As expected, the Orioles have non-tendered Luke Scott, opting to not offer a contract to the outfielder –who is coming off season-ending surgery – but not completely closing the book on his return.
“He’s had some good years for the club,” executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said of Scott, who was named the team’s MVP after the 2010 season. “We’d like to see what the market is for him. We would like to keep the door open on that.”
Scott, who has said previously that he would like to remain in Baltimore, underwent surgery in late July to repair SLAP and posterior tears in his right shoulder. The procedure, combined with the fact that he made $6.4 million last season, made Scott a prime candidate to be non-tendered and Monday’s announcement is hardly a shock.
Coming off a career year in 2010, Scott was plagued by shoulder pain –believed to be suffered in camp – and never looked comfortable at the plate this past season. In 64 games Scott batted .220 with nine homers, 22 RBIs and a .703 OPS in 64 games.
There’s a chance the Orioles work out a deal to keep Scott at a lesser rate, depending on how his rehab progresses and what other offseason moves the organization makes. The 33-year-old Scott, who would have been eligible for free agency after the 2012 season, instead immediately becomes a free agent.
According to baseball’s Basic Agreement, when teams tender contracts, they can’t cut any more than 20 percent of what a player earned in salary and performance bonuses the previous season, or 30 percent of those figures during the past two seasons. Non-tendered players, however, can be re-signed by their teams at larger cuts.
The team’s other two non-tender candidates, Brad Bergesen and J0-Jo Reyes, are still being worked out. There should be official word from the club later this evening.