights, but left-hander John Means should be in the running for American League Rookie of the Year.
The overall winner will be revealed on Nov. 11. The Astros’ Yordan Alvarez is the overwhelming favorite, but Means could crack the top three after going 12-11 with a 3.60 ERA and 1.135 WHIP in 155 innings.
Means’ 4.5 WAR per Baseball-Reference.com ranked first among AL rookies. Alvarez posted a 3.7 WAR.
* Teams have been announcing their new coaching staffs, with the end of the World Series opening the hiring floodgates.
Nothing from the Orioles, however.
They aren’t at the point where they’ve made hires and are ready to reveal how they’re replacing first base coach Arnie Beyeler, assistant hitting coach Howie Clark and bullpen coach John Wasdin.
There’s also still work to be done on the minor league side, including a new pitching coach at Double-A Bowie with Kennie Steenstra moving up to Triple-A Norfolk.
Josh Conway, a development coach this summer at Bowie, could be promoted to a pitching coach position in the organization.
* The Padres are set to hire former Orioles third base coach Bobby Dickerson as their bench coach under new manager Jayce Tingler, according to MLB.com.
Dickerson, who’s currently managing in Mexico, would be reunited with Manny Machado. And perhaps the new role would bring him closer to one day fulfilling his dream of managing in the majors.
The 2019 season was Dickerson’s first, and apparently last, as Phillies infield instructor. He’s highly respected and his work with Machado and Jonathan Schoop strengthened his reputation.
* It appears that former Orioles executive Dan Duquette can be added to the list of Pirates general manager candidates.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on Wednesday, while citing multiple sources, that the Pirates expressed interest in talking to Duquette.
I’ve heard that he’s set to interview today, though I didn’t get confirmation on it from anyone with the Pirates. Because I didn’t try. But that’s the word on the street.