Although he doesn't agree with the evaluation, Bill Ripken's representative said he wasn't surprised that the Orioles proposed to cut the second baseman's salary by $70,000.
"We anticipated that they might file a cut on Bill," said Michael Maas, an associate of Ron Shapiro, who is handling negotiations. "We don't agree, but it's part of the process."
When figures were submitted for arbitration on 136 major-league players Friday, Ripken was one of only eight who wasn't offered a raise. The Orioles proposed a salary of $630,000, with Ripken countering with a request for $800,000, a 14 percent raise over the $700,000 he earned last year.
"We really have had very little discussions," said Maas. "Bill has been on the team's cruise, and we haven't had much chance to talk about it -- either with him or the club."
Maas, however, did point out a similarity between the Los Angeles Dodgers' Stan Javier and Ripken. "They had similar years," he said, "and Javier is assured of at least a $25,000 raise."
With a .986 fielding percentage, Ripken was one of the American League's top-fielding second basemen. But he was limited to 104 games because of injuries and batted .216 in 287 at-bats. Javier hit .205 in 178 at-bats.
Maas would not speculate on the likelihood of the case's going to arbitration, but it seems likely the two sides will settle on a salary somewhere in between the figures submitted.