Chris Davis

It’s going to be an interesting offseason for the Orioles. Actually, it already is an interesting offseason.

The Orioles began 2013 with a $92.3 million payroll.’s Ken Rosenthal points out that if the Birds retained all nine — yes, nine — of their arbitration-eligible players, their current payroll would be $88 million.

What’s that mean?

It means that unless the Orioles decide to increase their payroll they will likely be limited in free agent spending this offseason. Unless of course they could always make a trade.

We’ve already heard that J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters are available, but Rosenthal adds another (less popular) name: Chris Davis.

The chances of the Orioles keeping Wieters are slim. The same (gulp) ultimately goes for Davis. And paying nearly $11 million to Johnson, who had 50 saves and a 2.94 ERA but endured some rough stretches last season, is simply not advisable for a team on a budget.

I’m not sure I agree. Not to argue with one of the best writers in the industry. I honestly think it comes down to Wieters or Davis and the O’s like Davis more. Who wouldn’t? The guy hit .286/.370/.634 and led the league with 53 homers and 138 RBI.

One of Rosenthal’s other solutions is to deal Jim Johnson, who projects to make $10.8 million in arbitration this winter. Johnson recorded a league-leading 50 saves this season but struggled in the role several times in 2013. If only they would have dealt him at his peak last winter.