Orioles expect to tender all 11 arbitration-eligibles
BALTIMORE— The Orioles are expected to tender contracts to all 11 arbitration-eligible players in advance of Tuesday’s midnight ET deadline, a group that includes first baseman Chris Davis and outfielder Alejandro De Aza.
The other nine arbitration-eligibles are Matt Wieters, Steve Pearce, Bud Norris, Tommy Hunter, Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez, Ryan Flaherty and Zach Britton. The group is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to make nearly $57 million in combined salary, a sizable chunk that will account for several prominent raises.
De Aza, while speculated to be a non-tender candidate, will be tendered before the deadline as the outfielder’s value to the Orioles has only gone up since Nelson Cruz’s signing with Seattle on Monday. If the season started now, De Aza would be part of Baltimore’s starting outfield and he’s projected to make $5.9 million next season by MLBTR.
The Orioles seem confident Davis, who will serve the last of his 25-game suspension on Opening Day, will have a bounce back season. An All-Star who lead the Majors in home runs in 2013, Davis is projected to make the most of the bunch at $11.8 million, up from $10.3 this past season.
All in all, it should be a relatively quiet evening for the Orioles, who created a firestorm at last year’s deadline when they dealt closer Jim Johnson to Oakland to shed salary. The O’s, particularly after missing out on Cruz, have the resources to add payroll —which EVP Dan Duquette has publicly stated several times— and will also look closely at the non-tenders around baseball for a potential fit.
Players become arbitration-eligible with three years of Major League service time. “Super Two” players also qualify for arbitration and reach that status by being in the top 22 percent of those players with two to three years of service time.