Let's take a look at the options facing the Orioles after the season.
- Gregg Zaun – $2MM club option with a $500K buyout. The general feeling is that Matt Wieters will be the starter behind the plate by the All-Star break. Paying a net of $1.5MM for a quality backup like Zaun is probably still worthwhile.
- Melvin Mora – $8MM club option with a $1MM buyout. Prospect Billy Rowell moved to right field in March, and he's not close to the Majors anyway. The Orioles don't have much in the third base pipeline. Mora would be worth the net $7MM for another year if he can approach his '08 production. Currently the 37 year-old is on the DL with a strained hamstring.
The Orioles also have many contracts ending after '09: Aubrey Huff, Danys Baez, Jamie Walker, Ryan Freel, and Mark Hendrickson. Those five will earn a total of $23.5MM this year. Ty Wigginton will still be around next year, but the Orioles may be in the market for another corner infielder.