The Orioles’ payroll will likely increase next season, MASNsports.com’s Steve Melewski writes, adding up likely expenditures to reach a projected Opening Day payroll of about $121MM. That’s up from $107.5MM in 2014. Melewski includes free agent outfielder Nick Markakis for $12MM in his projections, in line with the four-year, $48MM contract MLBTR’s Steve Adams projected Markakis would get. (It’s since been reported that the Orioles were discussing a four-year deal with Markakis.) The Orioles could non-tender a player or two to drop their total, but one problem is that they’ve got 11 arbitration-eligible players, including many who were very good last season and two others (Chris Davis and Matt Wieters) whose salary baselines are already very high thanks to their performance in previous years. They also have Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy and Ubaldo Jimenez locked up to relatively expensive long-term deals. Here are more notes on the East divisions.
- The Yankees have tried to re-sign Brandon McCarthy, but McCarthy is waiting to see what the market has in store for pitchers like Max Scherzer, Jon Lester and James Shields, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets. After an outstanding stretch run in New York, McCarthy is attracting interest as a potential alternative to the top tier of free agent starting pitching.
- Emerging executive John Coppolella is now John Hart’s “right-hand man” with the Braves, but he got his start in the Yankees organization, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman writes. After turning down a lucrative job at Intel, Coppolella became a baseball operations intern in New York right after graduating college, also working part-time at Chili’s to make ends meet. That led to an opportunity in Atlanta, where he’s worked his way up to assistant general manager. He’s widely seen as a top GM candidate.