Wieters, Jones not fazed by contract renewals

The Orioles renewed the contracts of right-hander
Jason Berken, centerfielder Adam Jones, left fielder Nolan Reimold and
catcher Matt Wieters for the 2010 season. And on Monday morning, all the players were saying the right things.

“I understand their side and I still get paid pretty good to play this game. So it’s definitely not a big deal,” Wieters said.

The 23-year-old Wieters, considered to be a cornerstone of the franchise, said what transpired this year won’t harbor any ill feelings for the future and it will be easy to put it out of his mind.

“That’s why you have agents. That’s why you have all the business people looking out on your side because all you do is go out there and play,” Wieter said. “That’s how you stay in this game for a long time. You can’t worry about that stuff.”

Added Jones: “It can’t be [in your mind]. You look at it, if it’s all going to work out, it works out.

“Before you are arbitration eligible, I guess they can do whatever they want. Let the process take care of itself.”

Jones said he hasn’t heard anything about a potential long-term deal, but acknowledged that the situation of teammate Nick Markakis’ makes the news easier to swallow. The organization renewed Nick Markakis in 2008 before agreeing to a six-year, 60-million dollar deal to avoid arbitration last winter.

“Both sides will come to something,” said Jones, who will be arbitration eligible in 2011.

“If they want me to be around a long time, I’d love to be around a long time. I think they expressed the same interest. Let Andy (MacPhail) and my agent [JR Sports], let them do their work.”

The 23-year-old Wieters hit .288 with nine homers in his first taste of the Major Leagues last season, and is seen as a cornerstone of the franchise. Wieters will be asked to steer a rotation that is projected to include Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Guthrie, Brad Bergesen, Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman.

Berken  went 6-12 in with a 6.54 ERA in 24 games last season and is
expected to start the year at Triple-A Norfolk or as a candidate for the
Orioles bullpen. Jones, and All-Star selection and Golden Glove winner
had a breakout season shortened by injury. The 24-year-old hit .277 with
19 homers and 70 RBIs in 119 games.

Reimold has been slowed
this spring after undergoing left Achilles tendon surgery in September,
but is slated to start the Monday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. The
26-year-old hit .279 with 15 homers in 104 games and is projected to be
the Orioles starting left fielder as part of a platoon with Felix Pie.

The Orioles also announced Monday that they have agreed to terms with 22
players on one-year contracts
for 2010.

The list of players recently signed includes: Robert Andino, Michael
Aubrey, Josh Bell, Brad Bergesen, Alberto Castillo, Brandon Erbe, Pedro
Florimon, David Hernandez, Rhyne Hughes, Jim Johnson, Luis Lebron, Kam
Mickolio, Lou Montanez, Troy Patton, Wilfrido Perez, Felix Pie, Dennis
Sarfate, Brandon Snyder, Chorye Spoone, Craig Tatum, Chris Tillman and
Justin Turner.

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