Baltimore Orioles: Orioles continue impressive stretch in arbitration cases


With Caleb Joseph losing his arbitration case against the Baltimore Orioles, the Orioles continue their impressive record in arbitration.

Caleb Joseph went to arbitration with the Baltimore Orioles last week.

After his season where he infamously recorded 0 RBI during the entire campaign, it didn’t seem likely he was going to get the $1 Million contract he wanted. An arbitrator agreed with the Orioles, and in the end Joseph walked away with only a $176,500 raise.

Now, it would have made sense if Joseph just settled with the Orioles before the case went to an arbitrator. He didn’t have the season that warranted a significant raise, and if I were Joseph’s agent, I would have advised him against going to arbitration.

But he didn’t.

Baseball is a business, and according to Joseph’s contract, he had a right to file for arbitration and present why he deserved a raise to the arbitrator. So the Orioles and Joseph took the case a hearing where three arbitrators were present. And the Orioles had to prove–while Joseph was sitting there–why Joseph wasn’t worth the raise he was asking for.

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As predicted, Joseph lost his case.

Now, for the average person a contract of $700,000 isn’t terrible. Most of us would be happy with just $700,000. So Joseph shouldn’t feel bad about getting $700,000 next season as the potential backup catcher for the Orioles.

But not only did Joseph lose his case against the Orioles, he also became a statistic.

The Orioles have been to 12 arbitration cases so far; they still have two more to attend to this offseason. Since attorney Peter Angelos became the majority owner of the O’s, the team is 11-1 in arbitration cases. The only time they lost an arbitration case was against Ben McDonald in 1995. Of course, it helps that McDonald’s agent was the infamous Scott Boras.

Arbitration filings could be a nasty process; feelings are hurt on both sides and relationships could deteriorate to the point a player chooses another team once they enter free agency.

But the Orioles see this as part of the sport. It’s just business as usual. It’s nothing personal against the player.

The Orioles are scheduled to go to two more hearings this winter: They’re going to arbitration with Kevin Gausman this week and Brad Brach next week.

Next: Adam Jones analyzes market as free agency looms

No one is sure if the other two arbitration cases will actually reach the hearing. However, Dan Duquette is taking a ‘file-and-trial’ approach, which for the Orioles would make a lot of sense.