Norris and Flaherty avoid arbitration with one-year contracts


Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, the Baltimore Orioles signed Bud Norris to a one-year, $8.8 million contract and Ryan Flaherty to a one-year contract worth $1,075,000.

Norris went 15-8 in 28 starts with a 3.65 ERA and 139 strikeouts last season. Norris pitched extremely well against the American League East.

In 14 starts versus AL East opponents, Norris was 9-1 with a 2.85 ERA and the Orioles won 13 of those 14 games. The right-handed pitcher is entering his third season with the Orioles and his seventh season in the Majors.

Norris, who is eligible for free agency following the 2015 season, asked for a raise to $10.25 million and was offered $7.5 million by Baltimore.  If he pitches 180 innings, Norris will earn an extra $25,000, and if he pitches at least 200 innings, he will earn $50,000. He could also earn a $50,000 bonus for making the All-Star Game or winning a Gold Glove.

Ryan Flaherty, who turns 29 in July, hit .221/.288/.356 with 15 doubles and 32 RBI in 2014. When 2013 Platinum Glove Award winner Manny Machado was injured, Flaherty stepped up and took over the “hot corner” for the Orioles. In the 2014 Postseason, Flaherty started every game as the Baltimore’s third baseman. Making diving stops and turning seemingly impossible  double plays, Flaherty played phenomenally in the absence of Machado.

In a season that showcased a lot of Orioles power, Flaherty hit Baltimore’s final home run of 2014 in Game 4 of the ALCS.

While his numbers last season left something to be to desired, Flaherty asked for $1.5 million in arbitration and was offered $900,000. He could get  a $25,000 bonus if he reaches 400 plate appearances this season.

Although Norris and Flaherty are signed for 2015, the reigning AL East Champions still four players in arbitration: closer Zach Britton, right-handed pitcher Miguel Gonzalez, outfielder Alejandro De Aza, and first baseman/outfielder Steve Pearce.