The Orioles and Chris Tillman have “mutual interest” in a contract extension

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Chris Tillman is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter and Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette tells Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com that the two sides have “mutual interest” in a contract extension.

“There are a few candidates for that,” Duquette added. “We haven’t spent much time on that, but contract discussion is always a good time to explore that.”

Tillman turns 27 in April and is coming off a solid season where he posted a 3.34 ERA and 150/66 K/BB ratio in 207 1/3 innings over 34 starts. While he struggled early on in his major league career after coming over from Seattle in the Erik Bedard deal, he owns a 3.42 ERA (116 ERA+) over 82 starts dating back to 2012 and has surpassed 200 innings in each of the last two seasons. He’s the closest thing the Orioles have to an ace.

MLB Trade Rumors projects that Tillman will make around $5.1 million in 2015 through the arbitration process. He’s under team-control through the 2017 season.