The Orioles reached agreement on a one-year contract with first baseman/outfielder Trey Mancini for $4.75 million on Friday. That’s the same salary Mancini agreed to for the pandemic-shortened 2020 season that he missed because of colon cancer surgery.
While the Orioles reached agreement with Mancini, who was voted Most Valuable Oriole in 2019, they failed to come to terms with outfielder Anthony Santander, who the award winner in 2020.
Santander, who missed the last three weeks of 2020 because of an oblique injury, hit .261 with an .890 OPS with 11 homers and 32 RBIs in 37 games.
The 26-year-old, who is in his first year of eligibility for arbitration, had a contract for $546,500 in 2020. Santander filed for $2.475 million while the Orioles countered with $2.1 million, according to MLB.com.
Orioles executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said the team will proceed to arbitration with Santander.
“We have a file-to-go policy that I’ve been very consistent with since being here,” Elias said on Friday in a video conference call.
In Elias’ first two years, the Orioles were able to reach agreement with all their arbitration-eligible players by the deadline for filing, which was 1 p.m. Friday.
“With us not having been able to reach an agreement with him, which is OK, it’s part of the process, it happens,” Elias said. “We will be proceeding to arbitration.”
Elias said that 2020’s 60-game season affected the arbitration formula.
“It [was ]definitely an unknown element,” Elias said. “It has, it seems like across the industry, from what we’re hearing and seeing, created some extra space for people to maybe not be speaking the exact same language because of how strange the shortened season was. I think that was to have been expected, and it’s definitely a factor.”
On December 2nd, the Orioles avoided arbitration with four other players — right-handed pitcher Shawn Armstrong ($825,000), infielder Yolmer Sánchez ($1 million), catcher Pedro Severino ($1.8 million) and infielder Pat Valaika ($875,000 majors/$300,000 minors). They released first baseman Renato Núñez and didn’t offer a contract to second baseman Hanser Alberto.