Hall of Fame voter Mark Zuckerman on the 2014 class
During the next few weeks, the Orioles will presumably try and work out long-term extensions for Chris Davis and Matt Wieters. This is the time; it’s arbitration season.
Some players say that they don’t want to discuss contracts during the season. Adam Jones and the Orioles worked a long-term deal out in May 2012.
But, with arbitration season here, that should be a reason to explore extensions. Davis and Wieters are going to be here this year, and they’re under club control for 2015, too.
If extensions aren’t worked out in the next few weeks, contracts for this year are going to have to be agreed on—or arbitrated.
Wieters and the Orioles agreed on a $5.5 million contract last year, and he’ll probably get a contract in the $8 million range for 2014.
Davis made $3.3 million last year, and he could triple that this year.
Figures have to be exchanged by Friday, and by then we may have a better idea of what their 2014 salaries will be.
Four other Orioles filed. Bud Norris may go from $3-$5 million. Tommy Hunter could go from $1.82 to $3 million or more. Brian Matusz, who made $1.6 million in 2013, should break $2 million this year.
The Orioles don’t want to go to arbitration with Davis, Wieters or Hunter. Matusz and Norris should be able to settle before a hearing, but the sixth player who filed, Troy Patton could find himself in an uncomfortable position.
Patton made $815,000, and should get perhaps $1.25 million. However, he annoyed the Orioles by testing positive for amphetamines and drawing a 25-game suspension. He’ll forfeit nearly one-sixth his salary.
It is probably in his best interest to settle without going to arbitration and having his 2011 DWI arrest and suspension brought to light.