NASHVILLE, Tenn. - So what is the Orioles' budget for signing players for the 2013 season? Good for you if you can get Dan Duquette to provide you with a number on that, because he almost certainly will not.
The general assumption is that it's likely to be similar to last year and that would put it in the $85 million range, give or take some greenbacks.
Last night, Duquette said he felt the Orioles would be paying about $22 million more to the nine arbitration-eligible players than they earned last year, a list that includes Matt Wieters, Jim Johnson, Jason Hammel and Chris Davis.
Duquette said those nine players "earned the money by having good years. I think it's important for people to focus on, the team is paying the players the money that are producing for the ballclub."
Duquette also said do not expect to see the Orioles among the big spenders in the game. When it comes to team payroll, the Orioles are going to rank a bit down on that list.
"We're closer to the bottom 10 and I don't think we're going to get in the top 10 anytime soon," he said. "Our market is our market. Our market hasn't really changed dramatically, but we have connected with the fans, so there's more interest in our market. But the market size and what's available to field a team, that hasn't really changed. But to focus on a number, of where we're at, that is not going to help us meet our goals. And frankly, I don't think our fans are that focused on it."
The bottom line is do the Orioles have enough payroll to win. They had enough to get to 93 wins and the playoffs last year and they feel they'll have enough to win again in 2013, whatever the final number turns out to be.
What is your take on Duquette's comments and the Orioles' projected payroll for 2013?