Orioles avoid arbitration with utility man Ryan Flaherty, left-hander T.J. McFarland

Orioles utility man Ryan Flaherty agreed to terms on a one-year deal for next season worth $1.8 million, avoiding arbitration Thursday night, according to multiple industry sources.

The Orioles also avoided arbitration with left-hander T.J. McFarland, agreeing to a one-year, $685,000 deal, an industry source confirmed.


Flaherty, who is in his last of three years of arbitration eligibility, and McFarland are the first of nine arbitration-eligible Orioles to agree to terms.

The deadline for players and teams to exchange arbitration figures is 1 p.m. Friday, and most often, players agree to terms before that deadline to avoid a hearing. Last season, the Orioles agreed to deals with eight of their 10 arbitration-eligible players before figures were exchanged.

Teams and players can still negotiate after figures are exchanged and often come to agreements before arbitration cases go to trial. Last season, all 10 Orioles reached terms before a hearing.

However, multiple industry sources said the Orioles plan to go with a blanket "file-and-trial" approach with any arbitration-eligible players who don't agree to terms before exchanging figures Friday.

Under that premise, players who don't agree to terms by 1 p.m. Friday will have an arbitration hearing with the Orioles. The team had a "file-and-trial" stance with Alejandro De Aza before the 2015 season, but this could be the first time the club has used the approach universally.

As he has been over the course of his five years with the Orioles, the 30-year-old Flaherty was a valuable player off the bench for the Orioles in 2016, playing six different positions, not included a mop-up pitching appearance. He hit .217/.291/.318 with three homers and 15 RBIs in 176 plate appearances.

McFarland, 27, battled with injuries and went 2-2 with a 6.93 ERA in 16 relief appearances with the Orioles last season, his fourth in the organization.

The Orioles' other arbitration-eligible players are right-hander Chris Tillman, closer Zach Britton, third baseman Manny Machado, right-hander Brad Brach, second baseman Jonathan Schoop, right-hander Kevin Gausman and catcher Caleb Joseph.


Last month, the team tendered contracts to all but one of its arbitration-eligible players, the exception being right-hander Vance Worley, who was not offered a contract by the team.

Flaherty agreeing to terms was first reported by BaltimoreBaseball.com.