The 1 p.m. deadline has passed for teams to sign their arbitration-eligible players before the sides exchange salary figures. The seven Orioles haven’t reached agreements, but executive vice president Dan Duquette texted that the club is “still working on it.”
The sides can continue to negotiate while hearing dates are set for next month in Phoenix. It’s a pretty flimsy deadline.
Third baseman Manny Machado, closer Zach Britton, second baseman Jonathan Schoop, starter Kevin Gausman, reliever Brad Brach, infielder Tim Beckham and catcher Caleb Joseph still are without contracts for the 2018 season.
MLBTradeRumors.com projected the following salary increases, in case you crave another reminder:
Machado from $11.5 million to $17.3 million.
Britton from $11.4 million to $12.2 million.
Schoop from $3.475 million to $9.1 million.
Gausman from $3.345 million to $6.8 million.
Brach from $3.05 million to $5.2 million.
Beckham from $885,000 to $3.1 million.
Joseph from $700,000 to $1.4 million.
Beckham is the only first-time arbitration-eligible player in the bunch. His case would be fascinating because he batted .394/.417/.646 with 10 doubles, two triples, six home runs and 19 RBIs in August and .180/.255/.348 with three doubles, four home runs and seven RBIs in September.
Machado, Britton and Brach are entering their final seasons under team control. There have been no recent attempts to negotiate an extension with Machado, who continues to draw interest from teams that began to circle at the Winter Meetings. As I’ve written, the Diamondbacks increased their efforts while others, including the Cardinals, pulled back.
Britton ruptured his right Achilles tendon last month while running sprints in California and could miss most, if not all, of the first half. The Orioles would have to pay his full salary if they released him, which isn’t a consideration, according to a source.
The team has expressed a desire to negotiate an extension with Schoop, who was chosen as Most Valuable Oriole and made his first All-Star appearance while batting .293/.338/.503 with 35 doubles, 32 home runs and 105 RBIs in 160 games. He placed 12th in American League Most Valuable Player voting.
The Orioles tendered contracts to nine of their arbitration-eligible players last winter - non-tendering pitcher Vance Worley - and went to hearings with Joseph and Brach. Joseph lost and settled for $700,000 instead of $1 million. Brach won and received $3.05 million instead of the club’s proposal of $2.525 million.
Gausman settled shortly before his scheduled hearing and the Orioles made a final attempt with Joseph, softening their “file and trial” stance and continuing to negotiate right down to the wire. They likely would do the same this winter, no matter what’s reported.
The club is 11-2 in hearings since Peter Angelos became majority owner.
Update: Britton has agreed to a $12 million contract, according to a source. One down, six to go.
Update II: Brach agreed to a $5.165 million deal that includes incentives that could push it higher, per a source. Two down, five to go.
Update III: Machado gets $16 million plus incentives based on awards, per a source. Three down, four to go.
Update IV: Joseph has agreed to a $1.25 million deal, according to a source. Four down, three to go.
Update V: Tim Beckham signs for $3.35 million, according to a source. Five down, two to go.