An immediate takeaway from Friday night’s announcement that the Orioles tendered contracts to their six arbitration-eligible players:
No one in the group was non-tendered, and there were some questions surrounding pitcher Austin Voth based on projected salary and uncertain role.
MLBTradeRumors.com has Voth’s contract rising from $875,000 to $2 million. He’s got to make the club out of spring training and he’s out of minor league options.
Will the Orioles run out of room in their rotation?
Voth could make a simple transition to bulk relief/swingman if he isn’t starting every fifth day. He’s worked out of the bullpen, including 19 times with the Nationals before the Orioles claimed him off waivers. And he’s a poster child for the benefits of the team’s pitching instruction.
The reports I received on Voth from outside the organization following his arrival didn’t match the results. Weren't even close. The Orioles turned around his career, but what direction they go with him in 2023 remains unknown.
So is his salary. Negotiations can run through Jan. 13 before figures are exchanged.
How much do the Orioles want to spend on a potential long reliever? There’s indisputable value, however he’s used, and $2 million isn’t breaking the bank, if that’s the actual outcome.
I’m taking the “under.”
The Orioles want to acquire a couple of veteran starters, including someone who can slot within the top three spots. A No. 1 would be preferred with John Means recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Grayson Rodriguez is breaking camp with the team unless he breaks a bone. Tyler Wells is expected to remain a starter, since he was the most consistent on the staff before going on the injured list the first time. Dean Kremer and Kyle Bradish aren’t necessarily locks, but they must be penciled into the rotation. DL Hall got his feet wet as a reliever, but the Orioles want him starting. The rest is up to him.
Spenser Watkins, Mike Baumann and Bruce Zimmermann are on the 40-man roster. Watkins’ 20 starts ranked fifth on the staff. Zimmermann made 13, including the home opener, and Baumann made four.
The Orioles are figuring out whether Baumann is starter material or more useful in the ‘pen.
A second takeaway from Friday night’s announcement that the Orioles tendered contracts to their six arbitration-eligible players:
No one signed a contract for 2023.
This creates the possibility of six arbitration hearings. Not a prediction, but it’s on the table with six tenders.
I feel like we usually get at least one set of terms on deadline day. Anthony Santander, Jorge López and Paul Fry signed last year. Pedro Severino, Shawn Armstrong, Pat Valaika and Yolmer Sánchez signed in 2020.
Lots can happen during the two-month negotiating window before figures are swapped. Lots can happen afterward, too, if the Orioles are open to it.
Attempts likely were made to reach agreements. Otherwise, the Orioles wouldn’t have announced the tenders a few minutes before the 8 p.m. deadline. It could have been done before noon.
Just my impression. Many degrees below a hot take.