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February 11, 2011

Guthrie and Orioles avoid arbitration, agree on $5.75 million deal

The Orioles have avoided arbitration and agreed to terms on a one-year, $5.75 million deal with right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, their likely Opening Day starter this season.

That’s up from the $3 million Guthrie made in 2010.

Once again, the Orioles have avoided an arbitration hearing with their eligible players. The last time they presented a case was before the 2006 season with starter Rodrigo Lopez.

Guthrie, the club’s top pitcher last year, had asked for $6.5 million, while the club countered with a $5 million offer when the two sides exchanged figures in mid-January. They compromised at the midpoint. His hearing, which had been scheduled for Wednesday in Phoenix, has been canceled.

It was his second year of arbitration, and again he and the club avoided a hearing as the deadline neared. Last year, the case was resolved on Feb. 12. He can become a free agent after the 2012 season.

Guthrie, 31, rebounded from a rough year in 2009 to be the Orioles’ most consistent starter in 2010. He made 32 starts, going 11-14 with a 3.83 ERA in a career-high 209 1/3 innings. It was the second consecutive season in which he reached the 200-inning mark and third straight year in which he made at least 30 starts.

On Thursday, the Orioles avoided arbitration with outfielder Luke Scott, agreeing to a $6.4 million deal with the slugger. The club settled its other four arbitration cases without formally exchanging numbers, agreeing with Felix Pie ($985,000), Jim Johnson ($975,000), Adam Jones ($3.25 million) and J.J. Hardy (5.85 million).

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Posted by Dan Connolly at 11:20 AM | | Comments (17)


I'd really like to see a 4 year deal worked out with Guthrie in the 24 mil range before it is too late.

This is great news for the Orioles. They simply split the difference between their offer and Guthrie's offer. Now the O's can open spring traning with a full roster. This is especially important because the Orioles #1 pitcher will be there from day one to get his work in and mentor the young guys. While Guthrie may not be the best pitcher in the majors, I'm still a big fan of his.

all right!! now we can head south with nothing negative hanging over us.this will be the most positive spring training camp in recent memory. so much has been accomplished this winter, with the progress Made in sarasota's facilities, all the signings, no arbitration hearings, a new coaching staff, and the knowledge that we had an impressive end to last season. the only stats worth anything are the W's.

The O's beat seriously does not quit. Breaking story after breaking story. Thanks for keeping us in the loop. Keep up the great work, Jeff, Dan and everyone else who makes this blog happen. We appreciate everything you do.

Don't get me wrong, I love Guthrie, and what he has done for the O's, but when one goes 11-14 and that gets you an almost 100% raise, something just doesn't sound right.. What would the salary be if he had a winning record last year??? Still love ya Jeremy...

Would have thought that Guthrie would get a multi-year deal. Hope he shows what he can really do this year and emerge as a truly elite starter.

I'm very happy to hear this. Guthrie is an innings eater and very important to their success in 2011 and beyond. I hope he remains in the fold after this year. He's durable and dependable and that is extremely valuable in this day and age.

I agree with Dave... the Baltimore Sun has a great team covering the O's.

Great, great, GREAT! job this offseason.


Jeff Z's reply: Thanks Todd, that means a lot. They've certainly kept us busy this offseason.

I agree with Dave... the Baltimore Sun has a great team covering the O's.

Great, great, GREAT! job this offseason.

Yo Frosty -

I doubt if Guthrie has ever had a wimming season, at least not with the Orioles.

But W-L is the most misleading stat is all of pitching. Jeremy has consistently pitched for awful teams and therefore he has not had winning records.

But he has eaten up the innings and has almost always given us a respectable ERA and WHIP. And if the Orioles pull off the sort of year everyone expects this summer, I strongly suspect that Guts' W-L record will rise accordingly since he will be a major part - and cause - of the accomplishment.

One other note - Guthrie's one truly lousy year in all respects was when he played in that ridiculous World Baseball Classic, whose managers cared only about winning and nothing about arm strength or pitch count - after all, it wasm't their pitcher he was ruining - which in turn ruined his timing and pitch count and didn't much help his arm physically, either.

Next time that monstrosity rolls around,, the front office should ensure that pitchers from other teams get the glory. Our pitchers should go nowhere near that absurd competition.

There is no doubt the Sun staff has done a great job this offseason. They have really peaked my interest in the Orioles this upcoming season. Keep it up guys!

I could not agree more - great job Orioles Insiders! It's been a long time since we've had as much optimism and it's fun. Most of us reading here still love the Orioles. I'm looking forward to the upturn in our fortunes, which I think actually started in early August. The next goal is to head north with a healthy team!

i am glad to see the orioles got it done. now they can go play ball.

@frosty..."Don't get me wrong, I love Guthrie, and what he has done for the O's, but when one goes 11-14 and that gets you an almost 100% raise, something just doesn't sound right.. What would the salary be if he had a winning record last year???"

His record from last year isn't indicative of how he performed. 3.83 and 200+ innings are solid. He just didn't get any run support.

Great move for both Guts and the O's. Now everybody's in the fold, reasonably happy (I assume), and healthy. I'm all tingly thinking about spring training starting on Monday. Let's hope health issues are insignificant this year, and that most of the O's get better. If they do, it could be a pretty interesting year. I remember a few years ago when Tampa Bay "suddenly" burst onto the pennant race scene.

Guthrie has been, for the most part of his O's career, the most constsitent starter on a staff of has beens or may never be's.

I think that the team still just thinks of him as a stop gap until the current flock of young guns finishing development.

I can see him dangled at deadline time to a team in the running if the O's aren't or lost through free agency next season barring injury to one of the young guys.

Whatever the outcome, the O's will have gotten their money's worth out of Jeremy.

I gotta say, Andy and his staff have been on some kind of role this off season. Congratulations to him and his entire team. This is a really important signing for the O's; I'll be very interested to see how this hard working pitcher does with some decent run support for the first time in his career.

I also echo the sentiments of other bloggers about the fine job done by Sun's O's coverage team this winter. You've made it fun and easy to follow all this wild, and welcome, activity.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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