Orioles: Moeller explained
Most of you probably know this already, but I thought I'd clarify the Chad Moeller situation for anyone who didn't get to the end of Jeff Zrebiec's story on the subject. The Orioles declined his $850,000 major league option yesterday, but that does not mean he will not return as Matt Wieters backup next season. In fact, I would guess that his return is fairly likely.
The option was declined to free up room on the 40-man roster in anticipation of the finalization of the club's reserve list. The O's have to determine by Nov. 20 who will be protected in anticipation of the Rule 5 draft in December. That's also why several players were outrighted yesterday and a few more may be today.
The club has told Moeller that it will basically honor the terms of the option that was declined if he later accepts a minor league deal and then makes the major league roster out of spring training. He has the option of accepting a guaranteed roster spot from another team in the meantime, but the Orioles want him back and he is open to coming back if somebody doesn't offer him a more secure situation.
Moeller isn't an impact player, but he bonded well with Wieters last season and seemed to have a positive effect on his development. He's also a terrific guy who is well-liked in the clubhouse, though that's not an important reason to keep him.