The Orioles headed into Friday’s deadline still needing to settle on 2019 contracts with their three arbitration-eligible players. MASN’s Roch Kubatko reported first that the O’s reached agreements with each of Jonathan Villar, Dylan Bundy, and Mychal Givens.
The 2019 salaries that the players and the Orioles agreed upon:
Villar - (not reported as of this writing)
Bundy - $2.8 million
Givens - $2.15 million
Villar, as the player who has the most service time, is going to get the most money. It’s his second year of arbitration, where Bundy and Givens are only in their first year. MLB Trade Rumors had predicted a $4.4 million salary for Villar, $3 million for Bundy, and $2 million for Givens.
Elsewhere, recent ex-Oriole Kevin Gausman settled on a $9.35 million 2019 salary with his new team, the Braves. Earlier in the offseason, the O’s decided not to tender 2019 contracts to two more arbitration-eligible players, Tim Beckham and Caleb Joseph. Beckham has since signed a $1.75 million contract with the Mariners, while Joseph remains unsigned.
Recent past seasons have seen arbitration-eligible players taking up a big chunk of the budgeted payroll, so the settlements, or not, were important parts of the picture of what the O’s might be able to spend on any remaining free agents. Last season, in their final years of arbitration, Manny Machado earned $16 million and Zach Britton earned $12 million.
That mattered when they were contending or pretending to contend and the question of what the O’s could afford to add to that season’s roster was an important one. The O’s just don’t have any of those sorts of players left. For the next couple of years at least, any arbitration eligible O’s who play well enough to earn the gigantic salaries, or even modest raises, will probably get traded for talent that will help in the more distant future.
There isn’t going to be a Mookie Betts getting $20 million around here, or Jacob deGrom getting $17 million, each with another year of eligibility next year.
The 2019 Orioles are going nowhere. We have known this since at least last May of last year. The hiring of new general manager Mike Elias has done nothing to change that reality. He has building to do to fix what was broken around here and there aren’t short-term solutions.