The Orioles avoided arbitration with second baseman Jonathan Schoop, agreeing to terms on a contract for the 2018 season worth $8.5 million, an industry source confirmed Tuesday afternoon.
Schoop's arbitration hearing was scheduled for Thursday, but with his deal finalized, the Orioles have just one unresolved contract with an arbitration-eligible player. Right-hander Kevin Gausman is the only one of the team's seven arbitration-eligible players still unsigned.
When Schoop and the Orioles filed salary figures last month, the sides were $1.5 million apart, with Schoop filing for $9 million and the team countering at $7.5 million. Schoop, 26, will receive a $5.025 million raise from 2017, when he had a breakout season in which he set career highs in homers (32), RBIs (105), batting average (.293), on-base percentage (.338) and slugging percentage (.503).
He will be going into his second of three arbitration years, and is eligible to become a free agent after the 2019 season.
Schoop's unresolved contract situation drew the spotlight last month when he missed the Orioles' annual offseason FanFest event and manager Buck Showalter said the second baseman did not attend under the advisement of his agent, Steve Veltman. Both Showalter and executive vice president Dan Duquette expressed their disappointment that Schoop didn't attend the event. He has missed each of the past two FanFests, a last-minute absence from the 2017 event because of a death in his family.
The team's other five arbitration-eligible players -- infielder Manny Machado, closer Zach Britton, reliever Brad Brach, infielder Tim Beckham and catcher Caleb Joseph -- all agreed to terms on one-year deals on Jan. 12, the deadline for teams to exchange salary figures with arbitration-eligible players.
The Orioles and Schoop were close to a deal on that day as well, coming within about $300,000 of an agreement -- according to a source -- but couldn't finalize a deal then.
With Schoop now signed and Gausman's case still unsettled, the Orioles have doled out $15.405 million in raises to six arbitration-eligible players.
Gausman's arbitration hearing is scheduled for Monday, but the pitcher and the club were less than $1 million apart when they exchanged figures, with him filing at $6.225 million and the team filing at $5.3 million. He made $3.45 million last season in his first of four arbitration-eligible seasons as a Super 2 qualifier.
Schoop agreeing to terms was first reported by The Athletic.
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