Orioles non-tender Vance Worley (with Duquette quote)

Though Vance Worley is valued for his contributions in a variety of roles, he won't be tendered a contract for the 2017 season.

The Orioles decided to non-tender Worley, a much-anticipated move given his projected bump in salary and Wednesday's acquisition of pitcher Logan Verrett from the Mets.

Infielder Ryan Flaherty and left-hander T.J. McFarland were tendered contracts - they were on the bubble - leaving the Orioles with 36 players on their 40-man roster.

Worley posted a 3.53 ERA in 35 games in his first season with the Orioles, including 3.20 ERA as a reliever and 2.38 ERA at home. He also made four starts.

Worley-Throws-White-Sidebar.jpgThe Orioles selected Worley off waivers from the Pirates on Oct. 20, 2015 and viewed him as a rotation candidate before the picture changed later in the offseason. They may attempt to re-sign him for less than the $3.3 million that MLBTradeRumors.com projects he will receive.

Flaherty is projected to receive $1.7 million to continue serving in his super-utility role. He hit .217/.291/.318 in 157 at-bats and barely made it off the bench in September, but he's played every position except catcher. He's the type of player that the Orioles would spend all winter trying to find.

The Orioles selected Flaherty from the Cubs organization in the Rule 5 draft on Dec. 8, 2011. They took McFarland from the Indians organization the following year.

McFarland suffered a knee injury over the summer at Triple-A Norfolk and appeared in only 16 games with the Orioles, going 2-2 with a 6.93 ERA and 1.743 WHIP. In four major league seasons, he's gone 12-7 with a 4.27 ERA and 1.548 WHIP over 121 games (two starts).

McFarland's value would increase with more success versus left-handed hitters. They're batting .280 against him. However, manager Buck Showalter has appreciated his ability to consume innings - saving the rest of the bullpen - and coming back on short rest.

MLBTradeRumors.com projected McFarland's 2017 salary at $700,000.

The Orioles also tendered Chris Tillman, Zach Britton, Manny Machado, Brad Brach, Jonathan Schoop, Kevin Gausman and Caleb Joseph - the seven no-brainers on their list of arbitration-eligible players. Tillman is eligible for free agency next winter.

The sides will exchange salary figures if unable to reach agreement and a hearing date will be set for February or March. Executive vice president Dan Duquette said the club has spoken to a few players about 2017 deals.

Joseph may emerge as the starting catcher next season with Matt Wieters testing the free agent market. He garnered unwanted attention for going 141 plate appearances without a home run, a tired storyline considering he spent a month on the disabled list with a testicular injury that required surgery and barely played down the stretch.

"Hasn't he handled it well?" Showalter said on last night's "Hot Stove Show" on 105.7 The Fan. "Think about that. And that's not easy. Trust me. And that's the toughness. He got asked about it all the time, and trust me, he's got a real slow burn inside. I'm telling you, don't count Caleb Joseph out."

The injury must be factored into any analysis of Joseph's season and a lack of offensive production that included a .174/.216/.197 slash line.

"I think it did to some extent and he wouldn't use it as an excuse," Showalter said. "So many things at this level snowball. They do. And it's about shortening the bad times and stretching out the good times. It just got to where every day he was thinking about driving in a run. Every day. Not that his catching suffered.

"Quietly, Caleb's one of the better defensive catchers in the American League. His fingers are good, he cares. The pitchers really rally around him. And trust me, Caleb Joseph is a pretty good hitter and it certainly didn't show itself this year, but the potential's there.

"I don't worry a lot about our catching position. I think with (Chance) Sisco coming and Audry Perez and (Francisco) Pena, and I'm sure we're probably going to acquire a catcher between now and spring training. But I like the people we currently have here, too."

Update: Duquette sent the following text regarding Worley:

"Orioles appreciate Vance Worley's contributions to our 2016 club. We may have some other young pitchers that have developed that can do that job for the 2017 club."

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