SARASOTA, Fl. (WDVM) – The Baltimore Orioles failed to reach an agreement with starting pitcher, John Means, and first baseman, Trey Mancini, before the MLB Tuesday night arbitration deadline.
“We do everything that we can to avoid this, but it does happen, and we go through the hearing process when it does,” said Orioles Executive Vice President and General Manager, Mike Elias.
The Orioles, who, according to spotrac, have the lowest payroll in the league at $30,366,666, are within hundreds of thousands to avoid arbitration with two of their household-name players.
Mancini has filed for $8 million, while Baltimore is coming in at $7.375 million.
After battling stage 3 colon cancer in 2020, Mancini was named the 2021 American League Comeback Player of the Year, while batting .255 last season with 21 home runs, and 71 RBI’s through 147 games.
He also participated in the Homerun Derby where he placed second.
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Means, who made just $593,500 last season, is asking for $3.1 million, while the Orioles are countering with $2.7 million.
Throwing the first complete no-hitter in over 50 years for the Orioles last May against Seattle, Means went 6-9 as a starter last season, with a 3.62 ERA.
“These guys are incredible athletes, they’ve been working very hard [and] we don’t fault their point of view in trying to make the case to make as much as they should make, but this is a big dollar business,” said Elias. “We’re very fair, we’re very communicative, we’re very forthright – that’s our approach – but at times you just can’t see eye-to-eye before these deadlines.”
The Orioles are what Elias called a “file-and-go” team, meaning that it is not their practice to engage in further negotiations leading up to the arbitration hearings.
Typically the arbitration hearings take place before spring training, but due to the MLB lockout, the hearings will be held after the start of the season.
Both Mancini and Means are currently down in Sarasota with the ballclub, but Elias was not sure of the mechanics with how their salaries are currently being handled, but assured there was a “payroll set up in advance that the PA and league have agreed to to square everyone up” once the salaries had been agreed to.
“I’m very respectful towards both of those guys in particular,” he said. “I have a lot of admiration for what they’ve done in their careers thus far and what they’re going to do going forward.”