Duquette: "We are getting the players signed"

Duquette: "We are getting the players signed"
January 15, 2013, 10:30 am

As of Tuesday morning, the Orioles still have seven arbitration eligible players who are unsigned.

Teams and unsigned players will exchange figures on Friday.

Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette is working on signing those who aren’t signed.

“We have a large number of players in the process,” Duquette said. “We are getting the players signed.”

Last Friday, the Orioles signed Nolan Reimold, and on Monday, they agreed to a one-year contract with Tommy Hunter.

Chris Davis, Jason Hammel, Jim Johnson, Brian Matusz, Darren O’Day, Troy Patton and Matt Wieters remain unsigned.

If the players and Orioles can’t reach agreement by early next month, the parties go to arbitration, something that’s best avoided.

“I think it’s better to get a negotiated settlement and agreement between the parties,” Duquette said. “It’s helpful for the player to understand where the team is coming from.”

Some players who attend the hearing feel attacked personally. The arguments used are direct.

“I can see that. Performance is personal. So is compensation,” Duquette says. “We try to compensate our players fairly.”

The Orioles have a strong record in arbitration cases. They’ve won seven straight with club general counsel Russell Smouse making the arguments.

Duquette’s predecessor, Andy MacPhail, was able to avoid the process. Last year in the team’s first case since Rodrigo Lopez in 2006, the club bested Brad Bergesen, who was seeking $1.2 million after a 2-7 record and a 5.70 ERA. The arbitrator sided with the Orioles and awarded Bergesen $800,000.