Payroll Limitations Thwart Baltimore Orioles Moves


As I’m sure all of you know, the Baltimore Orioles have been very quiet this offseason. Not only have they yet to make a major move to improve the team, but they have lost some key players as well.

Just about a month ago, right fielder Nelson Cruz signed a four-year deal with the Seattle Mariners. Two weeks later, the Orioles lost two more key players. Nick Markakis signed a four-year deal with the Atlanta Braves. Before the signing, Markakis was the longest-tenured Oriole. And lastly, former Boston Red Sox relief-pitcher Andrew Miller left Baltimore for the rival Yankees.

With all these deals occurring, the Orioles are forced to make some moves. However, they have not done so. This begs many people to ask the question as to why they have been stagnant this offseason.

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Well here’s the answer: They haven’t made a move because their payroll won’t allow them to do so. Their current (2014) payroll stands at $107 million, which is $17 million higher than their 2013 opening day payroll, and $26 million higher than the year previous.

Though one would think that since they don’t need to re-sign the players that they have lost, they would have more money to spend, apparently that is not true. If it were, then the front office would have made some sort of a move by now, but they have not.

They also have 11 players that are eligible for arbitration. They are projected to take up $57 million, which is a pretty hefty amount of cash. So before questioning why the Orioles haven’t done anything yet, please understand that they don’t exactly have much financial capacity to do so.

Needless to say, they have had plenty of money to spend in other years, but this year the same statement does not hold true. So if anyone is questioning the Orioles quietness this offseason, that is the reason why they have not made a deal.

However, even with this issue at hand, the front office still has to find a way to sign some contracts. They lost three players that contributed greatly to their AL East division championship run last year, and those three players need half decent replacements at the very least.

They are getting Matt Wieters and Manny Machado back from injuries. That’s two of their best players right there that they were without for most of the 2014 season.

That will obviously be big for them, but they still have to make some moves. I expect the Orioles to get something done. It might not be a lot, but Dan Duquette knows what has to be done, and I think he will make it happen.