Luke Scott and the Orioles avoid arbitration with one-year deal

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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.

Brewers promote David Stearns from GM to president of baseball operations

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It used to be that the top dog in a team’s baseball operations department was the general manager. That has changed over the past several years with some combination of title inflation, a genuine addition of supervisory layers and, on some level, employe poaching insurance leading to the top dog now being called, usually, a “president of baseball operations.”

Brewers’ general manager David Stearns is the latest to assume that tile, as the club just announced that he has been promoted to Milwaukee’s president of baseball operations. He has also received a contract extension of unknown length.

Not a big shock given how well the Brewers did in 2018, winning the NL Central title and playing in the NLCS. It’s also worth noting — with a nod to that “employee poaching insurance” item above — that Stearns has drawn some interest from other organizations. It’s thus not unfair to see the promotion is both a thanks for a job well done and a means of keeping other teams’ hands off of him, as employees are generally not given permission to interview for lateral moves, but are given permission to interview for promotions.

The Mudville Nine may have wanted to steal him from Milwaukee, but for Stearns to get a promotion from where he is now would require the creation of some other lofty title.