Orioles outfielder Brady Anderson agreed to terms on a new contract yesterday, signing for a $180,000 raise and avoiding a salary arbitration hearing.
Anderson, who earned $165,000 in 1991, was the first of six Orioles eligible for arbitration who has come to terms with the club. He had filed a $390,000 salary demand in anticipation of a February hearing. The club had countered with $300,000. It took just a couple of days for both sides to agree to split the difference at $345,000.
The Orioles have a history of settling their arbitration cases out of court, but the gap between their bid and Anderson's asking price was relatively small. The salary figures in centerfielder Mike Devereaux's case also seem too close for confrontation -- the club is offering $875,000, Devereaux is asking for $200,000 more -- but compromise might be harder to come by in the club's other four potential arbitration cases.
First baseman Randy Milligan is asking for $1.4 million. That's $500,000 more than the club has offered. Ten-game winner Bob Milacki filed for $1.18 million, which is $480,000 more than the Orioles offered. Designated hitter Sam Horn and the club are $325,000 apart.
The gap between the Orioles and second baseman Bill Ripken is not particularly substantial, but he was one of only eight players eligible for arbitration who were offered a cut in pay this year.
Ripken batted just .216 in 287 at-bats, but remains one of the best defensive second basemen in the American League. He signed a $700,000 contract after a strong all-around season in 1990, but missed substantial playing time in 1991 because of injuries.
Anderson more than doubled his salary after a season in which he batted just .230 in 113 games, but he was starting from a much lower base because this was his first year of eligibility for arbitration.