According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Baltimore Orioles have avoided arbitration with three players: reliever Zach Britton, utility man Ryan Flaherty, and reliever TJ McFarland. The move leaves the team with six more arbitration cases to settle, including Manny Machado, Chris Tillman, Jonathan Schoop and Brad Brach.
Britton, 29, was a former third-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in the 2006 MLB Draft, and broke into the league in 2011 as a starting pitcher, before transitioning to the bullpen. Since making the switch in 2014, Britton has become one of the best closers in baseball, and made back to back All Star appearances in 2015 and 2016.
Britton also finished fourth in Cy Young voting this past year, with a 2-1 record, 0.54 ERA and 47 saves in 69 appearances. Britton signs a 1 year, $11.4 million deal to avoid arbitration with the Orioles, which represents a dramatic $4.2 million raise from last season.
Flaherty, 30, was the former 41st-overall selection in the 2008 MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs and has spent his entire career with the Orioles since he was selected in the 2011 Rule 5 Draft and broke into the league in 2012. Flaherty averaged .217 over 74 games with the Orioles and hit just three home runs and 15 runs batted in.
However, Flaherty was valuable because of his ability to play every position on the field except center field and catcher. Flaherty signed a one-year deal worth $1.8 million, which represents a raise of about $300,000 from last season.
McFarland, 27, is a former fourth-round pick of the Cleveland Indians in the 2007 MLB Draft. McFarland made his way to the Orioles after being selected in the 2012 Rule 5 Draft and debuted in the 2013 season. McFarland has spent the rest of his career in Baltimore, but struggled last season, with a 2-2 record and 6.93 ERA in 16 appearances.
McFarland was effective in 2014 and the team is hoping he can turn it around next season. McFarland signed a 1 year deal worth $685,000 which is a $161,500 raise from last season.