O's invite McLemore to camp

January 02, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

Mark McLemore, who like Bill Ripken was somewhat stunned when he was dropped from the Orioles roster, is close to accepting an invitation to return next season.

However, it appears that McLemore will get no more than he did a year ago -- an invitation to spring training as a non-roster player. At the moment, McLemore does not have a major-league offer from any other team, and his only alternative appears to be playing in Japan.

Jeff Moorad, McLemore's agent, acknowledged that the Orioles have made a non-guaranteed offer. "Our first choice would have been to remain on the roster," said Moorad.

"We had hoped they [the Orioles] would recognize Mark's progress and reward him with a spot for next year. Obviously that didn't happen, but right now I'd say we're leaning toward coming back with a pre-negotiated agreement," said Moorad.

If McLemore accepts the Orioles' offer, he would have to sign a minor-league contract. That's the same circumstance under which he made the club a year ago.

Last year McLemore, with incentives, made $325,000 while hitting .246 and splitting the second-base job with Ripken.

After obtaining free agent Harold Reynolds, the Orioles decided they would rather risk losing McLemore than face the possibility of arbitration.

If he accepts the offer from the Orioles, and makes the club, it is believed that McLemore would make $300,000 with incentives similar to those he had last season.

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