Waiting for Orioles' contracts; Mullins trade chatter; No arbitration for Martin - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Waiting for Orioles’ contracts; Mullins trade chatter; No arbitration for Martin

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

The next two days promise to be busy ones for the Orioles. Because of the likelihood of a lockout beginning on Thursday, the players and owners agreed to move up the deadline for tendering contracts from Thursday to Tuesday at 8 p.m.

The Orioles have six players eligible for arbitration: first baseman/designated hitter Trey Mancini, starter John Means, outfielder Anthony Santander, left-handed relievers Paul Fry and Tanner Scott, and right-hander Jorge López.

Last Wednesday, the Orioles filled the 40-man roster by claiming left-handed reliever Cionel Pérez on waivers from Houston.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Orioles decided to trade or not tender Fry, who had a rocky August and was sent to Triple-A Norfolk on August 29th and not recalled.

The Orioles would like to have at least two openings on the 40-man roster for the Rule 5 draft, which is still scheduled for December 8th.

There’s a possibility that any of the six arbitration-eligible players could be traded or perhaps signed before the deadline as the Orioles did with catcher Pedro Severino and infielder Pat Valaika, avoiding the arbitration process.

Mullins trade speculation: On Friday, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported that the Orioles would listen to trade offers for centerfielder Cedric Mullins, who became the first player in franchise history to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in the same season.

Earlier in the week, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the team was “dangling” Means.

Means and Mullins are the Orioles’ most attractive players, but it seems unlikely that either will be moved.


To trade Means, the Orioles would need an attractive package, which would include at least two top-shelf starting pitcher prospects. Without Means, the Orioles don’t have an accomplished starter, and the club could have three years of club control under the current arbitration system, although that could be modified in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.

With Mullins, the Orioles also would ask a lot because he is still a season away from reaching arbitration, and a team could have four years of club control. Heyman reported the New York Mets and Yankees, Houston, Philadelphia, Texas and San Francisco were among those interested.

The Orioles have a number of infield and outfield prospects but need more starting prospects. Because the Orioles aren’t under any pressure to trade Means or Mullins, their asking price will be high.

Teams don’t like to trade their best prospects because of the many years they’re under club control, and I’m not sure how good any of those six team’s starting pitcher prospects are.

It would be good to see Means and Mullins stay with the Orioles, but executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias needs to gauge the market.

No arbitration for Martin: Shortstop Richie Martin, who was a Rule 5 draft pick in December 2018, came within a week of qualifying for arbitration. The cutoff for service time for arbitration this year was two years and 116 days of service, according to MLBTradeRumors.com.

Martin, who has two years and 110 days of service, could have been a “Super Two,” but the Orioles were watching his service clock. He played the 2019 season with the Orioles, fulfilling his Rule 5 obligation, but accumulated an entire season of service time in 2020 despite not playing because of a broken right wrist.

The Orioles sent Martin to Triple-A Norfolk to begin this past season, and he broke his left wrist playing center field. Players on the 40-man roster who are injured in the minor leagues do not qualify for major league service time.

However, the Orioles needed a spot on May 31st to add catcher Austin Wynns to the 40-man roster and placed Martin on the 60-day injured list. It saved a roster spot, but he began to acquire service time.

Martin was activated on August 2nd but sent to Norfolk on August 23rd and recalled on September 9th. That late summer time with the Tides ensured that Martin would not qualify for arbitration.

That’s probably a good thing because Martin, who has played just 157 games, would likely have been non-tendered by the Orioles. Now, he remains on a big league roster and should have another chance to make the team next spring.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. Jammer Daniels 5

    November 29, 2021 at 7:30 am

    it’s unbelievable how the Orioles writers started pushing the Mullins trade talks when the John Means trade talks was . I hope the Orioles trade Mullins to the yankees and start in centerfield there!! meanwhile Means future isn’t nearly as bright as Cedric’s or Mountcastle. I like reading Rich BB and Steve from MASN and I realize you have to write about the worse organization in baseball to date and that can’t be easy making up things to write about. I wanna know if McKenna is sleeping in a batting cage because he had trouble making contact, not hitting but making connect.

    • Georgia Oriole

      November 29, 2021 at 8:58 pm

      I wouldn’t classify Buster Olney and Jon Heyman as “Orioles writers”. The real Orioles writers (we know who they are) have been much more realistic on the Means and Mullins rumors. “Listening” does not equate to “looking to trade”.

  2. Osfans

    November 29, 2021 at 7:53 am

    Most of this is just noise of course but – everyone has a price in the MLB. I doubt Mullins is going anywhere but – for the right haul of players, maybe. I think one more good year for Mullins and he’ll get a long term contract with the O’s, but what do I know?

  3. CalsPals

    November 29, 2021 at 8:08 am

    Tons of high dollar extensions going on, when the O’s gonna join the group?…lol…go O’s…

  4. Orial

    November 29, 2021 at 8:28 am

    Major Free Agent frenzy all over baseball but meanwhile in Baltimore arbitration and Rule 5 preparations are the talk of the town. Oh to be an Orioles fan. Only aggressive moves are with the coaching and front office staff with a few minor league adjustments. Oh to be an Orioles fan. Nothing for us to sink our teeth into so what does the organization do?!–leak to the media that they’re gonna dangle Mullins/Means. Oh to be an Orioles fan. This is getting downright cruel.

    • Orioleschatter

      November 29, 2021 at 11:20 am

      Thank you Orial….getting cruel?….has been for years. The “process” of totally eliminating the entire fan base.

  5. Boog Robinson Robinson

    November 29, 2021 at 8:44 am

    It’s a process.

  6. cedar

    November 29, 2021 at 8:47 am

    I hope any changes to a players service time will be easier to track and gets rid of this “manipulation” of a pliers time. While I’m glad that the O’s still have Martin on the roster, the manipulation to get one more year feels a bit underhanded. I agree that Martin likely would have been released if he was arbitration eligible, but I suspect he would have been picked up by another club.

    • CalsPals

      November 29, 2021 at 9:49 am

      Agree, though the manipulation of player time doesn’t feel a bit underhanded, it’s totally underhanded…avoids them playing their best players…pathetic…go O’s…

      • Orial

        November 29, 2021 at 10:57 am

        Yeah just wonderful. Now Rutchsman can become a free agent 2-3 years sooner. Only remedy–sign them to extensions early on–I know that’s not fare either. Time to stop thinking about players’ rights and try to figure a way that small market teams don’t continue their decline.

  7. Bman

    November 29, 2021 at 9:15 am

    Mullins and Means are not going to be traded. I would be shocked if they were. Of course, they cut hunter Harvey away for nothing so who knows. (Still miffed) I think they sign Mancini then trade him over the summer. Do the Os sign any free agents before the lockout? They will have to release someone to open a spot on the 40 man for the rule 5 pick. Fry released? Santander traded? On another note, Gausman back in the AL East.

  8. Baltimore Castaway

    November 29, 2021 at 9:36 am

    Richie Martin was an understandable signing 3 years ago. His serous limitations show themselves every time he gets much playing time.

    Meanwhile they’ve left Adam Hall exposed to the Rule 5 draft. Hall is a much better prospect.

    It is very unbecoming of a team to always be looking to draft two or more marginal players from other Systems.

    Very much looking forward to the day of not being such a weak organization.

    • Birdman

      November 29, 2021 at 9:49 am

      Yes, unbecoming, but probably inevitable when operating on a shoestring … meanwhile, Tampa, another small market, low attendance team like the Orioles, just signed a pitcher for $8 million – nearly equal to the payroll for the Orioles entire pitching staff.

    • CalsPals

      November 29, 2021 at 3:37 pm

      While extending their 20 yr old SS with 70 games of experience for 10 yrs…Mikey has gotta be looking for a counter move…LMAO…go O’s…

    • markakis21

      November 29, 2021 at 6:44 pm

      Ah yes, unbecoming of that terribly run, never successful franchise called the “Red Sox” to draft Garrett Whitlock in last year’s Rule V draft and turn him into a great reliever.

      Very unsporting of us to take Tyler Wells and get a good reliever, we should stink more! Yes of course! Anything to thumb our noses at the nerds!

      • WhyDoIBother

        November 29, 2021 at 7:30 pm

        Nick I love you man spot on spot on

        • markakis21

          November 29, 2021 at 7:59 pm

          Thank you!

          *in before someone calls me “underrated” and “a real professional hitter” 😀 *

      • Birdman

        November 29, 2021 at 8:48 pm

        True, both Red Sox and Orioles made Rule 5 picks in 2021 … but Red Sox also invested about $28 million on free agents in 2021.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      November 29, 2021 at 9:11 pm

      I find it incredble that you worry about dipping into the rule 5 draft as “unbecoming”. Please WV…what is really “unbecoming” is the tank job your heroic GM has been droppoing on us since day one.

      Even the top teams find a player or 2 in the rule 5 from time to time. I can’t ever remember ANY class organization stooping to Elias’ methods. Too “unbecoming” most likely.

  9. Buzz1979

    November 29, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Adam Hall batted .248 at class A+ with very little power, he will already turn 23 next year, not expecting much, 0% chance of losing him!

    • Baltimore Castaway

      November 29, 2021 at 12:58 pm

      My point on Hall is that he is a much better player than Martin. Martin simply doesn’t deserve a Roster Spot on this team. He is not alone of course, but that is a different conversation.

      Don’t be surprised if/when Hall is picked-up though…

      There are about 15 players on this 40 Man that in all likelihood would not be on any of their AL East competitors;

      A remarkable list of underperforming and underachieving lightweights for your review;

      – Bannon
      – Diaz
      – Gillaspie
      – Jones
      – Krehbiel
      – Kremer
      – Kriskie
      – Lowther
      – Martin
      – Mattson
      – McKenna
      – Nevin
      – DJ Stewart
      – Sulser
      – Alexander Wells, and
      – Zimmerman

      This is a clear indication to me of just how much ground still needs to be made up in their Division.

      Elias has done a good job in turning this moribund and lackluster Organization in the right direction.

      Much still needs to be done.

      I just hope that the Brothers will be able to/willing to continue to underwrite the cost of this heroic rebuild…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        November 29, 2021 at 2:20 pm

        There’s that word again ….’heroic’.

        George Washington
        Joan of Arc
        Julius Caesar
        Neil Armstrong
        William Wallace
        Mike Elias

        A very short list indeed.

        Meanwhile …. The organization is in shambles!!!

        • calvinisthobbesian

          November 29, 2021 at 5:06 pm

          @Boog Robinson Robinson Love it!!

        • Tileman

          December 1, 2021 at 1:58 pm

          @Boog Robinson Robinson
          Best post of the day!

      • markakis21

        November 29, 2021 at 6:27 pm

        There are a lot of bad players on the orioles, but this list is absurd.

        Let’s first pick out the obvious one: Cole Sulser was a top 25 reliever in the game last year. If we waived him, teams would be tripping over themselves to claim him. He has high value right now.

        2. Lowther was solid down the stretch at the end of last year, he and Zimmermann both have some positive value and would definitely be claimed by the Yankees.

        3. Gillaspie was added to the 40-man, so presumably we thought we’d lose him in the Rule V.

        4. McKenna is a young outfielder with speed and defense, and a good batting eye. Those types always have spots on the 40-man.

        Kremer, Wells, Jones, and Krehbiel would be fringe 40-man players in the East, but definitely would have spots on like half the teams in the league.

        The only real deadweights are DJ Stewart, Nevin, Diaz, and Bannon. Maybe Mattson/Kriske, we haven’t really seen much of them.

        • Baltimore Castaway

          November 29, 2021 at 7:13 pm


          You are likely a much better student of the game than i. I took the time to select 16 names on their current 40 Man who seem to me to whiff every time they get a chase to assert themselves in the Major Leagues. Sulser is a good BP guy. The rest of them have wilted or worse yet no-showed when given the chance to step up…

          The Orioles play the toughest guys in the AL most every night….these guys are NOT professional grade and will never lead this team to the top of the Division.. I don’t want hear the old refrain “we like our guys”….they doing have it. In less than two years they will be distant memories in this horribly difficult Chapter in the team’s history..

      • WhyDoIBother

        November 29, 2021 at 7:31 pm

        Pompous judgmental dweeb

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          November 29, 2021 at 9:00 pm

          Wow Hummer … menstruate much?

      • Buzz1979

        November 29, 2021 at 9:08 pm

        Only 15?!

    • ClayDal

      November 29, 2021 at 1:26 pm

      Difference is Martin is already on the roster. Hall won’t be drafted so they get to keep both. And in fairness to Martin he’s been hurt the last 2 years. Let’s see how he does if he can stay healthy. Would make the same argument for Diaz. Only 24 hasn’t had a sustained period of playing. Zimmerman was pitching well when he got hurt. Next to Means he was their most reliable starter early on. Sulser pitched to a 2.70 era in 63 innings. Left handed hitters batted .186 against him. Lowther and Wells missed the entire 2020 season because of the cancelled minor league season. In Wells last start against the Red Sox who were in a pennant race, he gave up a lead off home run. Then he gave up only 2 hits over the next 6 innings. And the Red Sox were playing all their regulars. Kremer was awful but he showed promise in 2020. The stuff is there needs better command. Too many people are quick to make snap judgments based on a limited sample size. Reminder-May 1, 1982 Cal Ripken Jr. was hitting.117

      • Baltimore Castaway

        November 29, 2021 at 1:54 pm


        I respect your take on the above players you’ve highlighted. My point is that these guys have been around for some time now. It’s time for some of them to step it up!! Now. Many of them will never again be on a 40 Man Roster after this year. Why you or anyone would defend Yusniel Diaz is a head scratcher to me. Yes he is injured all. the. time….that is also ‘on him”–the guy is a total bum. The last malingerer on this team, now that Hunter Harvey is gone… not making snap judgements about these players.

        I hope that I am totally wrong about each of them.

        They need to perform this Spring or they will have to find another line of work.

    • ClayDal

      November 29, 2021 at 2:13 pm

      Diaz is only 24. Didn’t play in 2020 because of the cancelled minor league season. Yes he gets hurt more than I like but I could say the same about Hays and Santander. When Cedric Mullins was 24 he got demoted all the way to Bowie because of his struggles. He eventually figured it out and made the adjustments. At the moment Diaz isn’t blocking anyone. Stowers , Kjerstad, and Cowser don’t have to be added to the 40 man roster just yet. As for the Hunter Harvey comparison the team with the best record in baseball this year claimed him on waivers. They have had some luck with former Orioles

      • Baltimore Castaway

        November 29, 2021 at 5:26 pm

        Your point about Diaz not blocking anyone presently is exactly true.

        That’s why I said that this is the only time a lot of these guys will be on a 40 Man Roster, as next year the first wave of the new talent drafted by Elias will need to be protected. Diaz and others on this list have one last chance to make good for being part of the future of this team this go-around. WIll be interesting to see of any of them make to happen. I’m not holding my breath.

        As for the Giants claiming Harvey on Waivers–hey their Front Office is exceptional, one of the very best on the game. I hope that he discovers himself and can begin to realize his potential.. he is a total low risk/high reward lottery ticket… I still think that he’s got a couple of screws loose in his head and is a big baby….or as some friends of mine in South Baltimore might say; “he ain’t no Mike Yaz”.

        • Buzz1979

          November 29, 2021 at 9:12 pm

          Love it! Hyde wanted to keep Rickard instead of Yaz….OOPS! D’OH!

    • Icterus fan

      November 29, 2021 at 5:56 pm

      We certainly financed his development vis a vis various surgeries, time on IL, coddling, pitch counts, rehab et al.
      Heck, as a result he’s got low innings on that arm.
      Probably a wise move to grab him.
      Watch him be a legit closer. Time will tell.

  10. Orioles20

    November 29, 2021 at 11:12 am

    Mullins is not being dealt. Unless a team like the Marlins offered their top pitchers. Martin is not worth any amount of money at this point. Get rid of him. He’s nothing

  11. jimcarter

    November 29, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    I’ve yet to see any of the “build” portion of the rebuild. All I see is a continuous tear down. There doesn’t seem to be a desire to extend the best players. Instead, they’re available for the right price. Regardless of the content of any trade package, it would likely consist of prospects and there’s always plenty of risk. Giving up a young, known, star commodity (especially when you have so few) is a huge risk. Until MLB changes the parameters of the amateur draft, you’ll always have teams failing to make the necessary investment to field a competitive team. I’d place a limit on the number of consecutive years a team could draft in the top five. Another idea (not mine) is to reverse the draft. The team with the best record gets the number one pick and the worst team drafts last. That would be a great incentive to fight for the best record.

    • Icterus fan

      November 29, 2021 at 6:03 pm

      Perhaps we’ve been misspelling it this whole time. Should it have been proffered as a rerebuild?

    • Georgia Oriole

      November 29, 2021 at 9:05 pm

      You must have missed that part where they “built” the #1 minor league system in baseball.

      • jimcarter

        November 30, 2021 at 6:46 am

        Comparing ratings of minor league systems isn’t the point. We’re discussing the performance of the Orioles, who just lost another 100+ games. If those prognostications meant anything, then what about the so called “cavalry” of several years ago. That group of minor leaguers was supposed to be the pitching staff of the future. When the dust settled, they all bombed with the Orioles.

    • CalsPals

      November 30, 2021 at 7:02 am

      #1 minor league system does nothing, you do realize they were the #1 system & won nothing…I want the Varsity O’s to win…go O’s…

  12. NormOs

    November 29, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    The so-called REBUILD continues to be the biggest joke in baseball, The idiot that’s running the team is now on track to trade the only parts of the so called Rebuild. He wants the rest of the team to be as devoid of talent as the (GAG) bullpen, So we can say GOODBYE to Means, Mullins, Mancini, Sanander, and probably Mountcastle and Hays, I’ll still watch cause, believe it or not, it’s still my team.

    • WorldlyView

      November 29, 2021 at 3:51 pm

      I suggest adding Rutschman to Norm’s list of players to be traded. He will either be a disappointment or he will soon make salary demands too high for the team’s budget. He could fetch at least four low-level prospects with uncertain futures.

  13. dlgruber1

    November 29, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    I’m certain I’m clearly in the minority here but I have no problem with the O’s considering trading Mullins, but not Means. I say that for 2 reasons:
    1. Mullins is coming off a career year that in all likelihood will never be duplicated. If the O’s could get a top of the rotation starting pitcher for him then they’d suddenly have 3 good starters next season. I say that making the assumption GR will be on the club and be a solid if not elite starter.
    2. The O’s have depth in the outfield and although he’s probably still a year away Cowser looks like the CF of the future.
    Here’s the deal, Mullins had a phenomenal year, as I said, probably never to be topped, and they still lost 110 games. They lost those games because of pitching. If Mullins can return a top starter that gives them 3 and then you have plenty to choose from for the final 2 starters. That trade alone could probably make them at least a .500 club and who knows, maybe much better.

    • CalsPals

      November 29, 2021 at 1:54 pm

      Strike while the iron is hot, his value will not be better than it is now…go O’s…

    • Birdman

      November 29, 2021 at 3:05 pm

      Do you think that the Orioles are actually prepared to pay the salary that an experienced “top of the rotation starter” would command? Seems more likely the O’s would deal Mullins for multiple “prospects.”

    • Bmoreravens3

      December 1, 2021 at 3:04 am

      Mullins is a 5 tool player. We need to keep him & means. It’s also time to start paying free agent pitchers

  14. willmiranda

    November 29, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    That our Brain Trust is burning the midnight oils calculating the service time fine print on a Richie Martin tells me all I have to know about where we are in The Process.

  15. CalsPals

    November 29, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    Scherzer, Ray, Syndergaard & we get Perez, lmao, Mikey STILL not trying to win with the varsity, we actually won very lil with the vaunted JV this yr, Palmers gotta be going nuts…go O’s…

  16. WorldlyView

    November 29, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    Should we believe the rumor that the O’s were outbid at the very last minute by the Mets for the services of Max
    Scherzer (contract reportedly 3 years for $130 million)?

    • CalsPals

      November 29, 2021 at 3:53 pm

      That’s hysterical WV, I thought I read we offered 3 yrs at $13 million, sooo close…go O’s…

    • Bmoreravens3

      December 1, 2021 at 3:08 am

      Yup Elias thought he had a chance & then realized there was another 0 on the Mets offer

  17. markakis21

    November 29, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    Folks, Mullins isn’t being traded. Every team should be listening to offers on every player, period. To do otherwise would be malpractice. If the Rays walked up and offered their four best prospects plus Brandon Lowe, we would obviously take it. Thus, there has to be some realistic deal that would make sense, even though chances are no team has the ability/desire to make that deal. Mullins’s team control makes his trade value so enormous it’s difficult to move him, similar to the Trout trade talks a few years ago (Trout is obviously better but had less team control and was more expensive at the time).

    • WhyDoIBother

      November 29, 2021 at 7:36 pm

      Most likely will not be

    • Bmoreravens3

      December 1, 2021 at 3:12 am

      While every player is on the block essentially, to publicly say it is pointless. Now you’re just messing with Mullins & he may take that into consideration when his time comes for a big contract

    • CalsPals

      December 1, 2021 at 6:57 am

      They do stuff like that all the time, & when I say the player will remember I get ridiculed…totally agree…go O’s…

    • Georgia Oriole

      December 1, 2021 at 7:04 am

      It’s not like the team put out a press release saying they were looking to trade Mullins and Means. I’m sure they’d rather not have the word out there that they were listening to offers.

    • Bmoreravens3

      December 2, 2021 at 2:32 am

      @CalsPals Right, I’m sure they understand it’s part of the business, but when it comes to signing a new contract they can flip the script & say it’s part of the business when they sign a big contract elsewhere instead of staying (for a possible hometown discount which the O’s would like to ably desperately need).
      @Georgia Oriole you’re right, They did not put out a press release. However, It appears they leaked this information to ESPN & MLB network to get some potential offers.

  18. Buzz1979

    November 29, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    Orkin was at the Warehouse today to spray the cricket infestation!

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