No arbitration? No problem, for now
Two days ago the Orioles declined arbitration on four players, Melvin Mora, Danys Baez, Mark Hendrickson and Chad Moeller. They can re-sign, but all four will head to the free agent market. The Orioles have made it pretty clear that Melvin Mora will not be coming back. It was not worth eight million to return him, and he will not be rejoining the team. And chances are the O’s will not try to get Baez back. He is not good enough to be a closer and the team will likely not try to spend millions of dollars for an average setup man. If the team does not return Baez, then the club will need to grab a short reliever from free agency to put in the bullpen, but that would not cost too much.
But the Orioles should try to re-sign the other two, no question.
Mark Hendrickson should be a priority. Hendrickson has stately publicly that he wants to re-sign. His home is in York and he would like to play close to there, and the Orioles would be the place to do it. He was a solid long reliever for the club last year plus a good lefty pitcher. Of course the team would not use him as a starter, but he is valuable in the bullpen and is cheap. Also, if he has another solid year, he could be used as trade value for prospects at the deadline.
Chad Moeller might come back as the Orioles backup catcher, but the Orioles taking Craig Tatum off the waiver wire from Cincinnati might complicate things. Surely the Orioles shouldn’t intend to use Tatum as the backup, he has never played in the majors, but even so Moeller might be worried the O’s do plan just that. The Orioles need a backup catcher to Wieters and Moeller should be back, but it would not be good if MacPhail waited to get him back.
So far the Orioles have not made a free agent move, but the winter meetings are coming up on Sunday. A lot still needs to be done.
freddy from boca
MOELLER WAS SIGNED TO A MINOR LEAGUE CONTRACT WITH AN INVITATION TO SPRING TRAINING.
Yeah, Moeller was signed. I wrote the piece before he re-signed, and I did not update it. But, good move for the Orioles, Wieters needs a backup like him.
freddy from boca
I AGREE I THOUGHT MOELLER PLAYED REALLY WELL LAST YEAR. I LOOK FOR KOJI TO BE THE CLOSER THIS YR. JOHNSON SETTING HIM UP.