The Orioles must decide by Friday whether to offer arbitration to their 14 eligible players. That’s the next significant deadline in baseball.
As a reminder, here is the updated list of players, which now includes Alexi Casilla, but no longer includes Robert Andino and Lew Ford:
Davis, Hammel, Hunter, Johnson, Matusz, O’Day, Patton, Reimold and Wieters are easy decisions, and they could cost the Orioles approximately $28.1 million, according to a projection by MLBTradeRumors.com’s Matt Swartz.
Manager Buck Showalter really likes Teagarden, but he could be non-tendered and then re-signed.
Reynolds, of course, is the most interesting case. The Orioles declined his $11 million option after he made $7.5 million this season, and they seem hesitant to risk paying him around $9 million in arbitration.
The bigger risk is letting him become a free agent. He wants to stay, as he told me in this interview, but he also is more than willing to test the market.
I’m wondering whether the Orioles already have decided to non-tender Reynolds, who hit .221/.335/.429 with 26 doubles, 23 homers and 69 RBIs in 135 games, and keyed the defensive turnaround with his play at first base.
It’s been speculated that they’re leaning in that direction, and when asked about Reynolds yesterday during an interview on Sirius/XM, executive vice president Dan Duquette replied, “If we bring back Mark Reynolds, that will help our ballclub. If we don’t bring back Mark Reynolds, I know we have some people in-house that are very capable of doing that job.”
The Orioles would definitely bring back Reynolds if he’s tendered a contract. Therefore, we can safely assume that they haven’t committed to doing it. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be an “if.” Or Duquette isn’t ready to go public with his decision.
Maybe that “if” disappears later this week. I could be reading too much into one comment in a radio interview as he was being pressured by co-host Jim Bowden to reveal his plans.
Maybe this cold medicine is clouding my judgment.
After much deliberation, I’ve decided that I wouldn’t risk losing Reynolds. Offer him arbitration. It’s not my money, so what do I care?
Davis and Wilson Betemit are among the in-house candidates referenced by Duquette. Nick Markakis isn’t moving to first base. Reimold hasn’t played the position enough to be in the mix, though anything is possible once he arrives at spring training.
With so much emphasis being placed on defense, it’s hard to imagine the Orioles going in that direction.
Update: Major League Baseball announced the playoff shares earned by each team.
As an AL Division Series runner-up, the Orioles were awarded $2,124,312.75 total with the value of each full share going to the players being $34,825.61. The Orioles were given 54 full shares, 5.85 partial shares and 25 cash awards.
A full postseason share for the World Series champion San Francisco Giants amounted to a record $377,002.64, while a full share for the AL champion Detroit Tigers totaled $284,274.50.
This year’s record share total eclipses the previous high, $362,173.07 for the 2006 World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals. Last year’s share amounts were $323,169.98 for the 2011 champion Cardinals and $251,515.76 for the runner-up Texas Rangers.