Scott, O's avoid arbitration with one-year deal

Scott, O's avoid arbitration with one-year deal

Scott, O's avoid arbitration with one-year deal
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles have avoided arbitration with Luke Scott, agreeing to a one-year deal on Thursday that will pay the outfielder $6.4 million in 2011.

The deal -- first reported by The Baltimore Sun -- avoids what is often a contentious hearing, which had been scheduled for Monday, and is a compromise for both sides. Scott, last season's Most Valuable Oriole, wanted $6.85 million, while the club countered with $5.7 earlier this offseason. The two sides briefly flirted with the idea of a longer deal before settling on a one-year contract.

Scott, who earned $4.05 million in 2010, hit a career-high 27 home runs and totaled 72 RBIs in 131 games last season. Known to be a streaky hitter, he put together a solid four-and-a-half-month stretch, finishing with a .284 batting average and a .535 slugging percentage. With the Orioles agreeing to terms Vladimir Guerrero, Scott is expected to be the team's regular left fielder.

The Orioles' lone arbitration-eligible player without a contract is Jeremy Guthrie, whose hearing is scheduled for Wednesday. Guthrie proposed a salary of $6.5 million for 2011, while Baltimore countered with a $5 million offer. The 31-year-old ace anchored the club's rotation, particularly in the second half, when he went 8-4 with a 2.76 ERA in his final 14 starts.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.