The deadline for teams to reach agreements with their unsigned arbitration-eligible players is 1 p.m. today and the Orioles still have some unfinished business.
They will be exchanging salary figures with Trey Mancini, Hanser Alberto and Mychal Givens unless they can resolve the situation. Hearing dates will be established between Feb. 3-21, with the Orioles vowing to go “file and trial” rather than continue to negotiate.
I feel like I’ve been writing about this subject for months.
(Checks notes, sees that he has.)
MLBTradeRumors.com has predicted that Mancini will receive a raise from $575,500 to $5.7 million, while Cot’s Contracts places his salary at $5 million.
The jump is going to be significant, no matter the outcome. The Most Valuable Oriole award is a nice negotiating tool.
Givens made $2.15 million last season and projections place his 2020 salary at $3.2 million or $3.5 million. Alberto’s salary is projected to rise from $578,000 to $1.9 million or $2.25 million.
Left-hander Richard Bleier agreed on Dec. 2 to a contract that pays $915,000, a raise from $572,500 last season. The Orioles traded Jonathan Villar to the Marlins and Dylan Bundy to the Angels, leaving them with the four unsigned players heading into yesterday.
The figure was shaved to three after Miguel Castro signed for $1.05 million. He earned $569,000 last season before entering the world of arbitration eligibility.
The Orioles are 11-2 in arbitration hearings, the last loss coming against reliever Brad Brach in 2017. Former manager Buck Showalter relayed the result to players as they were stretching on one of the back fields at the Ed Smith Stadium complex.
One teammate yelled that Brach was paying for dinner.
Castro has more on his mind these days than arbitration. The robbery in the Dominican Republic has understandably left him shaken, knowing that only a jammed gun prevented the situation from turning far more tragic than a lost necklace.
It certainly puts contract negotiations in their proper perspective. And if anyone needed to receive some good news yesterday, it was this guy.
No one on the roster is immune to trade talks and executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias mentioned earlier this week that more veterans could be dealt later in the offseason. It wasn’t a prediction. More of a confirmation that he’s open to the idea after already moving Villar and Bundy.
Givens is viewed as the most likely to go if anyone is moved, but I’m still expecting him to begin the season in Baltimore - with the caveat that I’m allowed to change my mind.
Like, right after a trade is announced.
I haven’t talked to every single person in baseball, but there are plenty who think Givens is more likely to be traded in July. But it only takes one phone call to shift the odds.
Alberto isn’t irreplaceable, of course, but he’s set up to start at second base with Villar gone, could platoon again at third base and might be allowed to play some shortstop after skipping the position in 2019.
A pretty important guy who won’t need to worry about the waiver wire.
I won’t need to worry about arbitration if the Orioles can get three more agreements by noon. Bury the subject and move onto the next.
(Checks notes, has nothing else to write about, vows to stop complaining.)