Mandatory Credit: Brent Skeen-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles haven’t made the playoffs in six years, yet have something to celebrate in 2023. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the 1983 World Series championship team that beat the Philadelphia Phillies.

It’s easy to forget just how good this team was. It featured three Hall of Famers: Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken Jr., and Jim Palmer. Former Yankees broadcaster Ken Singleton also played well in his penultimate season.

A World Series win followed by a lengthy drought. Forty years. Four decades. Eight rewatches of “The Wire,” if you only did a season a year.

This has been the new normal for the Orioles, especially since Peter Angelos bought the team in 1993. A Davey Johnson or Buck Showalter comes around every so often and rallies the right group of players to a few years of playoff appearances. The rest of the time is a hard, harsh rebuild, sometimes with no end in sight.

Except the 2022 Orioles were a solid bunch, especially for a non-playoff team. They finished fourth in the AL East, but won 83 games. Better yet, they went 37-33 in the second half.

The next crop of core prospects is on the way and some could debut as soon as this year. Brandon Hyde is finally hitting his stride as a manager. It’s hard to imagine these Orioles as a playoff team, but a Wild Card berth is certainly doable.

Greatest Addition: Kyle Gibson. Baltimore produced a middling staff last year and should be boosted this year whenever Grayson Rodriguez debuts. Gibson, on the other hand, gives the Orioles an established veteran presence at the top of the rotation while Rodriguez develops.

The 35-year-old righty joined the O’s on a simple one-year, $10 million deal in the offseason. The downside is he pitched to a 5.05 ERA with the Phillies last year and owns a 4.52 career mark. It’s not like he’s in the rotation to be a shutdown ace, though he has pitched to a 1.52 ERA in spring training.

What Gibson does do, however, is eat innings. He’s averaged about 150 frames a year in 10 seasons. At an absolute minimum, he can be a workhorse starter on a Baltimore team still figuring itself out.

Greatest Loss: Rougned Odor. Any Yankees fan knows that what Odor lacked in overall production he more than made up for in swagger, leadership, and timely home runs. It was no different last year for Odor in Baltimore. He hit .207 with only 13 home runs and a .672 OPS, but was easily the dugout’s biggest cheerleader.

Odor also hit the Yankees particularly well last year, posting a .286 batting average with a home run. He’s currently in the Padres system, so imagine him hyping up their stacked lineup if he gets called up from the farm. That’s how much the Orioles will miss him.

Greatest Strength: The next youth movement. Switch-hitting catching prospect Adley Rutschman debuted last year and finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting behind Julio Rodriguez. He’s only the first of many exciting young prospects the Orioles have on the rise, and more could debut this year.

Grayson Rodriguez stands a commanding 6-foot-5 on the mound, has posted 12.9 strikeouts per nine innings (K/9) in the minors, and should debut this year. Gunnar Henderson is Baltimore’s No. 1 overall prospect and should be the everyday shortstop. He hit .297 with a .906 OPS in the minors last year and has 20-home run potential.

The Orioles also have 19-year-old Jackson Holliday, son of former Yankee Matt Holliday, in their farm system. He still needs a couple of years in the minors but once he’s ready, the Orioles could soon be back in contention.

Greatest Weakness: John P. Angelos, the team’s chairman and CEO and son of principal owner Peter. He and his brother Louis have basically been in charge since 2019. The Orioles’ struggles aren’t entirely their fault, but internal drama could make the organization seem chaotic. That could stop the rebuild dead in its tracks if the soap opera spills into the clubhouse and onto the field.

Last year, younger brother Louis sued John for basically taking full control of the team when they’re supposed to be working together. He even included their own mother in the lawsuit, accusing his brother of manipulating her. The most outstnding piece of the lawsuit: the Orioles could leave Baltimore for Nashville. The elder Angelos brother has denied this, and the lawsuit was dropped last month.

A greater concern is that while John Angelos might be a competent businessman, he isn’t the strongest baseball man. He’s the team president and general manager Mike Elias reports directly to him. A better move would be for Angelos to take a step back as owner and promote Elias to president of baseball operations. In turn, Elias could then hire his own GM.

It’s been the same through every Orioles rebuild. Neither Dan Duquette nor Andy MacPhail made particularly great moves, but their decisions made sense from some sort of baseball standpoint. Elias has shown a good eye for young talent early, so just imagine what could be if he alone ran Baltimore’s front office.

Can the Orioles steal a playoff spot in 2023? It’ll be tough considering the competition in the AL East, but the Orioles could absolutely sneak into the postseason. It’s just a matter of if they’ll leapfrog either the Blue Jays or Rays to make the Wild Card.

The rival Yankees are the division favorites and it’s hard to imagine them underachieving, even with a banged up pitching staff. They’ll visit Baltimore in April for their usual early season series and the Orioles visit the Bronx in May. These will largely be feeling-out series.

The two July series, by contrast, will be more interesting. Both teams will likely be active in trade talks by then and fighting for playoff positioning. Will Baltimore stumble or catch lightning in a bottle again? We’ll soon find out.

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Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.