Kevin Gausman was prepared to travel to Phoenix on Tuesday to attend his scheduled arbitration hearing the following day, but the Orioles right-hander agreed to terms on his 2018 contract hours before he was set to go.
Had he not, he would have missed the first official workout for pitchers and catchers of spring training Wednesday at the Ed Smith Stadium complex.
“It’s a business and if we go to trial, it is what it is,” Gausman said Wednesday. “Obviously, it’s good to get it settled and to be here. It’s important to be here the first couple of days, so I think that’s good.
“I’m not the one making those phone calls and stuff. But yeah, I would think there would be kind of like, ‘OK, there’s kind of a sense of urgency.’ But just excited that it’s over with and can now focus on getting outs for the Orioles.”
Gausman, 27, agreed to a $5.6 million deal, which was closer to the $5.3 million figure the Orioles filed than the $6.225 million he filed.
“No bitterness,” Gausman said. “Obviously, I’m very blessed and excited and just ready to get this season started.”
With Gausman signed, the Orioles avoided arbitration with all seven of their eligible players.
Hays checks in early
Outfield prospect Austin Hays, 22, is in camp early, getting ready to compete for a spot in the outfield after playing 20 games at the major league level last September.
Obviously, he’s taking nothing for granted.
“I’m just coming back and looking forward to putting the extra reps in and time in, and just hoping to have a good year,” he said Wednesday morning. “I’m just trying to keep everything simple and as similar as possible, have the same mindset and just focus on the little things, taking care of my routines and getting my body ready to go out and play.”
Hays was asked if he thought he needed to make an impression defensively to gain consideration for playing time in right field.
“I have to do everything well,” he said. “I’m going to have to play defense well, I’m going to have to run well, throw well, hit well. I’ve got to get better throughout spring training the whole time.”
Around the horn
The Orioles will hold their third annual Sarasota Springfest at Ed Smith Stadium on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event includes a Q&A session with Trey Mancini, an opportunity for young fans to play catch on the main field and other activities.