Jeremy Guthrie just completed his fifth season in the Orioles' rotation and it was a season where he went 9-17 with an ERA of 4.33. Guthrie will be arbitration-eligible again before the 2012 season and after that year he can become a free agent.
Last winter, he and his agent approached the Orioles about the possibility of a multi-year contract, but the club was not interested then. Guthrie figures nothing has changed and said recently that no one has approached him about a multi-year deal.
"No they haven't. We asked them if they were interested in exploring the option of a multi-year contract (last winter) and they politely said no. So I would assume if their opinion changed they would approach us but otherwise we'll just continue down the road the CBA outlines for players. I think, if there is any interest, they would express it, otherwise we would just assume they stand where they stood before," Guthrie said.
Guthrie made his comments during the last series of the season against Boston when he took part in a live video chat here on MASNSports.com.
"There is no reason to think that they would (approach me about a new contract). Nothing necessarily changed this year that would, in my mind or on our side, make us think now they'd be more motivated to offer a multi-year contract than they were seven months ago."
After all this time with the Orioles, I asked Guthrie if that was disappointing to him?
"No, it's not," he said. "You never take anything for granted or assume you are entitled to anything. So to think that a team should offer me any type of contract beyond one year, I don't assume that. I've always just thought I'll go out and play year-to-year and do the best that I can.
"I think any multi-year contract is a great blessing and you have to be very fortunate to get to that point in your career. So, if it ever happens for me, I'll be happy, but it's not something I take offensively because it hasn't happened. It doesn't affect the way I feel."
Guthrie's stats were not as good last year as they were in 2010. His ERA increased from 3.83 to 4.33 and his WHIP went from 1.16 (seventh best in the American League in 2010) to 1.34 (34th best in 2011).
Late in the year, Guthrie was trying to avoid becoming just the second pitcher in franchise history to lose 20 games. Don Larsen lost 21 in 1954. Guthrie had 17 losses with four starts left, but he went 3-0 with an ERA of 3.46 over those last four outings.
So as we head into another offseason, Guthrie is not expecting a new contract from the team beyond one year and just figures it will be another time when he goes through the arbitration process.
"That's what you hope, right? Nothing is guaranteed in baseball," he said. "They could release me or trade me, do all kinds of things. Non-tender me. There are a number of things that could happen, but I guess that is one of the more likely scenarios is that they offer me a contract and we work out the details of what it is for next season."
Some fans look at Guthrie and see a pitcher that has lost 17 games now for two of the last three years. Others see an innings-eater that is a leader for the young pitchers.
What is your take on Guthrie? Should the Orioles consider signing him to a multi-year deal? Should they float his name in trade talks? Can a team deperate for starting pitching part with a hurler like Guthrie?
If you have a few minutes, click here to watch an excerpt of Jeremy Guthrie's live video chat on MASNSports.com, where he covered many topics and took fans' questions.
Here is the video Guthrie talked about during his video chat from his musical "intervention."