01/17/12 1:28 PM EST
O's facing four salary arbitration hearings
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
Since the club and players were unable to settle upon a deal, each side will swap salary figures and an independent arbitrator will select one of the salaries. It's a testy process and one most clubs seek to avoid, a scenario that is still possible for Baltimore given that negotiations can continue with each player until the hearing takes place.
The team did agree to 2012 contracts with three players, signing pitchers Jim Johnson, Darren O'Day and Dana Eveland to one-year agreements. Johnson, who made $975,000 in 2011, will get a substantial raise next season, agreeing to a one-year deal Monday night worth $2.625 million. He avoided arbitration last season as one of a handful of players eligible for Super Two status. With the starting pitching depth the Orioles have added, both executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter confirmed last week that the organization views Johnson as a reliever, and he's a strong candidate to take over closing duties.
Eveland agreed to a $750,000 contract shortly after being acquired by the Dodgers last month, while O'Day will make $1.35 million in 2012.
Jones and Guthrie are the two biggest cases remaining, with Bergesen and Andino arbitration-eligible for the first time. The 26-year-old Jones is coming off a career year in which he was named Most Valuable Oriole, and his contract situation -- and whether the organization would consider locking him up to a long-term deal -- is a hotly-debated topic.
The Orioles have declined to discuss a contract extension with Guthrie, who is eligible for arbitration for the final time. The 32-year-old right-hander has been one of the team's most talked-about trade candidates given his durability, and he will enter the 2012 season as Baltimore's ace.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.