With some of the most interesting and attractive trade and extension candidates in the game, and coming off of a season in which major, mid-season, veteran acquisitions failed to deliver a post-season appearance, the Orioles' off-season could be busy and creative or relatively quiet. Some notes out of Baltimore:
- The O's announced that Manny Machado's sscheduled surgery was successful. Surgeon Neal ElAttrache pegged the recovery period at the long end of the four to six months that was previously reported, however, which would almost certainly keep Machado on the pine to start the season. Executive VP Dan Duquette emphasized that this timetable was "conservative,"CSNBaltimore.com's Rich Dubroff reports, but also noted that the club will not push the rehab process.
- Baltimore's payroll is higher than many fans realize, Dubroff further writes. The club's mid-season additions bumped things up significantly, reaching the same neighborhood as the Reds.
- Dubroff also takes a useful look at the team's future commitments, noting that the club will probably end up paying nine players about $70MM after accounting for some substantial arbitration paydays.
- Indeed, that figure could even be higher. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz says that closer Jim Johnson and breakout star first baseman Chris Davis will merit $10.8MM salaries, with backstop Matt Wieters checking in just under $8MM. The $100MM line will come up rather quickly if the club seeks to return veteran free agents like Brian Roberts, Scott Feldman, and Nate McLouth. A big-name free agent probably isn't in the offing, Dubroff says, particularly if Duquette signs up Davis or Wieters to long-term pacts.
- In a separate article, Dubroff reports that the Orioles are likely to non-tender Nolan Reimold this offseason and try to re-sign him to an incentive-laden contract. The team likes Reimold's upside, but he just turned 30 and has appeared in only 286 games — 104 of which came in 2009. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects a modest $1.2MM salary for Reimold, but it's hard to argue that he deserves that guarantee after his injury troubles.
- A source tells Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links) that pending free agent Mike Morse will undergo arthroscopic surgery Wednesday at the Mayo Clinic to shave down a bone outgrowth in his left wrist. The 31-year-old will be able to resume some activities within four weeks and his left wrist should be healed within six to eight weeks.
Zach Links and Steve Adams contributed to this post.