With the last out of the World Series on Wednesday night, baseball's frenzied free agent period started. Well, at least technically.
There's no longer a free agency filing period. So all players who are eligible — they must have, in most cases, accumulated at least six years of major league service time and not be under contract for 2014 — automatically become free agents at the end of the World Series.
The eligible players aren't officially allowed to sign with another team, however, for five full days after the World Series ends. That's considered an exclusive period in which players can only re-sign with their current clubs.
The Orioles have nine players on their 40-man roster from the 2013 season who are free agents: infielder Alexi Casilla, right-handed pitcher Scott Feldman, right-handed pitcher Jason Hammel, outfielder Nate McLouth, outfielder Michael Morse, second baseman Brian Roberts, right-handed pitcher Francisco Rodriguez, catcher Chris Snyder and left-handed pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada.
The Orioles appear most interested in retaining Feldman, Roberts and McLouth.
The club has 2014 options on both Casilla ($3 million, with a $200,000 buyout) and Wada ($5 million). Neither option is expected to be picked up. A decision on all options has to be made within the five-day exclusive period after the World Series, though the exact day varies per contractual agreement.
Due to left elbow surgery, Wada did not throw a pitch in the major leagues during his two years under contract with the Orioles, but he could agree to a minor league deal to stay with the organization. Because he was an international free agent from Japan who signed a major league deal, he would no longer be under team control when the option is declined.
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