Luke Scott filed an arbitration request for $6.85 million while the Orioles countered at $5.7 million, and this afternoon the two sides avoided a hearing by agreeing to a one-year, $6.4 million deal.
That figure is $125,000 above the midpoint and Scott gets a $2.35 million raise after hitting .284 with 27 homers and a .902 OPS in 131 games last season.
Vladimir Guerrero and Derrek Lee arriving in Baltimore means Scott will likely see most of his action in left field after serving as the Orioles’ primary designated hitter last year. Scott’s raw numbers have benefited from sitting against many tough left-handers, but among all left-handed hitters with at least 600 games since 2006 his .869 OPS ranks 11th.
And he’s a helluva deer hunter.
The Baltimore Orioles issued a statement this afternoon in response to the multimedia freakout that has gone down in the wake of Luke Scott saying that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States:
“Luke Scott’s comments do not reflect the opinion of the Baltimore Orioles organization. The fact is that Barack Obama is our President, duly elected by the people of the United States. End of story.”
Bud Selig is relieved. If the team hadn’t stepped in and said this he would have had no choice but to take decisive action. Such as announcing the formation of a committee to study the birthplace of President Obama. I’m sure that we would have received the results of the study by 2015.
Yesterday Orioles’ DH Luke Scott came into the media room here at the Winter Meetings. No real reason, it seemed. He was with Buck Showalter when Showalter was doing his manager availability, and was kind of standing around. I snapped this picture of him because I thought it was pretty sweet that he was walking around with a new beard, a trucker’s cap and an 8×10 glossy of deer that he killed.
After I took the pic Dave Brown of Yahoo! went over to talk to Scott. For those who don’t know, Dave is a fantastic interviewer, with his Answer Man columns easily topping any Q and A out there. He always manages to elicit fun stuff from his subjects. I’m not sure what he got out of Scott can be classified as “fun,” however. More like “nutsy, unhinged crapola.”
After a lot of conversation about hunting, Scott made some comments about socialism. Dave asked him what he thought of the job Obama is doing. Scott launched into outer space:
Obama … hmm … Obama does not represent America. Nor does he represent anything what our forefathers stood for … He was not born here. That’s my belief. I was born here. If someone accuses me of not being born here, I can go — within 10 minutes — to my filing cabinet and I can pick up my real birth certificate and I can go, “See? Look! Here it is.
At which point in the column Dave provides a link and an image of Obama’s birth certificate. Because it exists and it is valid and people who argue to the contrary are either idiots or liars or sheep or all three.
So, Luke Scott: excellent hitter. Polite fellow in person. Complete nutjob.
Audio of Scott’s comments is available on this MSNBC report.
Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reported yesterday that the Orioles won’t be trading Luke Scott after pulling him back off waivers, and now Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun report that the same is true for Ty Wigginton.
Scott is under team control through 2012, so the decision not to trade him could be based in the Orioles thinking they’ll get better value at another time, but Wigginton is a 32-year-old impending free agent coming off his only All-Star selection and MLB Trade Rumors calculates that he won’t qualify for Type A of Type B status.
In other words, in a couple months the Orioles will likely lose Wigginton for nothing.
Luke Scott is quietly having a huge season in Baltimore, hitting .293/.357/.577 with 22 homers and 24 doubles in 92 games to rank eighth among AL hitters with a .934 OPS.
He’d obviously make a nice stretch-run pickup for contenders in need of a big bat and the Orioles placed him on waivers to set up a possible trade, but Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that they pulled him back after a mystery team claimed him. In other words, he won’t be going anywhere.
Scott is signed to a one-year, $4 million contract and will be under team control as an arbitration-eligible player again next season, so the Orioles can either look to deal him this offseason or perhaps keep him around if they think some semblance of contention is possible in 2011.