The Orioles declined to offer a contract to reliever Matt Albers, allowing him to become a free agent.
Removing Albers from the 40-man roster lowers the total to 34.
Albers went 11-12 with a 4.60 ERA in 146 games with the Orioles after they acquired him from the Astros on Dec. 12, 2007.
The Orioles can re-sign Albers, but he’s free to seek a deal with another organization.
As expected, the Orioles offered contracts to their other arbitration-eligible players: Jeremy Guthrie, Jim Johnson, Luke Scott, Adam Jones and Felix Pie.
Update I: The club tried to negotiate a split contract with Albers similar to the one he signed last winter, where his salary would be lowered if the Orioles outrighted him to Triple-A. But Albers is looking for a straight major league deal after spending the entire 2010 season with the Orioles.
The two sides agreed to maintain an open dialogue, with the slim possibility that Albers remains in the organization.
Update II: The Orioles made a formal offer to free-agent first baseman Adam Dunn that included a fourth year, but fell short of a $14 million annual salary. Please don’t ask how short because I don’t have that information at the moment.