Right-hander Bob Milacki became the first Baltimore Orioles player to take the club to an arbitration hearing in 12 years yesterday, but the ruling will not be delivered until today.
Milacki and agents Alan and Randy Hendricks presented their case to arbitrator Anthony Sinicropi in an afternoon session at the O'Hare Airport Hyatt Hotel outside Chicago. Club counsel Lon Babby, general manager Roland Hemond and assistant GM Frank Robinson represented the Orioles at the hearing.
Sinicropi is expected to announce today whether Milacki will be granted the $1.18 million salary he requested during the arbitration filing process or the $700,000 figure submitted by the club. The arbitrator has 24 hours after the hearing to select one of the two salary figures, and contract negotiations between the player and the club can continue until he announces his decision.
If Milacki wins, he will become the fourth-highest-paid pitcher on the Orioles staff, behind newcomer Storm Davis ($1.9 million), reliever Gregg Olson ($1.85 million average annual salary over a two-year contract) and free-agent acquisition Rick Sutcliffe ($1.2 million plus incentives).
The Orioles have a history of settling their contract disputes short of arbitration. They had not gone to a hearing since an arbitrator ruled against infielder Billy Smith in 1980. But the number of arbitration-eligible Orioles this year made it nearly impossible to settle with all of them.
Six players filed for arbitration. Brady Anderson, Sam Horn and Bill Ripken came to terms. Mike Devereaux and Randy Milligan remain unsigned. Both are scheduled for hearings on Tuesday in Chicago.
Milligan is seeking $1.4 million for the 1992 season. The club is offering $900,000. A hearing in that case seems almost inevitable. Devereaux filed for $1.075 million and the club offered $875,000, a smaller salary gap that has a better chance to be negotiated away.