Guthrie Timeline and Facts

Following up some readers questions concerning Jeremy Guthrie...

Yes, Jeremy Guthrie is in the Orioles future plans as far as I know; although I've never asked Andy MacPhail that question directly.

It's safe to assume there's no sane reason for the Orioles not to have him in their plans.

The Orioles do have a lot of young arms coming up from the minors in the next year or two, but that doesn't mean Guthrie will become expendable by any means. In fact, just the opposite is true. Jeremy will become more valuable. As one blogger pointed out, those young bucks will need a seasoned veteran around. Plus, none of them is anywhere near ready to be a staff ace anyway.

Here are some facts on Guthrie that might answer some questions. Number one, he is going to be 30 years old on April 8th, but don't be deceived by his age. His arm doesn't have anywhere near the miles on it that a normal 30-year-old big league pitcher would have. Guthrie didn't pitch for two years in college while on a Mormon mission, so that saved his arm a bit as far as wear and tear.

While with the Indians organization, Guthrie didn't make his Major League debut until 2004 and only pitched a total of thirty seven innings in the big leagues over the next three seasons. During those three years he averaged a little over 150 innings per year total between the majors and minors. It wasn't until he came to the Orioles in 2007 that he started racking up the major league innings. He pitched 175 innings in 2007 and 190 innings for the O's in 2008. In a nutshell---his arm is younger than his age, so he still should have several productive years ahead.

Jeremy Guthrie

As for the questions about whether Guthrie's recent pay cut could affect his decision to stay with the Orioles in the future, only time will tell. I do know this; Guthrie won't be a free agent until 2012. That works to the Orioles' advantage. There's a lot of time for Guthrie to get over any hard feelings; if they even exist. He's not going anywhere anytime soon though.

Remember last year, everybody freaked out that the Orioles had upset Nick Markakis by not giving him the raise fans and critics felt was warranted? Fast forward one year and Markakis has 66 million reasons to forget about the little snub. Last winter the O's signed him to a six-year, $66 million dollar deal. The club did that before the right field phenom was anywhere near free agency.

Could they do the same with Guthrie? It's very possible, but probably not a six-year deal like Markakis. I could see a two- or three-year contract. We will see what happens this offseason.

Guthrie is still a zero-to-three player, which means he has less than three years big league experience. Because of that, Guthrie won't even be arbitration eligible until this winter.

This winter we should see Guthrie get a pay raise, either by the Orioles agreeing to terms with the pitcher or by going to arbitration.

If the Orioles and Guthrie do go to arbitration, that's when he and his agent can take his statistics, compare them to comparable pitchers around the league and submit a salary number they feel is fair. The Orioles will then submit their number to the independent arbitrator and he or she will pick the one they think is fair. Guthrie has some pretty good stats to bring to the table. His agent shouldn't have a hard time arguing his case.