A full 40-man roster has left the Orioles with another set of decisions to make while creating room for players leading into the Rule 5 draft and eventual outside acquisitions via trades and free agency.
Starter Dylan Bundy, reliever Mychal Givens and infielder Jonathan Villar obviously are staying on the roster. MLBTradeRumors.com projects Bundy to receive $3 million, Givens $2 million and Villar $4.4 million.
Infielder Jace Peterson also was arbitration-eligible, but he cleared outright waivers and elected free agency. The Orioles could try to re-sign him to a minor league deal. He’d provide another option as a super-utility player.
We’re back in the unknown zone with the Orioles still needing to hire executives who shape the 25-man and 40-man rosters. But Beckham, as stated here multiple times, is vulnerable because he’s projected to make $4.3 million after batting .230/.287/.374 with 17 doubles, 12 home runs and 35 RBIs in 96 games and isn’t regarded as a plus defender at any position.
The third base experiment didn’t yield much, but Beckham made only 40 starts, had his season interrupted by core muscle surgery on both sides of his abdomen and later moved to shortstop after the Orioles traded Manny Machado to the Dodgers.
Beckham committed seven errors at third base and 12 in 49 games (46 starts) at shortstop. He never gained former manager Buck Showalter’s trust. Former executive vice president Dan Duquette isn’t around to campaign for him.
I don’t see how Beckham is tendered a contract, but I haven’t been told anything official. Just playing a hunch.
Joseph’s salary is projected to rise from $1.25 million to $1.7 million. He batted .219/.254/.321 with 14 doubles, two triples, three home runs and 17 RBIs in 82 games and threw out 20 of 60 runners attempting to steal, his percentage increasing from 18 percent last summer to 33 percent. He was sharper behind the plate after returning from Triple-A Norfolk, but also challenged while working with so many inexperienced pitchers.
The Orioles must decide whether they can afford to go cheaper behind the plate. Whether they can trust one of their younger catchers - Chance Sisco, Austin Wynns or Martin Cervenka - to handle the staff. Or whether they need to bring in a veteran as they did in December 2016 with Welington Castillo.
Here’s the updated 40-man roster:
Mike Wright Jr.
Susac is going to come off the roster later this month. Vielma fractured his patella in May, underwent season-ending surgery and is vulnerable.
Meisinger, the Maryland native who made his major league debut over the summer, also is a candidate to come off the roster. The Orioles certainly would want to keep him in the organization, but space is tight and he’s a likely casualty.
Meisinger appeared in 18 games and allowed 15 runs in 21 innings. He walked 10 batters and struck out 21.
Hart is another possibility after allowing 12 earned runs (13 total) and 31 hits with 12 walks in 19 1/3 innings. Left-handers hit .333 against him and right-handers hit .390.
The intrigue lies in who’s going to be in charge and the level of commitment to Duquette’s trade acquisitions. He would have been more inclined to hold onto players obtained at the non-waiver deadline. Someone else is going to come in with zero attachment.
Today’s question: Do you break camp next spring with two of the catchers already in the organization or try to find a veteran on the trade or free agent market?
Shameless plug alert: I’m appearing on “Wall to Wall Baseball” from noon-2 p.m. on MASN.