The Orioles are down to three unsigned arbitration-eligible players after reaching contract agreements today with catcher Matt Wieters, first baseman Chris Davis, and pitchers Troy Patton and Brian Matusz.
“We started out with 12 in the process and we have nine signed so far, so I guess we’re three-quarters of the way home, right?” said executive vice president Dan Duquette.
The big winners were Wieters ($5.5 million) and Davis ($3.3 million).
“I’m real happy we got agreements with Matt and Chris,” Duquette said. “They both had really strong years with the team.”
The Orioles renewed Wieters’ contract for $500,000 last spring, his final year before arbitration.
“It’s always better to get a negotiated settlement,” Duquette said. “It doesn’t always go that way, but obviously he’s a valuable player for us. I think that’s reflected in his salary.”
Wieters has two years left before he’s eligible for free agency. So far, the Orioles haven’t initiated talks on a long-term extension.
“He has this year and then two more years,” Duquette said. “I’m sure there will be opportunities to discuss beyond that.”
“I’m not sure where those are at,” Duquette said. “We have to wait and see what the filing numbers are and then I’m sure the process will play out after that. We know what they were asking for, but that was in the context of prior to filing.”
Also, Baseball America’s minor league transactions include the Orioles re-signing pitcher Stu Pomeranz, who is dealing with a back injury that could require surgery and cost him the 2013 season. He’s seeking another opinion.
The Orioles were in the process of arranging the surgery for Pomeranz on Dec. 1 after designating him for assignment and allowing him to become a free agent.
No matter what Pomeranz decides, he’s still under contract for 2013.
Pomeranz, 27, didn’t permit an earned run in 23 1/3 innings over 10 appearances last year divided evenly between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. He walked three and struck out 35.
Pomeranz gave up two runs in six innings with the Orioles before tearing his left oblique on May 2.
Baseball America’s transactions also show that the Orioles re-signed infielder/outfielder Steve Pearce, second baseman Travis Adair and catcher Chase Weems to minor league deals. Adair is the son of Orioles pitching coach Rick Adair.
Update: The Orioles have exchanged salary figures with their three remaining arbitration-eligible players. Hammel has requested $8.25 million, while the Orioles offered $5.7 million. Johnson asked for $7.1 million, with the Orioles offering $5.7 million. O’Day requested $3.2 million, while the Orioles offered $1.8 million.