Five questions facing the Orioles in 2022

The Houston Astros of Trey Mancini defeated the Philadelphia Phillies for the World Championship, and the most important Oriole rebuilding event is now underway.

After a 2022 campaign that unexpectedly produced Baltimore’s first winning season in six years, Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Elias promised an increase in payroll and efforts to ensure he was unprecedented in his first four years leading the organization.

The parity season that could determine the Orioles’ ability to push for the MLS title and beyond has begun, and they have entered it with questions both on and off the field. Here are five of them.

In the wake of a trading deadline that hurt the Orioles’ match chances more than it helped them – with Mancini trading, then Longest-serving player on the team, to Houston Among the movements made – Elias announce “It starts from here“To rebuild Baltimore. The three months since then have been the countdown to getting off the ground.

With the conclusion of the World Championships, the Orioles will be fully able to upgrade their roster through agency and free trade. They will have many internal moves to make that can also increase payroll, but no number has as much of an impact as anything that happens externally.

In addition to saying “big investments” are coming, Elias has been silent about how much of the salary increase should be expected; Notifying players’ agents and opposing teams with a self-generated cover will do little for the Orioles’ negotiating position. But a 50% salary increase for the Orioles in 2022 would have taken them from 29th in the league, according to Spotrac, to 27th. Doubling that would have stayed in the bottom 10. Add $100 million, and it was still below the league average.

Orioles were cleared of take-off. How will its height be determined now?

When asked whether The new left field wall at Camden Yards Elias said it will remain in its current form in 2023, but noted that the dimensions of the entire stadium may change in the future as a result of other renovations the team is considering for the 30-year-old stadium.

This is a sign of long-term planning, even without a long-term deal connecting the Orioles to Timor. As of now, the club’s lease with the Maryland Stadium Authority is set to expire after the 2023 season. The Orioles could practice a five-year extension by February 1, seemingly making this off-season turning point for the franchise and the city even though the two sides have paid Already the deadline is back by agreeing to a two-year extension in February 2021.

The timing comes with the Angelos family who mainly own the team Involved in a legal disputebut Chairman and CEO John Angelos For team members in September The organization intends to sign a new lease agreement, doubling their number Comments for 2019 that the team would play in Baltimore “as long as Fort McHenry stands guard on the Inner Harbor.”

The numbers for the 2023 season will be exciting for the Orioles. It would be better for all involved if it weren’t played under a cloud of uncertainty over the team’s future in Baltimore.

With the world championships complete, the Orioles have five days to decide whether to continue starting bowler Jordan Lyles, who turned 32 last month, under a 2023 contract for $11 million or push a $1 million buyout deal that makes him a free agent again.

In a perfect winter, veteran right-hander Jordan Lyles wouldn’t be the recipient of the biggest contract Elias has ever given to a free agent as Orioles managing director. But this deal will prompt the first big decision of the Offseason.

With the world championships complete, the Orioles have five days to decide whether to keep Lyles, who turned 32 last month, under a 2023 contract for $11 million or pay a $1 million purchase that makes him a free agent again.

In his first season in Baltimore, Lyles had 179 innings one shy of his senior career and more than 50 times from the closest match in Oriole. He wasn’t particularly dominant – his 4.42 ERA was right 40 of the 45 bowlers who qualified for the ERA title – but he was remarkably reliable, missing only one lap during the turn and Serves as an outstanding example for its less experienced members. After ace John Maines sustained an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery, Lyles was the only member of the Orioles’ rotation to have made more than 13 games the previous season.

As they do in deciding on Lyles’ choice, the Oriole will have five days to activate the means from the 60-day list of infected. But the activation of the means will be largely procedural, it is unlikely to be ready for the beginning of 2023 and Lyles status is unclear, the rotation expected Baltimore at the moment is inexperienced. Kyle Pradesh, Dean Kramer, Austin Voth, Tyler Wells, Spencer Watkins and Bruce Zimmerman have all had stretches of success in 2022—some longer than others—while Grayson Rodriguez, D.L. Hall and Mike Bowman all race to start in 2023. .

It is possible that the Orioles could add more options through trades and free agency, but if such trades did not take place, Lyles showed that there could be worse drawbacks.

If the Orioles keep Bliss, his salary will be double the $6 million they paid him in 2022. He’s not the only player who could get a raise.

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With soccer player Jake Cave agreeing to a one-year deal on Friday, seven Orioles are eligible to referee, a process that allows players with many years of major league experience to raise their salaries before becoming free agents. Four of them are in their first year of eligibility, which means they could be paid well above the league minimum for the first time.

But the Orioles are not required to go into this process with every player and can not put out some bids to avoid paying increased salaries, with MLB Trade Rumors The group is expected to receive $23.3 million. Austin Hayes was the best hitter for the Orioles by The first three months of the season but it fell dramatically; Those hardships combined with the projected effects of external prospects could mean that $3.1 million from Hays is expected to be deployed by Kyle Storrs and Colton Kauser in other ways. With several short influential stopping points in the market and several top Baltimore potential clients playing the position, the Orioles could look to find an offensive upgrade for Jorge Mateo, although his gauntlet and speed would certainly provide value elsewhere. At Aramis Garcia, the Orioles have already brought back one match-qualifying catcher they earned the concessions, and Cam Gallagher may face the same fate.

The only other increases for the current Orioles will come via extensions for players who have not yet made it to arbitration, which Elias has indicated he considers, as he does everything else, on a case-by-case basis. The The most logical recipient would be the catcher Adley Rutschmanthe former likely with the most awards and valuable Oriole numbers to be one of the finalists in this year’s MLS Rookie of the Year.

The best player on the field, Grayson Rodriguez, is among the players to be added to the list of 40 players to protect against Draft Rule 5.

As Orioles’ front office blends a deeper farming system with a desire for competition, franchisees are more likely to make their way to other organizations. This may happen in two ways.

Most notable will be as part of trade packages. In their four drafts under Elias, the Orioles have stocked up on talented players, but with so many members of that group approaching the majors, it’s unfortunately becoming clear that there aren’t enough places for all of them. The organizational depth, especially in the middle zone, would surely make it easier to part with a handful of these players to add a notch racket or arm.

Going forward, the Orioles also believe they have to make tougher decisions when it comes to protecting potential customers in Draft Rule 5, which allows teams to add players that other organizations have removed from their 40-player roster after a certain amount of time. With Rutschman and Stowers already added during the season, the top players remaining in need of protection are Rodriguez, shortstop Joey Ortiz, right-hand man Seth Johnson, and left-back Drew Romm.

Other players at risk include other college players who were in the 2019 draft, a trio of bowlers earned through deals recovering from Tommy John’s surgery and a host of other interesting guns including 2022 bowlers Noah Denoyer and Ignacio Velez.