Orioles nontender right-hander Vance Worley, offer contracts to nine arbitration-eligible players

Orioles starting pitcher Vance Worley throws a pitch during his against the Rays on April 10, 2016.
Orioles starting pitcher Vance Worley throws a pitch during his against the Rays on April 10, 2016. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

The Orioles offered contracts to all but one of their 10 arbitration-eligible players in advance of the Friday's midnight nontender deadline.

The only player the team did not receive a contract offer was right-hander Vance Worley, who will become a free agent and is able to sign with any team.


The Orioles tendered contracts to their other nine arbitration-eligible players: right-handed reliever Brad Brach, left-handed closer Zach Britton, utility man Ryan Flaherty, right-handed starter Kevin Gausman, catcher Caleb Joseph, third baseman Manny Machado, left-handed reliever T.J. McFarland, second baseman Jonathan Schoop and right-hander starter Chris Tillman.

The nine players the Orioles tendered contracts to are projected to make $46.8 million, according to MLBTradeRumors.com projections, and Britton, Machado and Tillman are all slated to earn in the $10 million to $11 million range.

Salary figures won’t be exchanged until January  negotiations often take place before then – and arbitration cases are scheduled for February, but most players avoid arbitration by agreeing to terms before their case is heard. Last year, all eight arbitration-eligible players avoided arbitration hearings. Over the past two seasons, the team has gone to arbitration with just one player  Alejandro De Aza lost his case before the 2015 season  in 19 arbitration cases.

Worley, who went 2-2 with a 3.53 ERA in 86 2/3 innings as a starter and reliever, pitched just one season for the Orioles. After making $2.6 million this past season, Worley was projected to make $3.3 million in 2017, which the club deemed was too much for a swingman.

Worley opened the season in the Orioles' starting rotation, but moved to the bullpen three weeks into the season and served a valuable role as a long reliever, especially early in the season as the club's starting rotation struggled. As a reliever, Worley posted a 3.20 ERA over 64 2/3 innings and 20 of his 31 relief appearances were two innings or longer.

"[The] O's appreciate Vance Worley's contributions to the 2016 club," Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said in a text message. "We have some other young pitchers that have developed that can do that job for the 2017 club."

In recent days, the Orioles acquired right-handed swingman Logan Verrett, who was the team's Rule 5 draft pick two years ago, to help fill that role, and right-handers Tyler Wilson and Mike Wright also served in starting and relief roles last season.

Besides Worley, Flaherty and McFarland were also on the nontender bubble, but received contracts for next season. Flaherty is projected to make $1.7 million in his third year of arbitration eligibility and McFarland $700,000 in his first year of in the process.

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