Baltimore Orioles win another arbitration hearing


Let me be clear; no team ever wants to have to go to arbitration against a player. However if you end up having to do it, you might as well win the case, which is exactly what the Baltimore Orioles have done. The O’s, led by GM Dan Duquette, went to arbitration against outfielder Alejandro De Aza, and the arbitrator ruled in the team’s favor.

As I’ve said previously, arbitration is a process that can end up causing harm to both sides in terms of a player and an organization. The O’s had offered De Aza a $5 million salary, and he requested $5.65 million. After negotiations over time, De Aza and the Orioles opted to go to arbitration – a match game that we now know has been won by the club.

Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The O’s of course aquired De Aza last August in a trade with the ChiSox through waivers. Chicago and the Orioles combined paid De Aza $4.25 million in 2014. While he ended up being a valuable part of the Birds’ playoff run, they didn’t feel that the numbers added up to giving him the additional revenue. To put this into percentages, De Aza’s salary this year will be just over 17% higher than 2014, as opposed to the approximately 33% raise he was seeking.

So in that sense it’s all gravy. Also bear in mind that the O’s haven’t lost an arbitration hearing since 1995 with Ben McDonald. So in general the O’s have been spot on with their salary submissions over the years. Many critics will say this points to frugality, however in the view of many it comes across as not being willing to be taken for a ride based on prior production.

Nevertheless, the Orioes’ payroll is now complete for 2015. Player salaries are set, and the first full squad workouts will begin in earnst this coming week.