Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s okay, though, we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
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The Orioles' offseason was in this weird holding pattern for much of the winter, mostly because they were staring at Scott Boras quietly in a room for two months, waiting for him to say that Chris Davis liked their offer. While they were doing that, unsure of what money they would have leftover and for whom, essentially every other major free agent signed elsewhere. They ended up getting Davis back, at least, and it's not so late in the winter that there is no one left for them to sign. They are, however, not exactly chasing the elite at this point.
Yovani Gallardo looks like he'll be the first free agent to sign with the O's of this upcoming bunch, and if he does agree to a deal, then outfielder Dexter Fowler is next. That will cost Baltimore the 14th and 29th picks in the 2016 draft, but their choices are currently "give up picks" or "be worse in 2016 than we were in 2015 after extending our best hitter." Well, there's also the "trade for Jay Bruce" option, but that will cost prospects instead of picks, and Bruce was significantly worse than Fowler last summer. And also the summer before. Jay Bruce might not be very good anymore.
That's not all! The Orioles are also reportedly interested in Pedro Alvarez, though, given their roster, that's probably only if they don't work something out with Fowler. They already have Mark Trumbo for the DH spot, and if they get Alvarez, Trumbo is going to the outfield. Keeping Trumbo off the field and getting Fowler is more than worth the 29th pick, Baltimore, just sign a real outfielder before you subject yourself to a gloved Trumbo.
- Fenway Park now contains an enormous ramp that towers over the Green Monster, because it's time for Big Air Fenway.
- The World Baseball Classic saw its qualifiers begin on Wednesday night, with South Africa defeating New Zealand and Australia laying the mercy rule down on the Philippines. There's no recap of that second game yet, because it was played at 3:30 in the morning, Eastern Time.
- Don't worry, though, there is a gif of a bat flip from that game, so it evens out.
- Twins pitcher Trevor May loves his cat, and you should too.
- Grant Brisbee tried to figure out which division race is going to be the best division race in 2016. They all have the potential to be good, but a couple much more so than the others.
- The Red Sox won't see Mookie Betts break out in 2016, mostly because he already did when everyone had already stopped paying attention to Boston last year. Betts batted .322/.367/.541 from June 15 onward, with 48 extra-base hits in those three and a half months.
- It's Keith Law Prospect Coverage week, and he kicked it off with organizational rankings. No surprise given their rebuild, but the Braves came in first. The Angels also deserve a mention, however: that's because the Angels' farm system is, in Law's words, the "worst I've ever seen." Congrats, Halos!
- Meg Rowley wrote about baseball and its role and shaping of a broader culture, if you'd like a little thoughtfulness to go with your bat flips and cat gifs.