Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said on Tuesday that his recent negotiations with the agents for Kevin Gausman and Jonathan Schoop were focused on the one-year contracts both signed to avoid salary arbitration hearings and not on long-term contract extensions for either player.
Duquette was clarifying a remark he made on a MASN All Access show broadcast when he was asked whether there had been negotiations aimed at extending the contracts of Schoop and center fielder Adam Jones. He jokingly replaced the word “extension” with “extensive,” leaving room to wonder if he was sidestepping the question.
He was more direct afterward, tying his comment to the negotiations that led to Gausman agreeing to terms on a one-year, $5.6 million deal Tuesday and Schoop agreeing to a one-year, $8.5 million deal a week earloer. All seven of the Orioles’ arbitration-eligible players are signed.
The Orioles do not have a history of extending arbitration-eligible players — last doing so to sign Jones to his expiring long-term deal in May 2012.
On the eve of the Orioles’ first workout for pitchers and catchers, Duquette said he’s confident that he “should be able to sign a veteran pitcher, maybe two,” and said those pitchers would more likely be acquired through free agency than by trade. He added that he expected the free-agent market should pick up soon, but would not speculate on a timetable for a deal.