The Orioles are down to three arbitration cases after settling Friday with infielder-outfielder Steve Pearce, who agreed to a $3.7 million, one-year deal with the club.
Pearce had been asking for $5.4 million after his breakout year in 2014, and the Orioles had countered with $2 million – so they agreed to the exact mid-point.
Pearce, 30, hit .293 with a career-best 21 homers and 49 RBIs while playing in a big-league career-best 102 games. He has been in pro ball since 2005 and this will be his first season making over $1 million. He made $850,000 in 2014, a year in which he was released by the club in April only to be re-signed again by the Orioles.
The Orioles began the year with 11 potential arbitration cases and are now down to just three: outfielder Alejandro De Aza ($5.65 million/$5.million), closer Zach Britton ($4.2 million/$2.2 million) and right-hander Miguel Gonzalez ($3.95 million/$2.5 million).
If the sides don't come to an agreement before hearings in February a three-person arbitration panel will listen to both sides and choose one of the two submitted salaries. The Orioles have been excellent over the years in winning arbitration hearings; the club has lost just once since Peter Angelos bought the team in 1993 and the club is 7-0 when its case is led by current general counsel H. Russell Smouse.