Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
The Orioles missed out on free agent Joe Saunders, but they still have three arbitration-eligible players to worry about.
The big news regarding the Baltimore Orioles from this morning involved Jair Jurrjens' right knee and whether or not it would derail the right-hander's one-year agreement with the team. However, Eduardo Encina of The Baltimore Sun also touched on Joe Saunders and the Orioles' three remaining arbitration-eligible players, Jim Johnson, Jason Hammel and Darren O'Day.
The Orioles had been connected to Saunders throughout the offseason, and there were reports of mutual interest in a reunion. However, Saunders ultimately decided to sign a one-year contract with the Seattle Mariners.
Baltimore stood fast with its one-year offer, even though two years may have been enough to ink Saunders. The veteran left-hander is a Virginia native and enjoyed his time with the O's. It appeared they could be a match even after Baltimore reached an agreement with Jurrjens.
However, with camp approaching, Saunders elected to join the Mariners on a one-year deal. His hope is likely to use the friendly confines of Safeco to pad his 2013 stats with an eye on signing a multi-year contract next winter.
Related: So long, Joe Saunders
With Saunders having signed elsewhere, the Orioles are now focusing on resolutions with their three remaining arbitration-eligible players. Encina specifically touched on the team's discussions with Johnson, who set a new club record with 51 saves last season. Baltimore could offer Johnson a two-year deal to take up his final two years of arbitration. However, Encina notes that the Orioles are more likely to settle on a one-year deal with Johnson.