Orioles avoid arbitration hearing with key bullpen contributor

You can cross one arbitration hearing off the list for the Orioles
Division Series - Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles - Game One
Division Series - Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles - Game One / Greg Fiume/GettyImages

The Baltimore Orioles have 13 players who began the offseason arbitration eligible, the most of any team in the majors. They were able to reach agreements with eight of those players before the January 11 deadline. The Orioles and the remaining five players were a combined $2.25 million apart on agreements.

Even though the deadline passed, teams are allowed to continue to work with players prior to any hearings. This past Monday, the O’s and lefty reliever Cionel Perez reached an agreement on a contract for 2024. Perez had originally requested $1.4 million and the Orioles countered with $1.1 million. They agreed on $1.2 million with a club option for the 2025 season and plenty of incentives.

Orioles avoid arbitration hearing with reliever Cionel Perez, agree to contract for 2024

Perez will receive a $25,000 bonus if he reaches 55, 60, 65 and 70 innings pitched. He would receive $50,000 if he finishes 20 and 25 games, $100,000 for finishing 30 and 35 games and $150,000 for finishing 40, 45 and 50 games. The club option for 2025 is $2.2 million, bringing the total value of the contract to approximately $4.3 million if the option gets exercised and all incentives are triggered.

After having a breakout campaign with the Orioles in 2022, Perez took a step back in 2023. He started slow but returned to form in August and was very big for the Birds down the stretch, especially after Felix Bautista got injured. Overall he finished the year 4-2 with 3 saves.

Austin Hays, Ryan O’Hearn, Danny Coulombe and Jacob Webb are the remaining players the Orioles have yet to come to terms with. None of them seem to be far away from deals with the team, so hopefully the O’s can come to terms with these remaining players soon.