Orioles and Manny Machado avoid arbitration


The Orioles agreed to a $16 million contract with third baseman Manny Machado and a $12 million deal with injured closer Zach Britton, avoiding arbitration with both stars.

Bryant could break the record for highest salary among players eligible for arbitration for the first time, a mark set when first baseman Ryan Howard was awarded a raise from $900,000 to $10 million by a three-person panel in 2008 instead of Philadelphia's $7 million offer. However, he was taken with the No. 3 pick in 2010 and settled on a $5.25 million contract with the Orioles just before the deadline.

Britton earned $11.4 million in 2017.

If Gausman and Schoop do not settle, they will appear before an arbitration panel at some point in February with the panel ultimately choosing the player's salary figure or the team's, which will be binding for 2018. Coming into 2017, Machado's career batting average was over.280, but his mark of.259 a year ago lowered his total to.279.

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The Orioles had two hearings past year, winning one against Joseph and losing to Brach - the first time the club had lost an arbitration hearing since Ben McDonald in 1995.

Both Machado and Britton have been the subject of trade rumors this offseason, with talks surrounding the latter quieting down following his injury.

A trade isn't close to being made, though Machado would certainly improve Arizona's World Series chances if he was to be sent out west. The 27-year-old is eligible for free agency after the 2019 season. If Baltimore does decide to trade Machado, they might be reluctant to send him to an AL East rival like the Yankees or Red Sox. So, it made sense to agree to a deal now and hope he can return at his previous performance level in June. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports also confirmed the deal.