O's give qualifying offers to Chen, Davis, Wieters
The Orioles extended qualifying offers to left-handed pitcher Wei-Yin Chen, first baseman Chris Davis and catcher Matt Wieters ahead of Friday's 5 p.m. ET deadline.
Free agents who receive a qualifying offer have one week to either accept a $15.8 million salary for 2016 or decline it and enter the open market. If the player declines and signs with a new team, his old club receives a compensatory Draft pick. In the three-year history of the system, all 34 players who have received a qualifying offer -- which has slowly climbed from $13.3 million in 2013 -- have turned it down.
Chen made 31 starts for the Orioles in his age-29 season, going 11-8 with a 3.34 ERA. In four years with Baltimore since leaving Japan, the Taiwan native has posted a 3.72 ERA and rates of 7.0 strikeouts and 2.2 walks per nine innings over 117 starts.
Davis led the league in home runs for the second time in three seasons in 2015, belting 47 to go along with a .262/.361/.562 line and 117 RBIs. Since '12, he has averaged 40 homers and 103 RBIs but also 187 strikeouts per season.
After missing most of 2014 due to Tommy John surgery, Wieters returned in June and hit .267/.319/.422 with eight homers and 25 RBIs over 75 games, 55 of which came behind the plate. The switch-hitter has been part of the Orioles' organization since he was taken with the 5th overall pick of the 2007 Draft, and he owns a career batting line of .258/.320/.423.
The Orioles' other free agents are reliever Darren O'Day, infielder/outfielder Steve Pearce and outfielder Gerardo Parra, who was not eligible for a qualifying offer after being traded to Baltimore during the season.
The Orioles also made one other move, selecting the contract of left-hander Chris Jones from Triple-A Norfolk, giving the club 36 players on its 40-man roster. Jones went 8-8 with a 2.94 ERA in 30 games (22 starts) for Norfolk this season.