ARLINGTON, Texas — As the Rangers celebrated their sweep in the American League Division Series, the Orioles, in a somber clubhouse, hugged each other goodbye.

This exact team, the one that won 101 games, will likely never play together again. Most players on the roster are under team control, and their 2024 contracts will follow in the coming weeks and months. But at the moment, catcher James McCann is the only player under contract for the Orioles next season.

The offseason has officially begun for Baltimore. And now comes the big decisions.

Who will be re-signed? Who will be nontendered? Where do the Orioles need help, and where can they get that from?

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Impending free agents

The Orioles have five free agents: right-handed pitchers Kyle Gibson, Shintaro Fujinami and Jack Flaherty; outfielder Aaron Hicks; and infielder Adam Frazier.

Gibson was a steady veteran presence with John Means sidelined for most of the season. But now Means is pitching again and the rest of the rotation has another year of service time under their belts. Gibson had a $10 million price tag this season, making him the Orioles’ most expensive player. He was valuable in the sense that he ate up innings — 192 to be exact — but they can find a cheaper option internally or externally.

The Orioles have four members of their rotation — Dean Kremer, Kyle Bradish, Grayson Rodriguez and John Means — under team control next year. They can also convert Tyler Wells, DL Hall or Cole Irvin back to a starter or bring up Chayce McDermott, the organization’s pitcher of the year. He had a 3.10 ERA across Double-A and Triple-A this season.

Fujinami and Flaherty, their two trade deadline acquisitions, will also likely be on their way out. Fujinami didn’t even make the postseason roster, while Flaherty was removed from the rotation after a 7.11 ERA in his first seven starts with the team.

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Hicks, picked up in May after being released by the Yankees, underwent a resurgence with the Orioles. He showed his value, especially with his playoff experience. But his spot can be filled by Heston Kjerstad or Colton Cowser.

Frazier, signed for $8 million, has served his purpose. He played in 141 games, all but a handful at second base, and had a .240 batting average. Jordan Westburg debuted this year and can play second, and the Orioles have an influx of infield prospects including Jackson Holliday, who is expected to be in the majors next year.

Nontender candidates

The Orioles have a staggering 16 arbitration-eligible players next season, the second-most in MLB behind only the Yankees. If they keep all 16, their base payroll will no doubt increase.

The Orioles have just over a month until the Nov. 17 deadline to decide whom to pay and whom to let go.

There are a few that are all but guaranteed. Anthony Santander (projected by MLB Trade Rumors to make $12.7 million), John Means ($5.93 million), Austin Hays ($6.1 million), Ryan Mountcastle ($4.2 million), Cedric Mullins ($6.4 million) and Tyler Wells ($2.3 million).

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Others are also probable. Danny Coulombe ($2.2 million), Ryan O’Hearn ($3 million), Cionel Pérez ($1.3 million) and Cole Irvin ($1.8 million).

That leaves Jorge Mateo, Keegan Akin, Jacob Webb, Dillon Tate, Ramón Urías and Ryan McKenna. None are expected to be paid more than $3 million, but they would take up 40-man roster spots that could go to prospects or free agents.

For Mateo and Urías, the Orioles will have to decide if they are ready to put their trust in Holliday. If they are, then they don’t need both Mateo and Urías. They have their redeeming defensive qualities — Mateo with his speed, Urías with his versatility — but don’t contribute much on offense.

McKenna, although a valued clubhouse presence, is not stronger than the prospects coming up behind him.

Tate (right forearm strain) didn’t pitch in the majors at all this year. Akin (back) played only 24 games with the Orioles. Webb was an August pickup who played well in his first few weeks with the team, but gave up two home runs, including a grand slam, in the playoffs.

Danielle Allentuck covers the Orioles for The Baltimore Banner. She previously reported on the Rockies for the Denver Gazette and general sports assignments for The New York Times as part of its fellowship program. A Maryland native, Danielle grew up in Montgomery County and graduated from Ithaca College.

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