The Orioles face two contractual options after the season:
- First baseman Garrett Atkins has an $8.5MM club option with a $500K buyout. Barring a miraculous return to his 2006 abilities, the Orioles will decline.
- Lefty reliever Mark Hendrickson has a $1.2MM club option with a $200K buyout. Much too early to call.
Paying a $500K buyout to Atkins means shaving $3.5MM off the payroll. The Orioles can free up nearly $30MM in additional funds, since Kevin Millwood, Miguel Tejada, Koji Uehara, Ty Wigginton, and others are up for free agency. They'll also trim $1.5MM in buyouts paid to Melvin Mora and Chad Moeller. The Orioles will shed $32.85MM if they let all their free agents go aside from Hendrickson.
On the increase side, there's a $3.5MM bump for Nick Markakis. The Orioles have three first-time arbitration players in Adam Jones, Jim Johnson, and Felix Pie. Jeremy Guthrie, Cla Meredith, and Matt Albers will go for a second time, Luke Scott a third. The Orioles should have at least $15MM to play with even if they hold payroll steady and tender everyone a contract.
Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the info.