O's reach one-year deal with Guthrie
Not yet eligible for arbitration, right-hander takes pay cut
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The Orioles agreed to terms with the last of their unsigned players on Sunday, when they wrapped up negotiations with staff ace Jeremy Guthrie. Guthrie will earn $650,000 next year, a significant cut from last year's salary ($770,000) that is based on circumstance rather than performance.
For now, said MacPhail, Guthrie's salary has been tied to his original deal. Guthrie, a former first-round Draft pick, signed a Major League contract as part of his initial deal and has been affected by it since. Guthrie, who threw 19 quality starts last season, led the Orioles in victories (10), innings (190 2/3) and strikeouts (120) in 2008.
"It's a vestige of the original signing bonus," said MacPhail. "Being a Major League contract, the signing bonus gets lumped in, and then there are only certain reductions that you can do. He is benefitting from that signing bonus because he's garnering a salary that is far beyond the normal pay scale for a two-plus player."
Guthrie, who has two years and 130 days of service time, will make a significantly higher wage than right fielder Nick Markakis did ($455,000) last season. The Orioles have since agreed to a long-term extension for Markakis worth $66 million, and MacPhail said that the team hasn't had discussions about doing the same with Guthrie.
For now, the 29-year-old will play through his deal and remain under contractual control for three more seasons. Guthrie, who switched agents during the offseason, remains the linchpin of Baltimore's rotation. MacPhail said that the right-hander hasn't expressed any aggravation about the Orioles reworking his deal.
"That signing bonus is just a gift that keeps on giving to the player," said MacPhail. "It really is a function of the benefits of the original deal, and they understand that. We're not aware of any animosity. Normally, it would be significantly less than what he's going to get. It's the benefit of signing a Major League contract."
The Orioles also officially announced the signing of 22 other players to one-year deals Sunday, reiterating reports that have trickled out from various news outlets over the past few weeks. Most of the players involved are Minor Leaguers, with Adam Jones, Rich Hill, Felix Pie and Jim Johnson standing as notable exceptions.
Baltimore announced signing several pitchers -- Matt Albers, Chris Waters, Troy Patton, Dennis Sarfate, Jim Hoey and Radhames Liz among them -- and a few offensive prospects. Outfielders Nolan Reimold and Lou Montanez were both on the list, as were prospects Brad Bergesen, David Hernandez and Chorye Spoone.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.