The Baltimore Orioles failed to offer arbitration yesterday to pitchers Mike Fetters and Jim Corsi, effectively severing ties with the right-handed relievers.
The club did offer arbitration to pending free agents Jeff Conine and Arthur Rhodes before last night's deadline, thus allowing continued negotiations. In the case of Rhodes, a Type A free agent, it also ensures the Orioles get compensatory draft picks should he sign with another team. Conine would not bring the Orioles any compensation.
Rhodes and Conine have until Dec. 19 to accept or reject the arbitration offer. But Orioles director of player personnel Syd Thrift said yesterday he is hopeful of signing both by then. Both players have stated their desire to remain with the Orioles.
Rhodes's agent, Dan Horwits, has been negotiating with Orioles majority owner Peter Angelos, and is seeking a four-year deal for approximately $12 million. So far, the Orioles have offered only three years. Rhodes has also had interest from the Yankees, Indians and Mariners.
And in Just 83 Days . . .
The Orioles also released their 2000 spring training schedule and ticket information for home games at Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Stadium. The team will open its Grapefruit League schedule on March 3 at home against Cincinnati, and end April 1 in Chattanooga, Tenn., also against the Reds.
Tickets will go on sale Jan. 15 at 10 a.m., and can be purchased at the Orioles' box office at Fort Lauderdale Stadium; by phone from Ticketmaster-Florida (954-523-3309, 305-358-5885 or 561-966-3309); on the internet at www.ticketmaster.com; or by fax at 954-776-9116. Fax order forms may be requested at 954-776-1921. Prices remain the same for the third consecutive year: $12 for box seats, $9 for reserved grandstand and $6 for general admission.