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Orioles' free agents and chances they'll be back in 2014
Baseball's free agency period is officially underway, but teams won't sign players from other clubs until Tuesday at the earliest.
For the five days following the final out of the World Series, which occurred Wednesday night, the 147 players who have become free agents can only re-sign with their most recent teams. Starting Tuesday, eligible free agents can sign with any team.
Therefore, theoretically, it could be a busy week for the Orioles and executive vice president Dan Duquette. The club has nine players potentially facing free agency: seven who are already major league free agents and two more -- infielder Alexi Casilla and pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada -- who will become free agents when their options for 2014 are declined within the next few days.
Duquette said earlier this week that he has yet to have any discussions with the club's pending free agents -- something that is likely to change soon.
In general, the Orioles are not likely to spend exorbitantly on free agents this offseason. They haven't in the past decade. And, even without major purchases, the Orioles are looking at a payroll potentially exceeding $100 million based on projected raises for their core players and the additional cost of filling out the remainder of the 25-man roster.
Duquette's philosophy is to build from within, though he said the Orioles will explore free agency -- especially for pitching -- as well as other available avenues.
"We're going to be active in the market, but I'm going to say this every time out: our core players are going to come from the farm system," Duquette said. "We have a number of returning position players, but if we are going to continue to be competitive and improve our club, we need to upgrade the quality of our pitching staff."
Four of the Orioles' nine pending free agents are pitchers, but it's likely only two are on the club's radar for 2014: starter Scott Feldman and, to a lesser extent, 2013 Opening Day starter Jason Hammel.
Here's a look at the players who can sign exclusively with the Orioles through Monday and the likelihood they will return.
-- Dan Connolly, The Baltimore Sun
November 1, 2013