The Baltimore Orioles avoided arbitration with yet another player yesterday when RHP Tommy Hunter inked a one-year deal. According to the Baltimore Sun, Hunter will make $1.82 million in 2013, which is a nice raise from the $493,500 that he made last year. As you’ll remember, Hunter began 2012 in the starting rotation, but was eventually sent to triple-A Norfolk due to inconsistency. However Hunter battled his way back to the big leagues, and ended up finishing the season in the bullpen.
It’s unclear whether the Orioles view Hunter as a reliever or as a starter at this time, however I suspect that will work itself out in due course once camp begins. One bizzare game in which Hunter appeared last season was a blowout loss on a weekday afternoon in New York, where he came in for mop-up duty in the end. The trouble was that Hunter was scheduled to be the starter in the Orioles’ next game (which came after a day off), so many wondered why manager Buck Showalter would use him. Hunter also would have thrown a normal bullpen session that day…I guess doing a bullpen session during a game isn’t something that’s done as frequently as I thought!
The Orioles could still potentially go to arbitration with Matt Wieters, Chris Davis, Troy Patton, Jim Johnson, Darren O’Day, Jason Hammel, and Brian Matusz. My personal prediction is that they’ll get deals done with all of them. The big one is Wieters, who it would stand to reason is due a substantial raise.