Seven Orioles declare for free agency (World Series odds for 2013)

With the World Series ending late last night, seven Orioles joined the list of major league players declaring for free agency today: Outfielders Nate McLouth and Endy Chavez, pitchers Joe Saunders and Randy Wolf, designated hitter Jim Thome, first baseman Nick Johnson and infielder/outfielder Bill Hall.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: The Orioles are likely to pursue McLouth and Saunders, and they could hold some interest in Thome if he doesn’t retire. That’s it. They have a five-day window for exclusive negotiations with their own free agents before other teams get involved.

mclouth-white-jones-sidebar.jpgExecutive vice president Dan Duquette still hasn’t spoken to Thome and Johnson to gauge their plans for 2013. Both players could choose to retire, but in the meantime, they have filed for free agency.

The Orioles offices are closed today because of Hurricane Sandy. They don’t expect to make any announcements before Wednesday.

That’s the deadline for the Orioles to decide whether to pick up the $1 million option on reliever Luis Ayala’s contract, which appears to be a certainty after he posted a 2.64 ERA in 66 appearances this season.

“Ayala had a good year and he has a reasonable contract,” Duquette said today. “There’s value there to the team.”

Sure sounds like Ayala is coming back.

Duquette indicated that a clause in Mark Reynolds’ contract allows the Orioles to wait five days instead of three before deciding whether to pick up the first baseman’s $11 million option for 2013. They’re expected to decline it, but as I’ve written many times, they could tender him a contract and risk going to arbitration, or non-tender him and try to re-sign him as a free agent.

It’s apparent that the Orioles want to keep Reynolds in the organization. It’s just a matter of how they go about it and whether they’re willing to risk losing him in free agency.

Reynolds’ inclusion would give the Orioles 15 arbitration players. You can check the list here that I provided on Oct. 19.

NOTE: places the odds of the Orioles winning the 2013 World Series at 25-1, same as the Diamondbacks, Brewers and Athletics. This year, the Orioles’ odds were 150-1.

The Tigers are the favorites at 6-1, followed by the Yankees at 7-1 and the 2012-champion Giants at 10-1. The Nationals are 12-1.

Here’s the complete list:

Detroit Tigers 6/1

New York Yankees 7/1

San Francisco Giants 10/1

Texas Rangers 12/1

Washington Nationals 12/1

Los Angeles Angels 12/1

Philadelphia Phillies 14/1

St. Louis Cardinals 14/1

Cincinnati Reds 14/1

Atlanta Braves 14/1

Los Angeles Dodgers 18/1

Tampa Bay Rays 20/1

Boston Red Sox 22/1

Arizona Diamondbacks 25/1

Baltimore Orioles 25/1

Milwaukee Brewers 25/1

Oakland Athletics 25/1

Chicago White Sox 28/1

Pittsburgh Pirates 30/1

Toronto Blue Jays 35/1

Seattle Mariners 40/1

Miami Marlins 40/1

New York Mets 40/1

San Diego Padres 60/1

Minnesota Twins 66/1

Chicago Cubs 75/1

Cleveland Indians 75/1

Colorado Rockies 75/1

Kansas City Royals 75/1

Houston Astros 150/1

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