Davis, Wieters, Tillman and Matusz avoid arbitration


Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Davis, Matt Wieters, Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz all avoided arbitration this off-season as they each agreed on one-year deals with the Baltimore Orioles on Friday according to multiple sources. The ball club later confirmed the signings of all four players, which were made before the 1 p.m. EST deadline to exchange salary figures with arbitration-eligible players.

In 2014, Davis made $10.35 million, Wieters $7.7 million, Tillman $546,000 and Matusz $2.4 million.

In 2015, Davis will earn $12 million, Wieters $8.3 million, Tillman $4.315 million and Matusz $3.2 million.

Davis batted .196/.300/.404 with 26 home runs and 72 RBI in 2014. While Davis’ statistics in 2014 took a steep decline from the prior season, many believe he will return to Baltimore in 2015 reinvigorated and focused.

Wieters also hopes to bounce back in 2015 after having his 2014 season cut short due to Tommy John Surgery. In 2014, he was on track to have his best year at the plate, batting .308/.339/.500 with five home runs and 18 RBI in 26 games played. Wieters continues to rehab his throwing elbow as he just recently increased his throwing distance to 120 feet as part of his throwing program he has been working on since Thanksgiving.

Tillman has been one of the steadier arms in Baltimore’s starting rotation since the beginning of the 2012 season. In 2014, he was 13-6 in 34 games started with a 3.34 ERA and 150 strikeouts. The 26-year-old’s 2015 settlement is the second-highest for a first-time-eligible starting pitcher, behind only Detroit’s David Price.

Matusz is coming off of his second strong season as a full-time reliever. The soon-to-be 28-year-old produced a 3.48 ERA with 17 walks and 53 strikeouts in 63 appearances during the 2014 season.

Although players and teams can continue to negotiate up until players’ arbitration hearings, the Orioles currently have six other players in line to head to arbitration hearings in February.

Hearing dates run from February 1-21. The Baltimore Orioles have not gone to a hearing since February 9, 2012 when they beat pitcher Brad Bergesen. They also are 7-0 in cases led by general counsel H. Russell Smouse.