Thanks to those who responded and sent in questions for our mailbag.
Question: “Who will play second base for the Orioles next season?” @MichaelJBinelli
Answer: For the moment, it’s Hanser Alberto and players to be determined. Alberto played both third and second last season, and at the Winter Meetings last week, manager Brandon Hyde said he thought he wore Alberto out.
Without Jonathan Villar, the Orioles will have to get at least another infielder. Stevie Wilkerson, who has played some second in the last two seasons, could be in the mix. So could Pat Valaika, who was claimed on waivers from Colorado.
Dilson Herrera, recently signed to a minor league contract, is another candidate, and there probably will be more contenders for second base and shortstop signed between now and spring training.
Q-“Which players from last year’s team do you think may still be around when we could be competitive in 22 or 23? Here is who I think? Santander, Mancini, Hays, Wilkerson, Nunez, Mullins- extra outfielder?
Harvey, Tate, maybe Severino. What do you think?”-David Evans
A-Mancini is their most valuable trading piece at the moment. In order for him to stick around in 2023, they would have to sign him to an extension, which doesn’t seem likely right now.
I would certainly add John Means to your list, and I would guess that when Adley Rutschman becomes the regular catcher, he’ll likely play perhaps 120 games a year, making Pedro Severino a possible trade chip.
Austin Hays and Anthony Santander probably have good chances to stick. So do Hunter Harvey and Dillon Tate. The others are questionable.
Q-“What are your thoughts on signing a big name free agent starting pitcher at market rate with no intention of keeping him around? For example, let’s say you sign a guy for 5 years 150 million. He plays for us (hopefully well) up until the trade deadline and we trade him for a huge haul of prospects. We’re out 20ish million, but don’t have to pay the remainder of the contract and maybe end up with a couple of top 50 prospects to boot? “Now, I’d like to say that I would prefer that we don’t do this and continue the rebuild path we’re currently on. And this would all be a moot point assuming no big name free agent pitcher wants to come to Baltimore at the moment. But I’m curious on your thoughts about how this could possibly satisfy some people clamoring for something a little more entertaining in the short term. Thanks!”-Logan Miller
A-It’s a fun idea, but an impractical one. A pitcher who signs for that amount of money would probably want a no-trade or limited-trade clause.
They’ve become free agents so that they could choose where they play, and if four months into their tenure, they’re traded elsewhere, what’s the point of signing in Baltimore?
It would certainly add interest, but it’s not going to happen.
Q-“Since you asked for questions I thought I throw a couple at you.
Both are related to the new uniform deal with Nike (Maybe I am a traditionalist, but I hate the logo on the front of uniform….Looks really out of place especially for classic looks from the Yankees and Dodgers….).
“Assuming it was for more money than the previous deal, do the teams see any of this additional revenue? Where does it go?
“Do you know if any other companies will be allowed to make jerseys? Mitchell and Ness makes classic jerseys. Will they be able to continue making them?”-Seth Mendelsohn
A-According to Terry Lefton of “Sports Business Journal,” having a logo on the uniform isn’t new. Majestic has had a logo on the uniform sleeve and New Era has also had a logo on the caps for the past few years. Nike will also have a logo on the uniform pants.
The previous deal was with Under Armour, but due to the company’s weakness, that imploded, and Nike could be paying slightly less than Under Armour would have.
Each team receives the same amount of money.
Nike is only manufacturing the on-field jerseys. Fan jerseys will be manufactured by Fanatics.
Terry wasn’t certain if Mitchell and Ness would be able to contain to manufacture jerseys, but guesses they would because they’re not for use on the field.
Q-“Could trading Villar and Bundy and not making the Cozart trade with LAA that SF did, be a precursor to dumping Chris Davis this spring?” @bobwatk76881279
A-You’re referring to the trade the Angels made where they sent Zach Cozart and his $12.67 million salary to the Giants along with infield prospect Jeff Wilson for left-handed pitcher Garrett Williams.
The trades of Dylan Bundy and Jonathan Villar were to cut salary and to garner prospects.
The Davis issue is unrelated. The $93 million, including deferred money owed to him, is already on the books while the projected salaries of Bundy and Villar wasn’t.
Q-“My son and I were upset to hear the news of Orioles FanFest being cancelled this year. Attended every year for the past four years. Any reason for the cancellation? Will this be a permanent thing or is there a chance that it might return after the 2020 season?”-Dan Goldsamt on Facebook
A-The Orioles haven’t announced a reason why FanFest isn’t being held, but attendance had fallen in recent years. They had an event last Saturday, the Winter Warmup that drew about 1,000 fans, and they may have other events in the coming weeks. My guess is that FanFest won’t return after this season.
Q-“Wondering if I can get more info on the Orioles/stadium authority deal with Camden yards? I haven’t heard that the company tract has been extended yet. Any reasons for the delays?”-Travis Badore on Facebook
A-My understanding is that talks between the Orioles and the state have taken place. The lease doesn’t expire until after the 2021 season.
Leases are complicated, and the current ownership group wasn’t in charge when Camden Yards was built.
I don’t see any problems arising, but I wouldn’t necessarily expect a deal imminently.
Q-“Will I see a World Series at Camden Yards? Ever”? @BrettHollander
A-Brett, my guess is that even though you’re younger than I am, we’ll both see one.
Incidentally, Camden Yards is the oldest ballpark in the major leagues that has yet to host a World Series.
In this century, we’ve seen long World Series droughts broken by the Red Sox, White Sox and Cubs. I’m guessing that the new decade will see a World Series in Baltimore.