Arbitration dates for two Orioles outfielders have been set for later this month in Phoenix, Ariz.
Assistant general manager Kevin Malone said a hearing for Jeffrey Hammonds is scheduled for Feb. 17, two days before a hearing takes place with Tony Tarasco.
Last month, the Orioles submitted a salary figure of $1.3 million to Hammonds, who countered with $1.85 million. The club offered $340,000 to Tarasco, who is seeking $485,000.
Malone said he believed the Orioles were in a strong position with both outfielders based on the marketplace and comparables.
"I think the outcome will favor the Orioles. We're very optimistic that we're operating from a position of strength," he said.
Hammonds, 26, established career highs in games (118), at-bats (397), runs (71), hits (105), total bases (193), doubles (19), triples (three), home runs (21) and RBIs (55). Hampered by a strained left Achilles' tendon, he batted only .185 (23-for-124) after July 21. Barring a trade, he'll go into spring training as the fourth outfielder.
Tarasco, 27, batted .205 with seven homers and 26 RBIs. He went 3-for-37 (.081) from July 20 until the end of the season and wasn't on the playoff roster.
The club has held trade discussions involving Tarasco, but Malone said nothing is imminent.
Pub Date: 2/05/98