With the official start of free agency on the horizon, the Orioles have reached out to a pair of starting pitchers who are likely to become free agents regarding the possibilities of returning to the team on one-year, low-base salary, high-incentive deals.

The club has reached out to left-hander Wade Miley and right-hander Chris Tillman – both of whom struggled mightily last season – about a possible return in 2018, which would allow them the opportunity to raise their stocks and test the free-agent market again a year from now.

That sort of preliminary discussion is typical — and sometimes procedural — in the days before players officially become free agents, which will occur for both later this week. Tillman will officially become a free agent the day after the final game of the World Series, which will be either Wednesday or Thursday depending on whether the Houston Astros can wrap up the series in Game 6 Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers or they go to a decisive Game 7 on Wednesday.

The Orioles own a $12 million option on Miley for 2018, and they have until five days after the World Series ends to decide whether to exercise that option or give Miley his $500,000 buyout and send him to free agency. The Orioles are expected to buy out Miley’s option.