The Orioles avoided arbitration with one of their key pieces from 2012, agreeing to a one-year, $6.5 million deal with closer Jim Johnson on Friday, according to multiple sources.
He can receive another $50,000 in performance bonuses related to games finished. The right-handed reliever, who has been with the Orioles for his entire career, made $2.625 million in 2012.
Johnson, 29, had 51 saves in 54 chances to set the franchise’s single-season saves record. He also led the major leagues in that category and posted a 2.49 ERA in 71 appearances.
In his third year of arbitration -- he has one more remaining -- Johnson had asked for $7.1 million and the Orioles had countered with $5.7 million. They basically met halfway to avoid a hearing, which would have been held in Arizona starting the week of Feb. 18.
The Orioles now have two potential arbitration cases outstanding: reliever Darren O’Day (he filed for $3.2 million and the Orioles filed for $1.8 million) and starter Jason Hammel (he filed at $8.25 million and the Orioles countered with $5.7 million).