Orioles decline to offer contract to Byrnes

OF becomes free agent

Ainsworth, Rodriguez also let go

spring training schedule announced

New Blog: By Sun sports columnist David Steele

orioles/baseball

December 21, 2005|By BALTIMORESUN.COM STAFF

The Orioles today announced that they have declined to tender a contract offer to outfielder Eric Byrnes, allowing him to become a free agent.

Byrnes was acquired from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for OF Larry Bigbie on July 29. He hit .192 with 3 homers and 11 RBI in 52 games for the Orioles and combined to bat .226 in 126 games between the Oakland A's, Rockies and Orioles last season. After hitting safely in his first 11 games with the Orioles, he batted .137 over his final 41 games of the season, including an .073 average over the final month.

Tuesday night at midnight was the deadline to offer contracts or to non-tender players on the 40-man roster.

The Orioles also did not offer contracts to right-hander Kurt Ainsworth, who spent the 2005 season on the disabled list, and right-hander Eddy Rodriguez, who went 2-3 with a 3.77 ERA in 50 relief appearances for Triple-A Ottawa. Both players were on the Orioles' 40-man roster.

The Orioles also announced their spring training schedule today.

Baltimore will open its 2006 spring training schedule on March 2, at 1:05 p.m., when they host the Florida Marlins at Fort Lauderdale Stadium, which will be their spring base for the 11th season.

Spring training schedule

March 2 - Florida Marlins Fort Lauderdale 1:05 p.m.

March 3 - Florida Marlins Jupiter 1:05 p.m.

March 4 - Los Angeles Dodgers Fort Lauderdale 1:05 p.m.

March 5 - Washington Nationals Viera 1:05 p.m.

March 6 - St. Louis Cardinals Fort Lauderdale 1:05 p.m.

March 7 - Boston Red Sox Fort Myers 1:05 p.m.

March 8 - Los Angeles Dodgers Vero Beach 1:05 p.m.

March 9 - Minnesota Twins Fort Lauderdale 1:05 p.m.

March 10 - Florida Marlins Jupiter 1:05 p.m.

March 11 - St. Louis Cardinals Jupiter 1:05 p.m.

March 12 - New York Mets Fort Lauderdale 1:05 p.m.

March 13 - Florida Marlins Jupiter 1:05 p.m.

March 14 - New York Mets Port St. Lucie 1:10 p.m.

March 15 - Boston Red Sox Fort Lauderdale 1:05 p.m.

March 16 - St. Louis Cardinals Jupiter 1:05 p.m.

March 17 - Washington Nationals Fort Lauderdale 1:05 p.m.

March 18 - St. Louis Cardinals Fort Lauderdale 1:05 p.m.

March 19 - Boston Red Sox Fort Myers 1:05 p.m.

March 21 - New York Mets Fort Lauderdale 1:05 p.m. March 22 - Florida Marlins Jupiter 1:05 p.m. March 23 - Washington Nationals Viera 1:05 p.m. March 24 - Boston Red Sox Fort Lauderdale 1:05 p.m. March 25 - Florida Marlins Fort Lauderdale 1:05 p.m. March 26 - New York Mets Port St. Lucie 12:10 p.m. March 27 - Florida Marlins Fort Lauderdale 1:05 p.m. March 28 - St. Louis Cardinals Fort Lauderdale 1:05 p.m. March 29 - Minnesota Twins Fort Myers 1:05 p.m. March 30 - Florida Marlins Jupiter 1:05 p.m. March 31 - TBA April 1 - TBA

Originally published December 21, 2005, 3:14 PM EST

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