With the World Series starting Tuesday in Kansas City, the period for teams to speak exclusively with their own pending free agents is coming to a close.
Baseball’s free agency officially begins after the completion of the World Series — which will occur at some point between Saturday (end of Game 4) and Nov. 4 (end of Game 7). Teams then have five days after that to negotiate exclusively with their free agents before players are free to talk with any interested club.
According to several industry sources, the Orioles have had extension discussions with some of their six pending free agents since the season ended, but not with all of them.
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette wouldn’t go into specifics, saying only that, “Once the season is over Major League Baseball has rules governing dialogue between players and clubs, and rules that also apply to outside comments about any of that.”
The Orioles’ pending free agents are slugger Chris Davis, lefty starter Wei-Yin Chen, right-handed reliever Darren O’Day, catcher Matt Wieters, outfielder Gerardo Parra and infielder-outfielder Steve Pearce. All have said they would like to return, but it’s more likely the club re-signs one or two, if any.
At least one representative of the above six said his client remains interested in re-signing, but the opportunity to talk to other teams will soon be a factor.
“We’ve had ongoing discussions with Baltimore throughout the season and I plan on continuing to have ongoing discussions with Baltimore,” said Jeff Borris, who represents O’Day. “However, time is of the essence because free agency is right around the corner.”
Duquette said getting a deal done during the exclusive negotiating period is always ideal, but he won’t give up hope once that window has expired. More competition, though, means players’ price tags are likely to increase — potentially beyond what the Orioles are willing to pay. Duquette’s not making a prediction on who will re-sign or when.
“I wouldn’t handicap it. A lot of players will wait and hear what the interests of the other clubs are. We’ll see,” Duquette said. “It really depends on the player and what they want to accomplish. Generally, most players, once they’ve completed the season, wait to see what the market is and hear what other teams have to say. Generally, the market has to run its course the way it does every year.”