Orioles, Darren O'Day event underscores club's few big offseason signings

Tuesday's Darren O'Day news conference at Camden Yards – complete with his adorable, babbling daughter in the front row – was a simple affair and one that served as a reminder of how crazy this game can be.

A pitcher who was initially cut from his college team, wasn't drafted, was waived twice and selected as a Rule 5 pick once was sitting before a group of media after signing a $31 million deal.


It's an awesome story and it couldn't have happened to a more grounded, humble guy.

But there was something else to take from Tuesday.


This just doesn't happen very often with the Orioles, especially under executive vice president Dan Duquette's regime.

In fact, the last time the Orioles had an offseason news conference in Baltimore to announce a player move was nearly four years to the day – Dec. 14, 2011 – when lefty Tsuyoshi Wada was introduced. Let's hope this one works out better than that one. Wada never pitched for the big league team, partially because of elbow-ligament surgery in 2012.

That's a pretty staggering gap between introductory news conferences.

Now, there technically have been others. Nelson Cruz, Ubaldo Jimenez, Suk-min Yoon and Everth Cabrera all had their signings announced in Sarasota, Fla., during spring training.

Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy had their contract extensions announced while the team was still playing. And Duquette and manager Buck Showalter had an offseason conference to discuss their extensions.

But for players in Baltimore in the winter?

Go back to Wada in 2011.

That says a few things: The Orioles under Duquette don't make a whole lot of moves worthy of news conferences. And when they do, it's often in the spring (or occasionally during the season) as he waits out the market and gets financially prudent deals.


Duquette said Tuesday he hopes to add some players in the next week. Whether they'll be news conference worthy, we'll have to wait and see.