Garrett Jones and the Pirates had an arbitration hearing yesterday and the three-person panel has ruled in favor of the team, meaning he’ll be paid $2.25 million this season instead of the $2.5 million he requested.
Going through with a hearing over a $250,000 gap is unusual, but Jones is arbitration eligible for the first time at age 30 and after a decade spent in the minors he may have wanted to squeeze out every cent he could. Or try to, at least.
Back when Jones was a minor leaguer in the Twins farm system he rarely produced like someone destined for the majors. He’s been better than expected, but has hit just .245 with a .312 on-base percentage and .422 slugging percentage in 306 games since his out-of-nowhere rookie campaign. Those are sub par numbers for a first baseman/corner outfielder and it’s hard to imagine the Pirates keeping him around next season with another big raise due.
The Orioles announced, prior to Sunday’s game against the Yankees, that the club signed pitcher Tommy Hunter to a major league contract. In related roster moves, the club recalled pitcher Oliver Drake from Triple-A Norfolk and designated pitcher T.J. McFarland and outfielder Julio Borbon for assignment.
The Indians released Hunter on Thursday after he struggled in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus. Hunter was recovering from a non-displaced fracture in his lower back. The right-hander put up a respectable 3.74 ERA with a 17/5 K/BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings for the Indians.
This will be Hunter’s second stint with the Orioles. The O’s had acquired him along with first baseman Chris Davis at the trade deadline from the Rangers in 2011 in the Koji Uehara trade.
The Orioles are only responsible for paying Hunter the prorated major league minimum.
Orioles DH Mark Trumbo drilled a two-run home run to left-center field off of reliever Ben Heller in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Yankees. In doing so, he became the first player to reach the 40-homer plateau this season.
Trumbo finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Along with the 40 dingers, he’s hitting .257/.317/.541 with 96 RBI. He has already set a career-high in homers and is four RBI away from tying his career high in that regard.
Trumbo is eligible for free agency after the season. Needless to say, his performance in 2016 bodes well for his ability to secure a hefty contract.