Outfielder/first baseman Trey Mancini and infielder Hanser Alberto remain unsigned as the 1 p.m. deadline approaches. Negotiations are continuing, but the Orioles are prepared to go to hearings as “file and trial.”
Givens, 29, led the Orioles with 11 saves and their relievers with 86 strikeouts while earning $2.15 million. He was one of 11 pitchers in the majors with at least 10 saves and seven holds and he allowed only two of 21 inherited runners to score. He also averaged 12.3 strikeouts per nine innings.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Givens.
He finished with a career-high 4.57 ERA in 58 appearances and the Orioles would have pointed out in a hearing how he posted a 6.69 ERA in the ninth inning, compared to a 1.93 ERA in the eighth, which made him a less-comfortable fit in the closer’s role. Givens had eight blown saves.
Givens’ last five appearances of the season came in the eighth inning or earlier.
The bullpen is going to include Givens in the back end, barring a trade, but Hunter Harvey could be given a chance to close.
Alberto, 27, was lost and claimed again off waivers in spring training and became a regular presence in the lineup at second and third base. He ranked second in the majors with a .398 average against left-handers and slashed .305/.329/.422 in 139 games.
The Jonathan Villar trade opens up second base for Alberto, but he also could platoon with Rio Ruiz at third.
Alberto made $578,000 last season.
Mancini, who turns 28 in March, was voted Most Valuable Oriole. He played in 154 games and batted .291/.364/.535 with 38 doubles, two triples, 35 home runs and 97 RBIs.
Mancini and the Rockies’ Trevor Story were the only players in the majors with 35 or more home runs and 38 or more doubles. Mancini became only the seventh player in club history with at least 35 homers and 35 doubles in a season.
Most of Mancini’s starts this season figure to come in right field, though he also will shift to first base.
The Orioles paid Mancini $575,500 last year before he became eligible for arbitration.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale first reported the Givens agreement.
Notes: ESPN’s Enrique Rojas is reporting that Dominican Republic authorities arrested two men who allegedly robbed Castro at gunpoint. A third suspect hasn’t been captured.
I’m hearing that the Orioles are close to signing a catcher to a minor league deal. They’ve been seeking a veteran to invite to spring training and provide depth.
Update: The Orioles also reached agreement with Alberto on a $1.65 million contract that includes incentives, per a source.
Update II: The Orioles also reached agreement with Mancini, according to sources, and won’t have any arbitration hearings next month. I’ll pass along the figure later.
Also, Dominican police posted a photo on Twitter with an officer handing Castro his necklaces. Two of the three suspects have been apprehended.