By Dan Connolly
The Baltimore Sun
3:01 PM EST, January 18, 2013
The deadline for submitting arbitration filings was 1 p.m. today, and the Orioles avoided that process with four of their seven players still eligible for arbitration.
The club, which does not release arbitration signing figures, announced that it agreed to one-year deals with catcher Matt Wieters, first baseman Chris Davis, and left-handers Brian Matusz and Troy Patton.
That leaves three players who filed arbitration figures with the club and could potentially be headed for a hearing: relievers Jim Johnson and Darren O’Day and starter Jason Hammel.
The big settlement is Wieters, who will be paid $5.5 million in 2013 after making $500,000 last year. Wieters, 26, also will receive $100,000 if he wins a 2013 Gold Glove and $75,000 each if he is an All-Star or wins a Silver Slugger.
Wieters, who says he would have interest in signing with the Orioles long-term, was an All-Star and Gold Glover last year when he hit .249 with 23 homers and 83 RBIs in 144 games. CBSsports.com first reported Wieters’ financial terms.
The 26-year-old Davis, who hit a career best 33 homers and drove in 85 runs in his first full season as an Oriole, saw his salary spike from $488,000 in 2012 to $3.3 million in 2013. He will receive $50,000 each if he is an All-Star or wins a Silver Slugger Award.
Lefty Brian Matusz, 25, agreed to a one-year, $1.6 million deal for next year with $50,000 more available if he wins a Gold Glove or makes the All-Star team. As a Super 2 player, this was his first year of arbitration and he will be eligible three more times. Matusz, who was 6-10 with a 4.87 ERA last year but excelled when moved to the bullpen, was listed as making $1.45 million last year. That, however, was an equation that was part of the major league deal he signed when he was drafted fourth overall in 2008.
The 27-year-old Patton, who was 1-0 with a 2.43 ERA in 54 games, including 12 games finished, received $815,000 and also has performance and award bonuses available. Also a Super 2 player with three more potential years of arbitration, Patton made $483,500 last year.
In the last week, the Orioles also avoided arbitration with Tommy Hunter ($1.82 million) and Nolan Reimold ($1 million).
Representatives for Johnson, O’Day and Hammel have all submitted a salary figure for 2013 and the Orioles also have suggested a salary for each player. If they cannot settle before a hearing sometime in February, a panel of three independent arbiters will choose one figure or the other in each of the three cases.
The club initially had 12 players that were arbitration eligible, but some contracts were agreed to, such as second baseman Alexi Casilla and catcher Taylor Teagarden, before last year’s contract tender date.“We were hopeful to sign a number of them, and we’re really happy we signed nine of the 12,” executive vice president Dan Duquette said. “We were happy to agree upon terms with Matt Wieters and Chris Davis today.”
In general, Duquette said clubs often explore potential deals beyond one-year with their arbitration-eligible players, but ultimately all of the agreements this time were for one year only. That doesn’t mean they can’t discuss longer deals at a later date – especially for someone like Wieters. But Duquette’s giving no clues about that one.
“Matt’s a valuable player and he has impressive achievements to date in his career, especially the two Gold Gloves and back-to-back All Star appearances. That speaks to his capabilities and he had good leadership ability too,” he said. “It’s always better to get a deal done.”
Just with the built-in raises, the club’s payroll is expected to increase more than $20 million from last season, Duquette said. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, he said.
“The players had good years and they’ve established value with good production,” he said. “It’s good for the team when players are doing well and producing, and the system rewards them, which is fine for us, too.”
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