Baltimore Orioles: No agreement for two important players
As the arbitration deadline has come and gone, the Baltimore Orioles and two key players have yet to agree to a deal for 2018.
This means that the Baltimore Orioles front office will have to meet with an independent arbitrator to discuss the 2018 contracts for Kevin Gausman and Jonathan Schoop.
According to a Tweet from MLB insider, Bob Nightengale, the two sides were not far off in today’s discussions. The pair had a difference of $1.5 million.
Dollar amounts were not far off
This is a disappointing turn of events, especially considering that Schoop will be a free agent in 2020. After his first All-Star season and posting a 5.1 WAR for 2017, Schoop has proven that he is an incredible value. He is also one underrated player who rarely gets any media attention at the national level.
The Orioles also did not come to an agreement with Gausman. Like Schoop, the difference between the Orioles and Gausman was not much. Gausman is one of two pitchers inked in the starting rotation and his role will be vital to the team’s success.
Numerous teams and players couldn’t agree
Now that the deadline has been met, the parties will have to move through the arbitration process, which by most accounts is not a pleasant experience. But, according to several Tweets from Jon Heyman with FanRag Sports, plenty of teams will undergo arbitration hearings with young players. In some situations, the differences are minuscule (by baseball standards). For example, Heyman reported that Shelby Miller and the Diamondbacks had a difference of $200,000.
Bargain price for five good players
By the end of the day, the Orioles spent $37.765 million on five players – including Manny Machado and Brad Brach. That’s not bad, considering that Machado might ask for $30 million or more on an annual basis when he reaches free agency at the end of the 2018 season. And, if Britton gets back to health, he could be in the range of $20 million annually for his first shot at free agency. The Orioles seem to be getting off cheap right now.
In 2018, the two highest paid players will be Chris Davis, who will make slightly over $21 million and Adam Jones will earn slightly more than $17 million.
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The next steps
What happens now with Schoop and Gausman? The process is rather simple and it is no longer in the hands of the players or the team.
Sometime in the first 21 days of February, the players (most likely through their agents) and the team will present to a team of arbitrators. They share dollar amounts and why that is the right choice for the player. Then, the arbitrators decide and that’s the amount the player is paid. The amounts are based on players with similar years of experience and statistics. When the decision is made, the dollar amount is not a middle-ground number, it is either the number the player presented or the team presented.
What makes arbitration so uncomfortable for players and teams is the way that the player is presented to the arbitrator. The player and his agent will make the player sound fantastic, but the team will show the player’s flaws. Tulane Law School has a document that clearly explains the procedure and includes the bargaining agreement rules, as well as an example that involves Darren O’Day when he played for the Texas Rangers.
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Gausman and Schoop will play for the Orioles in 2018, that is already decided. The arbitration hearing simply determines how much they will be paid.