The Orioles have until noon Friday to reach agreements on a contract for this season with Hanser Alberto, Mychal Givens and Trey Mancini. If no agreement is reached, the sides could be headed to arbitration, and the Orioles would like to avoid that.
On Thursday, they reached agreement on a 2020 with right-hander Miguel Castro for $1.05 million plus incentives. MLB.com reported that deal, and it was confirmed by an industry source.
Castro has had a traumatic week. On Tuesday, he said he was robbed at gunpoint in his native Dominican Republic, an incident he reported on his Instragram account.
Orioles executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias issued a statement Wednesday, saying he had been in contact with Castro, and was glad he was safe.
Last season was a disappointing one for the 25-year-old right-hander, who had a 4.66 ERA in 65 games. Castro allowed 7.7 hits per nine innings, walked five batters per nine while striking out 8.7. He had a 1-3 record with two saves.
The Orioles began December with seven arbitration-eligible players. They traded infielder Jonathan Villar to Miami just before the deadline for offering contracts on December 2.
Two days later, the Orioles traded starting pitcher Dylan Bundy to the Los Angeles Angels.
Left-handed pitcher Richard Bleier reached an agreement on a $915,000 contract several hours before the deadline for tendering contracts.
That leaves Alberto, Givens and Mancini — each a fascinating case.
Alberto first became an Oriole last January 11 when he was claimed on waivers from the New York Yankees. He was lost on waivers to San Francisco on February 22, and reclaimed from the Giants a week later.
Seemingly a long shot to the make the team, Alberto not only made it but hit .305 with 12 home runs and 51 RBIs. He had a .751 OPS.
Alberto played in 139 games and started at second and third. He hit .398 against left-handers and .238 against right-handers.
Alberto could earn $1.9 million in arbitration, according to MLBTradeRumors.com.
Givens had a disappointing 2019. He struggled as the Orioles’ closer, going 2-6 with a 4.57 ERA in 58 games. Givens saved 11 games but blew eight save opportunities.
The Orioles are in a listening mode on Givens but haven’t gotten an acceptable offer. He could earn an estimated $3.2 million in his second year of arbitration-eligibility.
Like Alberto, Bleier and Castro, Mancini is in his first year of eligibility for arbitration, and he’s coming off a strong season.
Mancini hit .291 with 35 home runs and 97 RBIs. He had an .899 OPS.
According to TradeRumors, Mancini’s arbitration number could be $5.7 million, which would make him the third highest-paid Oriole behind only Chris Davis ($23 million) and Alex Cobb ($14 million).
Davis has three years left on his seven-year, $161 million contract, and Cobb has two years left on his four-year, $57 million deal.
The Orioles don’t want to go to an arbitration hearing with their most popular player.
Last year, Elias’ first, they didn’t go to arbitration with any players. Elias has said that the Orioles won’t negotiate with a player after Friday’s deadline for exchanging figures and will go to arbitration if there’s no agreement.
Diplan sticking around: When the Orioles signed right-handed pitcher Kohl Stewart on December 29, they designated right-hander Marcos Díplan for assignment.
Díplan, whom the Orioles claimed from Milwaukee on December 9, cleared waivers and was assigned outright to Triple-A Norfolk.
When the Orioles signed shortstop José Iglesias on Tuesday, another right-hander, Eric Hanhold, who was claimed on waivers from the New York Mets in September, was designated for assignment. Hanhold remains in limbo.
It’s not known if the Orioles will proffer a non-roster invitation to Díplan, who is a long shot to make the club since he’s never pitched above Double-A.
Spring training tickets: Tickets for spring training games at Sarasota’s Ed Smith Stadium go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. Fans can purchase them at Orioles.com/spring.
A pre-sale continues through tonight at 10 for fans with subscriptions to Warehouse Wire or Sarasota 365.
The Orioles’ first home spring training game is February 23 at 1:05 p.m. against Boston. There are 17 home games.