Orioles avoid arbitration with important lefty setup man

Another happy ending between the Orioles and an arbitration eligible reliever
Washington Nationals v Baltimore Orioles
Washington Nationals v Baltimore Orioles / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

Danny Coulombe's saga for a deal is over. On Monday, the lefty and Baltimore agreed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration, per the Associated Press. The deal is for $ 2.3 million in 2024 plus a 2025 club option for $4 million. The team ($2.2MM) and player ($2.4MM) reached a middle ground and finalized a new deal.

Orioles avoid arbitration and agree to new deal with Danny Coulombe

The option is an important wrinkle in Coulombe's contract because he was scheduled to hit free agency at the end of the 2024 season. With the Orioles holding an option, they can delay his free agency by another year if they choose to exercise it.

Coulombe was one of five players who didn't reach an agreement for 2024 season. He and fellow left-hander Cionel Pérez each agreed to one-year deals to avoid arbitration. Austin Hays (ARB 2 - $6.35MM vs. $5.85MM), Ryan O'Hearn (ARB 3 - $3.8MM vs. $3.2MM), and Jacob Webb (ARB 1 - $1MM vs. $925K) are the three remaining players without a contract. Until the scheduled arbitration hearing for each player, negotiations can continue to avoid a hearing for a 2024 contract.

Coulombe, a 34-year-old reliever, was brought in right before the 2023 Opening Day. A last-minute trade addition from Minnesota, he had a solid year with a 5-3 record, 2.81 ERA (148 ERA+), 51.1 IP, 12 walks and 58 strikeouts.

He became a key lefty setup man by the end of the season ahead of Yennier Cano and Félix Bautista when he was healthy. He projects to be in a similar role this year, though perhaps with more middle relief opportunities as well due to the late season surge of Pérez. This year though, Craig Kimbrel is the closer thanks to Bautista likely being down for the year due to Tommy John Surgery.

Officially speaking, welcome back, Danny.