SARASOTA, Fla. — The Orioles officially completed their contracts for the current 40-man roster Tuesday, leaving one key player frustrated.
Baltimore agreed to deals with 19 current players who have less than three years of major league service time, including rotation members Chris Tillman and Miguel Gonzalez, infielder Ryan Flaherty and outfielder David Lough.
But the one player who didn’t agree to the club’s offer -- and instead received a renewal in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement — was the highest-profile Oriole with fewer than three years service: third baseman Manny Machado.
Machado, the club’s 21-year-old All-Star who is currently rehabbing from offseason knee surgery, will make $519,000 in base salary — which is up from $495,000 in 2013 and slightly above this year’s league minimum of $500,000. He also will receive a $100,000 bonus for winning the 2013 American League Platinum Glove award.
Machado reiterated what he said Monday: that he is disappointed in not receiving a larger raise based on his 2013 performance, although that is the norm in the current salary structure that allows teams to keep salaries down for players not eligible for arbitration.
“It’s the system, and the system is never going to change. It sucks. Yeah, it does suck,” Machado said. “The only thing I can control is to go out there and play and be the best player I can be.”
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette was asked whether he was concerned that Machado’s disappointment might create ill will with one of his organization’s building blocks.
“The system is weighted more toward experienced players, and we thought it was important to recognize Manny’s significant contribution, not just with ‘attaboys,’ but also with a bonus for his work,” Duquette said. “The structure and the way it’s weighted, that’s really an issue for the players and their union, not really an issue for the club. The club sometimes benefits from the structure, and sometimes the structure goes the way of the player. That’s just the way the system works.”
Right-hander Gonzalez didn’t know what to expect in his return to the mound after taking a hard shot off his shin in a start against the Boston Red Sox last week.
“I thought it would be worse,” he said after pitching three innings in the Orioles’ 6-5 loss to the Red Sox . “Getting hit last time and being able to be under control this time, it was fun to be out there again. I felt good throughout all three innings.”
Gonzalez gave up two runs and four hits and retired six of the first seven batters he faced.
— Baltimore Sun