Pitcher Jeremy Guthrie and his representatives were prepared for an arbitration hearing, and confident in their chances of winning it, but they elected to avoid the process and reached an agreement with the Orioles earlier today on a one-year deal.
"It's exciting to come to an agreement that both sides agree is fair," Guthrie said during our phone conversation a few minutes ago.
"We've been working on this for about a year, anticipating this part of my career - with my agents and with the union - so I think both sides were very prepared."
The two sides settled at $3 million, pretty much splitting the difference after Guthrie submitted $3.625 million and the Orioles countered at $2.3 million. A hearing was scheduled for early next week, but the process never reached that point.
"I've expressed that I had anticipated going to a hearing for some time, and because of the hard work of my agents (from CAA Sports) and the union, we were very confident going forward that if we did end up in a hearing, we were going to present a very strong case that would give us a great opportunity to earn the number that we filed. But at the end of the day, it's a business decision.
"The Orioles were very fair in their negotiations with us, and I'm grateful to them. They gave us their best offer with time to consider it, and as we looked at all the factors and viewed the risks involved in going through with a hearing, we made a decision that we feel very comfortable with, and that now allows both the team and myself to look forward to the 2010 season. And hopefully we can make it a good one."