The Baltimore Orioles cleared their docket of arbitration cases yesterday by signing pitcher Jeff Robinson to a one-year contract worth $575,000.
The club thus avoided an arbitration hearing for the 13th consecutive winter. No Oriole has undergone the entire process since infielder Billy Smith in 1978.
As with first baseman Glenn Davis, who signed for an Orioles-record $3.275 million this week, Robinson and the club compromised.
The Orioles offered $465,000 after a season in which Robinson went 10-9 with a 5.96 ERA for the Detroit Tigers, raising his career record to 36-26. Robinson, whom the Orioles acquired for catcher Mickey Tettleton, was asking for $750,000.
"It's not at the midpoint [of the two submitted figures], but his caseis the same as the others," said Orioles general manager Roland Hemond. "Everybody's happy, and it was settled on an amicable basis."
Robinson was unavailable for comment yesterday. When he visited Baltimore last week to work out, he said: "I don't want to go all the way [to arbitration]. I think we'll get it done before that. I don't see any reason why we can't."
Now it is done, and Robinson is in Sarasota, Fla., ready for spring training.
Third baseman Leo Gomez also signed a one-year contract yesterday, for slightly more than the major-league minimum.
Hemond said Gomez called assistant general manager Doug Melvin and expressed regret over Gomez's comments last week that challenged the team to "trade me or Craig Worthington."
Said Hemond: "He said he regretted how that came out and that he realized nobody had a job and he'd have to compete for it. Sometimes, young players say things without thinking."