Guthrie and Orioles avoid arbitration, agree on $5.75 million deal

The Orioles have avoided arbitration and agreed to terms on a one-year, $5.75 million deal with right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, their likely Opening Day starter this season.

That’s up from the $3 million Guthrie made in 2010.

Once again, the Orioles have avoided an arbitration hearing with their eligible players. The last time they presented a case was before the 2006 season with starter Rodrigo Lopez.

Guthrie, the club’s top pitcher last year, had asked for $6.5 million, while the club countered with a $5 million offer when the two sides exchanged figures in mid-January. They compromised at the midpoint. His hearing, which had been scheduled for Wednesday in Phoenix, has been canceled.

It was his second year of arbitration, and again he and the club avoided a hearing as the deadline neared. Last year, the case was resolved on Feb. 12. He can become a free agent after the 2012 season.

Guthrie, 31, rebounded from a rough year in 2009 to be the Orioles’ most consistent starter in 2010. He made 32 starts, going 11-14 with a 3.83 ERA in a career-high 209 1/3 innings. It was the second consecutive season in which he reached the 200-inning mark and third straight year in which he made at least 30 starts.

On Thursday, the Orioles avoided arbitration with outfielder Luke Scott, agreeing to a $6.4 million deal with the slugger. The club settled its other four arbitration cases without formally exchanging numbers, agreeing with Felix Pie ($985,000), Jim Johnson ($975,000), Adam Jones ($3.25 million) and J.J. Hardy (5.85 million).

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