FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The Orioles weren't able to sign Mike Mussina to a long-term deal, so now they're focusing on another potential free agent, third baseman Cal Ripken.
Orioles general manager Pat Gillick said last night he's been talking with Ripken's agent, Ron Shapiro. "We've given them a couple of proposals," said Gillick, "but I don't think we're close to doing anything right now."
Ripken will earn $6.2 million this year, and it's likely they'll attempt to keep his salary as close to that as possible and guarantee one or two years; their largest single-season offer to Mussina was for $7 million, with $1.5 million deferred and three years guaranteed.
According to sources familiar with the contract talks, Ripken's representatives first talked about an annual salary in the range of $8 million, and since then, his request has dropped to something in the range of $7 million to $7.5 million per year. Shapiro is believed to be seeking at least a three-year deal.
Pub Date: 2/17/97