This is closet cleaning time for the Orioles. They’re beginning the retooling of the 40-man roster with the easiest, obvious moves before beginning the hardest work.
On Thursday, they outrighted first baseman Dan Johnson and outfielder Chris Dickerson to Norfolk. They’ll both refuse to accept the assignment and become free agents.
If Dickerson can’t get a major league offer, he could be back in camp next spring as a minor league invitee, which he was this year.
Tsuyoshi Wada and Alexi Casilla’s options will soon be declined, making them free agents and cutting the 40-man roster to 35.
Manny Machado and Nolan Reimold are both on the 40-man roster, and they’ll be added.
The Orioles have other free agents: Scott Feldman, Jason Hammel, Nate McLouth, Michael Morse, Brian Roberts, Francisco Rodriguez and Chris Snyder, and they’ll be removed, too.
The team has a handful of minor leaguers to add to the roster, too.
By the time the winter meetings come along on Dec. 8, there should still be an opening or two. In the last two years, the Orioles have been successful participants in the Rule 5 draft. Both Ryan Flaherty and T.J. McFarland have contributed, and they’ll most likely try to add a player or two.
Expect an active offseason from the Orioles, but other than an extension for one of their young stars, don’t expect a marquee signing.
There will probably be a number of second and third level free agents signed for the bullpen and to beef up the lineup. Since Dan Duquette has been with the Orioles, he’s tried to add players to better their on-base percentage. That hasn’t been terribly successful, and he’ll try again this winter.
There’s one name that had been thrown around for the bullpen that can be eliminated, Matt Lindstrom. He pitched well for the Orioles in 2012 before being sent to Arizona for Joe Saunders.
The Chicago White Sox exercised their $4 million option on Lindstrom Thursday. That’s probably more than the Orioles would have paid Lindstrom.