Offseason Outlook: Baltimore Orioles

Next up in our Offseason Outlook series, the Orioles.  Their 2010 commitments:

C – Matt Wieters – $400K
C –
1B –
2B – Brian Roberts – $10MM
SS – Cesar Izturis – $2.6MM
3B – Ty Wigginton – $3.5MM
IF –
IF – Robert Andino – $400K
LF – Nolan Reimold – $400K
CF – Adam Jones – $435K
RF – Nick Markakis – $6.75MM
OF – Felix Pie – $410K
DH – Luke Scott – $2.4MM+

SP – Jeremy Guthrie – $650K+
SP – Koji Uehara – $5MM
SP – Brad Bergesen – $400K
SP – Brian Matusz – $868K
SP – Chris Tillman – $400K

Other rotation candidates: Rich Hill – $445K+, Jason Berken – $400K, David Hernandez – $400K, Jake Arrieta – $400K, Troy Patton  – $400K

RP – Chris Ray – $850K+
RP – Cla Meredith – $435K+
RP – Jim Johnson – $420K
RP – Matt Albers – $410K+
RP – Dennis Sarfate – $410K
RP – Brian Bass – $405K
RP – Kam Mickolio – $400K

Other commitments: Melvin Mora – $1MM buyout

The Orioles have about $40MM committed before arbitration raises to Scott, Guthrie, and a few others.  They should land in the low 40s after starting 2009 with a $67MM payroll.  There is cash to play with for a few reasonably-priced free agents.

Like the Pirates, the O's seem better off making their free agent strike a year from now.  With the way this club is stacking up, the AL East could be even more competitive in years to come.

For 2010, Wigginton could take either infield corner and Scott could be an option at first base.  Brandon Snyder and Michael Aubrey may also merit consideration.  The O's added their third baseman of the future in Josh Bell with the George Sherrill trade.  With the corners and DH spot in flux next year, it may make sense for the Orioles to add a free agent.  Players such as Carlos Delgado, Nick Johnson, and Adrian Beltre are interesting on one-year deals, if the price is right.

The rotation is suddenly deep enough where Uehara is being considered for a bullpen role.  Matusz and Tillman are the team's aces of the future, with both getting a look this year.  Arrieta isn't far behind.  I wouldn't be looking to spend much on a free agent pitcher this winter.

Certain players could be trade bait if Andy MacPhail doesn't consider them part of the next good Orioles club.  Scott and Guthrie, both under team control through 2012, jump out as candidates.  Guthrie's seen a dip in his strikeout and groundball rates this season, but he's potentially above-average in the NL.

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