FORT MYERS, Fla. — Throw out the record. “It’s gonna be zero and zero after today,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said, and he’s right. The Orioles have the most wins of any Grapefruit League team (23), and never before has the franchise won this many games during spring training.

But championships are won in October, not March, and that’s where the Orioles’ aspirations lie as they finished a spring that has seemed to drag on because of the anticipation for games that count.

“This spring training has felt a little longer,” outfielder Austin Hays said. “I’m ready for opening day.”

The stage is just about set, and the Orioles will soon board a plane and fly north to Baltimore. Hyde said Sunday there were still roster deliberations ongoing for the bullpen and bench, but many of the moves came to light as the day progressed.

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Infielder Kolten Wong and right-hander Julio Teheran exercised their opt-outs and chose free agency after not making the opening day squad, leaving off two veterans who signed minor league deals midway through the spring. Right-hander Bryan Baker was optioned to the minors, and lefty Andrew Suárez was assigned there. Both will likely feature in the majors at some point this year.

Later in the day, right-hander Jonathan Heasley was also optioned.

Those moves gave some pitching clarity. For instance, left-hander Keegan Akin and right-hander Jacob Webb seem to be locks for the final two spots in the eight-man bullpen, although there could always be another move. (Last year, the Orioles added left-hander Danny Coulombe on the verge of opening day; Coulombe became a force.)

For the position players, the 13 roster spots are just about set. Outfielder Colton Cowser made the squad, he said after the game, and a source with direct knowledge of the situation said infielder Nick Maton and outfielder Ryan McKenna would not make the roster.

That leaves utilityman Tyler Nevin as the likely holder of the last roster spot, barring an external addition before opening day.

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Cowser, a 24-year-old who is the 34th-ranked prospect nationally according to Baseball America, shook off a slow start to life in the majors last year by raking in camp. He finished the spring with a .304 average and 1.135 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, and general manager Mike Elias said Cowser has “improved his standing with anyone that’s watched him.”

“I’m excited,” Cowser said. “Kind of had the whole offseason to think about it. I knew how challenging it was going to be, and I’m just looking forward to whenever I’m called upon. I’ll be ready for whatever I have to do.”

Nevin has produced well this spring as well with a .333 average. His ability to play both corner infield and outfield spots helps. Plus, with a slew of left-handed pitchers expected early in camp, his right-handed bat could be helpful in certain matchups.

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“It’s easy to see why they won 101 games last year.”

Opening day pitcher Corbin Burnes

The Orioles might be throwing out this record soon in favor of Game 1 in 162. The wins in February and March, in the grand scheme of things, don’t reflect regular-season and playoff success. But Hyde was encouraged by the strong defense and baserunning exhibited, and it was on display again Sunday when Hays combined with shortstop Gunnar Henderson to throw out a runner at home. Henderson and catcher Adley Rutschman each homered, combining for 911 feet in distance between both hot shots.

It’s much the same group as last season, plus an ace in right-hander Corbin Burnes. This team looked good all spring, and now it’s just about time for the real thing.

“It’s easy to see why they won 101 games last year,” Burnes said. “Looking forward to being a part of it this year. I think we’ve got a great group of arms, a great group of bats, a very young group, a very cohesive group.”

Here is what the roster looks like as things stand:

Andy Kostka is an Orioles beat writer for The Baltimore Banner. He previously covered the Orioles for The Baltimore Sun. Kostka graduated from the University of Maryland and grew up in Rockville.

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