As players all around Major League Baseball were awaiting their fate, the Baltimore Orioles managed to reach agreements with five of six arbitration eligible players before the Friday deadline, with several prominent Orioles players among those negotiating until the final hour. Here are the numbers, courtesy of The Athletic’s Dan Connolly:
- Anthony Santander: $7,400,000
- Cedric Mullins: $4,100,000
- Austin Hays: $3,200,000
- Jorge Mateo: $2,000,000
- Dillon Tate: $1,500,000
All five include various bonuses in the range of $50,000 for things such as individual awards and potential All Star appearances. These contract settlements total a minimum of $18.2 million, just a shade under the $18.3 million projected by MLB Trade Rumors. The Orioles will likely receive surplus value from all five, but Tate and Mateo especially, for a combined $3.5 million, is absolute theft (in a good way for the organization).
The lone Orioles representative at arbitration hearings will be swingman Austin Voth. The righty, who MLBTR predicts will receive $2 million in arbitration, finished 2022 with a 4.34 ERA/4.14 FIP (3.04/3.96 with Baltimore) and played a vital role in the Orioles pitching renaissance after he was claimed off of waivers from the Washington Nationals last June.
Arbitration is standard procedure in baseball and all will be forgotten once pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, but the Orioles decision to go to arbitration with Voth is a strange one. Scoffing over a few hundred thousand given Voth’s low cost and the current state of the Orioles payroll isn’t the best move if optics are a concern. Even at the highest projection of $2 million, Voth will likely be worth that and then some. His newly discovered slider has turned him into a legitimate option for the starting rotation. At worst, he’s a reliable long reliever who can spot start in the event of an injury or a rain-induced doubleheader.
Thankfully, this conjecture will all be for naught soon enough. Though antithetical to the Orioles MO, the two parties could theoretically reach an agreement before the arbitration hearing. Regardless, Voth will get his contract in due time and will be counted on to repeat his 2022 performance for a burgeoning Baltimore Orioles squad.