Arbitration and Non-tender deadlines nearing
The baseball news should pick up this week, starting with tonight’s midnight deadline for free agents to accept arbitration if offered by their club.
The Orioles did not offer arbitration to either Koji Uehara or Kevin Millwood so there’s no decisions on that front. The wonderful website MLB Trade rumors has done a great job keeping track of the decisions and you can click here for the American League and NL updates.
Most big-name free agents are a lock to decline, but there’s always some middle-of-the-pack guys who opt to test the market in hopes of a pay raise and/or better situation. Teams that offer arbitration and are declined get compensation in the form of Draft picks, depending on if the free agent is a “Type A” or “Type B”.
Thursday is is the non-tender date, which has been moved up from recent years. This is the deadline for the Orioles to tender a contract to any arbitration-eligible players. That includes six guys: Matt Albers, Jeremy Guthrie, Jim Johnson, Felix Pie, Adam Jones and Luke Scott. Albers, who seemed to constantly be in jeopardy of losing his roster spot, has shown he can be an effective Major League reliever at times. The O’s will decide whether he’s a part of their plans for next season.
Any player tendered a contract is considered a signed player; the question becomes whether a deal is worked out or the sides go to an arbitration hearing to decide a salary.
On the flip side of the non-tender deadline, as I noted in today’s Winter Meetings preview Part 1, the Orioles will be monitoring closely who other clubs non tender. It’s not often a non-tender emerges as a bona fide Major League contributor, but there are certainly bargains to be had.