The Orioles’ rebuild has entered a new decade, though the hope, both within the organization and the fan base, is that it does not reach a decade in age.
Although aspects of the club’s operations wrapped up the 2010s in a way that could translate to future successes, 2020 represents a chance for continued growth and movement toward contention, but that’s unlikely to appear at the major league level this year.
Still, another season at Camden Yards is around the corner, though executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias and Co. have work in front of them before the season begins. Here’s a look at the important dates for the Orioles in 2020.
Jan. 10: The deadline to exchange salary figures with arbitration-eligible players. After signing Richard Bleier to a one-year deal and trading away Jonathan Villar and Dylan Bundy, the Orioles are left with Trey Mancini, Mychal Givens, Hanser Alberto and Miguel Castro needing their 2020 salaries to be sorted out. Elias said during the season that the Orioles’ approach to arbitration will be “file and trial,” a practice where if the team does not agree to a deal with a player by the exchange date, they will likely head to an arbitration hearing.
Jan. 11: Single-game spring training tickets go on sale at orioles.com/spring.
Feb. 3-21: The potential dates for arbitration hearings. Mancini, Alberto and Castro are arbitration-eligible for the first time, while Givens is in his second year. MLB Trade Rumors projects the foursome to collectively make about $12 million through the arbitration process. Teams are welcome to discuss contracts with the players leading up to the hearings.
Feb. 11: Pitchers and catchers report for spring training at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida. The venue was their spring training home for the entirety of the previous decade.
Feb. 16: Full-squad report date.
Feb. 22: First spring training game, visiting the Atlanta Braves in West Villages, Florida.
Feb. 23: First spring training home game, hosting the Boston Red Sox. Top prospect and 2019 No. 1 overall pick Adley Rutschman is expected to spend at least some time on the major-league side during spring training.
March 23: Final spring training game, at home against the New York Mets.
March 26: Opening Day at Oriole Park at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m. The Orioles face the New York Yankees, who have won 15 straight games in Baltimore and hit 61 home runs off Orioles pitchers a year ago.
March 30: The Orioles face the Boston Red Sox at 6:35 p.m., the first of 16 weeknight home games with that start time before Memorial Day and after Labor Day in an effort to accommodate families with children.
April 2: First road game. The Orioles visit the St. Louis Cardinals for the first time since 2003 and second time overall, with the 4:15 p.m. matchup marking the Cardinals’ home opener.
June 2-3: Orioles’ third visit to Wrigley Field, where manager Brandon Hyde spent 2014-18 on the Chicago Cubs’ major league coaching staff.
June 10-12: MLB Amateur Draft. A year after taking Rutschman with the first overall pick, the Orioles will make the second selection behind the Detroit Tigers.
July 12: Final game of the first half, at the Red Sox.
July 14: MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
July 17: First game of the second half, at home against the Tampa Bay Rays.
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July 31: Trade deadline. Last year, the Orioles’ only deadline deal was sending right-hander Dan Straily to the Philadelphia Phillies for cash, though they acquired Asher Wojciechowski and traded away Andrew Cashner earlier in the month.
Aug. 23: MLB Little League Classic against the Red Sox in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Orioles will be the home team in the yearly event that coincides with the Little League World Series.
Sept. 1: Rosters expand to 28 players. In years past, September rosters could be as large as 40 players. Beginning in 2020, teams will have 26-man rosters through Aug. 31 (one more than the previous standard of 25) and only two additional roster spots available in September.
Sept. 6: The 25th anniversary of Cal Ripken Jr. breaking Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games played streak. The Orioles host the Yankees at 1:05 p.m.
Sept. 24: Final home game, against the Rays.
Sept. 27: Final regular-season game, at the Red Sox.
Other dates to watch for:
- 2020 marks the 50-year anniversary of the Orioles’ 1970 World Series title. That team, which included franchise icons such as Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer, Frank Robinson, Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar and Boog Powell, will likely be recognized at a to-be-announced date.
- Five days after the World Series ends in late October, free agency begins.
- The 2020 Winter Meetings, which conclude with the Rule 5 draft, will be in Dallas.