Baltimore Orioles: Alejandro De Aza Ends 2015 Arbitration


Oct 11, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles center fielder

Adam Jones

(10) is congratulated by left fielder

Alejandro De Aza

(12) after Jones hit a two-run home run in the third inning in game two of the 2014 ALCS playoff against the Kansas City Royals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

With Alejandro De Aza losing his arbitration case with the Baltimore Orioles, he will make $5 million in 2015 rather that his price of $5.65 million. Personally, I’d take either one; in fact, I’d gladly take simply the difference!

This ends the large arbitration-eligible offseason for the O’s, as De Aza was the last of a total of 11 Orioles in this category.

It was known going into this process that there were going to be some significant raises, as these players now comprise about 50% of the entire payroll. And this is the single largest reason the Orioles were not active in the top levels of the free agent market this year. Next year could be a different story as probably six of these (the first six in the chart) become free agents, along with Wei-Yin Chen, Darren O’Day and Delmon Young. Not many are likely to be extended or return.

The 11 arbitration-eligible players for the Orioles made a total of $32 million in 2014. Combining their raises together, they will now be making $57.515 million.

Several times here at The Baltimore Wire we have referenced the progress of these negotiations. And while doing so, we have referred to the work of Matt Swartz of He has put together a very accurate prognosticating tool for this category of players. How’d he do? Pretty good. He called for the 11 “arbs” to tally $56.9 million, so he was only off by about 1%.

To put all of this into a chart, this is what it looks like:

Name2014 SalaryProjected 2015Actual 2015
Alejando De Aza$4.25M$5.9M$5.0M
Matt Wieters$7.7M$7.9M$8.3M
Steve Pearce$700K$2.2M$3.7M
Bud Norris$5.3M$8.7M$8.8M
Tommy Hunter$3.0M$4.4M$4.65M
Chris Davis$10.35M$11.8M$12M
Brian Matusz$2.4M$2.7M$3.2M
Chris Tillman$546K$5.4M$4.315M
Miguel Gonzalez$529K$3.7M$3.275M
Ryan Flaherty$513K$1.0M$1.075M
Zach Britton$522K$3.2M$3.2M
Totals$32M $56.9M$57.515

As you can see, his two biggest misses were first with Steve Pearce, who go $1.5 million more than anticipated. This Swartz prediction always seemed a bit low, as Pearce’s season in 2014 was truly outstanding, not just pretty good or above average.  And secondly, Swartz projected Tillman to get over a millions dollars more than he did. I too would have expected a higher number, and the Orioles can be pleased they settled for as low a salary as they have.

A Daniel Cabrera Comeback? Really?

Perhaps belonging almost in the bizarre category is news that the Cincinnati Reds are taking a flyer on former Oriole Daniel Cabrera, who last played in the Bigs in 2009. That is almost back to my childhood, let alone his (he is age 33).

There was never a doubt that Cabrera could throw the ball hard, but he had a problem not dissimilar to Ubaldo Jimenez.

All but 51 innings of Cabrera’s career were with the Baltimore Orioles from 2004-2008. During that time he had a 5.05 ERA and record of 48-59. At times, he was simply lights-out!  But, he walked 5.7 per nine innings with a WHIP of 1.573.  By comparison, Ubaldo’s numbers in 2014 were 5.5 and 1.516.

Cabrera has pitched well in Japan the past two years with a combined 3.49 ERA.

This could be an interesting story to check in on from time to time this spring.

Next: Ubaldo off to a good start