Luke Scott avoids arbitration

The Orioles have avoided arbitration with Luke Scott, agreeing to a one-year deal on Thursday that will pay the outfielder $6.4 million in 2011.

The deal –first reported by the Baltimore Sun — avoids what is often a contentious court hearing  on Monday in Arizona and is a compromise for both sides. Scott, last season’s Most Valuable Oriole, wanted $6.85 million while the O’s countered with $5.7 earlier this offseason.  The two sides briefly flirted with the idea of a longer deal before settling on a one-year figure.

Scott hit a career-high 27 home runs and totaled 72 RBIs in 131 games last season. Known to be a streaky hitter he put together a solid
4 1/2-month stretch, finishing with a .284 batting average and a .535
slugging percentage. With the Orioles agreeing to terms Vladimir Guerrero, Scott is expected to be the team’s regular left fielder.

The Orioles lone arbitration-eligible player without a contract is now Jeremy Guthrie, whose hearing is scheduled for Wednesday. Guthrie proposed a salary of $6.5 million for 2011, while the O’s
countered with a $5 million offer. The 31-year-old was the ace who
anchored the Orioles’ rotation, particularly in the second half, when he
went 8-4 with a 2.76 ERA in his final 14 starts.

The O’s have also been in frequent contact with Guthrie and remain optimistic that they can also avoid court with their top starter.

Scott made $4.05 million in 2010.

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