The Orioles exchanged salary numbers with four of their seven arbitration-eligible players Tuesday, meaning that if they can’t reach common ground within the next few weeks, an independent arbitrator will choose one figure or the other.
The club could not reach agreement with outfielder Adam Jones, infielder Robert Andino and pitchers Jeremy Guthrie and Brad Bergesen. They did settle, however, with three pitchers: Jim Johnson ($2.625 million), Darren O’Day ($1.35 million) and Dana Eveland ($750,000).Guthrie, in his third and final year of arbitration, submitted a salary of $10.25 million, and the Orioles countered with $7.25 million. Guthrie, 32, was 9-17 with a 4.33 ERA in 34 games last year. He made $5.75 million.
The 26-year-old Jones, in his second year of arbitration, submitted for $7.4 million while the Orioles countered with $5 million. The club’s 2011 Most Valuable Oriole made $3.25 million last season, when he hit .280 with 27 homers and 83 RBIs.
Andino, 27, is looking for $1.6 million in his first year of arbitration while the Orioles filed for $1 million. The versatile infielder made $422,000 last year while hitting .263 with five homers and 36 RBIs.
Bergesen, whose accrued service time earned him "Super Two" status and an extra year of arbitration, is seeking $1.2 million in his first encounter with the process while the Orioles countered with $800,000. Bergesen, who was 2-7 with a 5.70 ERA in 34 big league games (12 starts) in 2011, made $434,000.
The Orioles can continue to negotiate with each player until the hearings, which will be scheduled for some time in February. The Orioles have not gone to arbitration with a player since winning against former pitcher Rodrigo Lopez before the 2006 season.
They haven’t lost an arbitration hearing since 1995 versus former Orioles pitcher Ben McDonald. The club has won all six under the lead of general counsel H. Russell Smouse.
Previous club president Andy MacPhail never took a player to arbitration in his career with the Orioles, Minnesota Twins or Chicago Cubs. His feeling was that it could cause undue animosity between the club and its players.
Current executive vice president Dan Duquette is not as wary of the arbitration-hearing process. He participated in it while with the Montreal Expos and Boston Red Sox. In fact, Duquette’s victory over pitcher Rolando Arrojo in 2002 -- shortly before Duquette was fired in Boston -- was the last time the Red Sox have taken a player to a hearing.
CBSSports.com first reported Guthrie’s and Jones’ filings. The Sun first reported Andino’s and Bergesen’s.
In other Orioles news, multiple media outlets from Venezuela have reported that the Orioles have signed right-hander Armando Galarraga to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training. The 30-year-old was 3-4 with a 5.91 ERA in eight starts with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011. He is best known for nearly pitching a perfect game for the Detroit Tigers, only to have it taken away on a blown call.