The Orioles should have at least a few dollars to spend this winter, based on their current monetary obligations for 2018 and what they have spent in recent years.
According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, the salary for the Orioles’ opening day roster was $147.7 million in 2016 and $164.3 million last season.
The Orioles have four guaranteed salaries on the books for 2017 with Chris Davis listed at $21.1 million, Adam Jones at $17.3 million, Mark Trumbo at $12.5 million and Darren O’Day at $9 million. That adds up to $59.9 million.
MLBTradeRumors.com projected arbitration salaries for seven Orioles for next season. They projected the numbers for Manny Machado at $17.3 million, Zach Britton at $12.2 million, Jonathan Schoop at $9.1 million, Kevin Gausman at $6.8 million, Brad Brach at $5.2 million, Tim Beckham at $3.1 million and Caleb Joseph at $1.4 million. That is a total of $55.1 million.
Add the numbers for the first four players and next seven arbitration-eligible players and you get $115 million for 11 players.
Under that scenario, the club would also pay a combined $2.5 million to buy out option years for J.J. Hardy and Wade Miley. They would save $7 million if Welington Castillo declines his player option for next year and becomes a free agent.
The Orioles should have somewhere around six or seven players and maybe more that are pre-arbitration eligible and making a salary at the lower end of the spectrum around the major league minimum. All clubs need some talent in this category to offset the bigger salaries, and the Orioles have players like Dylan Bundy, Trey Mancini, Mychal Givens, Miguel Castro, Richard Bleier and Donnie Hart. If they are on the roster, Joey Rickard, Austin Hays, Chance Sisco and Anthony Santander are with this group.
Judge’s bat held in check: Well, he did hit a three-run homer in the New York Yankees win over Houston last night. But for most of the playoffs, the Yankees’ Aaron Judge has been held in check by opposing pitchers.
When it comes to Judge, some teams have pitched him well and some haven’t. The Orioles are in the latter category.
But going into last night’s Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, Judge had two hits in seven games in the playoffs versus Cleveland and Houston. Before that, he went 2-for-4 with a homer in the AL wild card game against Minnesota.
But in those next seven games against the Astros and Indians, Judge went 2-for-27 with no homers, two RBIs and 19 strikeouts.
In 19 games versus the Orioles, Judge hit .426/.588/.1.049 with five doubles, 11 homers, 24 RBIs, 31 runs and with an OPS of .1.637. Yep, he torched O’s pitchers, who had the worst time keeping the ball out of the middle of the plate against him.
But other teams, like Houston and Cleveland, have seen their pitchers execute breaking balls down and away and get Judge out regularly. So there is hope for O’s hurlers next season versus Judge.
Boston pitchers got Judge out this year, as he hit just .151 with a .556 OPS and 30 strikeouts in 88 plate appearances. Judge hit better against Tampa Bay, with an average of .219 and .866 OPS. He crushed Toronto pitchers as he did the O’s hurlers. He hit .359 with an OPS of 1.378 and 10 homers and 20 RBIs in 18 games versus the Blue Jays.