Today marks another significant day in the hot stove season because it is the annual tender deadline, the day when teams must tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players.
In tendering a player a contract, it ensures that the player will be under team control for the 2014 season. If teams decide to not tender a contract to an eligible player, that player becomes a free agent.
As far as the Orioles are concerned, there's very little intrigue to today because Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette told The Sun last week that the club would tender all nine of its arbitration-eligible players.
That means that catcher Matt Wieters, first baseman Chris Davis, outfielders Nolan Reimold and Steve Pearce, starting pitcher Bud Norris, relievers Brian Matusz, Troy Patton, Tommy Hunter and Jim Johnson will all be offered contracts by the club, according to Duquette.
Anything to the contrary will be news.
By no means does that mean those players will begin the season as Orioles. They are all simply under team control, so they can still be traded down the road. It basically means that the club is committing to pay them a contract for the upcoming season.
While the Orioles plan to tender all of their players, a new group of free agents will become available today. Most of them are players who became too costly for their teams to keep given their production, but they can now be signed to more cost-efficient deals.
The team will exchange proposed salary figures with each tendered player in January, and while most players come to an agreement with the team somewhere in the middle, each player has to right to have their salary decided by a panel of three arbitrators in February if an agreement can’t be reached.
The Orioles are projected to issue $18-to-20 million in raises to its arbitration-eligible players, including hefty raises for Johnson and Davis, who are projected to reach salaries in the $9-to-10 million range.
We will keep you posted when the club announces it has tendered contracts today.