George Sherrill & Orioles Agree To A Deal Avoiding Arbitration

As predicted, George Sherrill will not go to arbitation as the closer and the Orioles have come to an agreement for his 2009 contract…

From the Baltimore Sun: The Orioles avoided arbitration with George Sherrill tonight, signing the All-Star reliever to a $2.75 million deal for the 2009 season.

Eligible for arbitration for the first time, Sherrill, who saved 31 games last season, tripled his salary from 2008. Sherrill had asked for $3.4 mllion, while the Orioles offered $2.2 million. The hearing had been scheduled for Feb. 19.

The signing means the Orioles won’t have any arbitration hearings again this season. They haven’t gone to arbitration since beating Rodrigo Lopez before the 2006 season. Overall, the Orioles have gone to arbitration nine times since 1994 and are 8-1 in those cases. The club is 6-0 when its arbitration efforts have been led by general counsel H. Russell Smouse.

Sherrill, 31, finished seventh in the American League last year in saves, and set career highs with 53 1/3 innings pitched and 58 strikeouts. His season highlight came in his first All-Star Game, when he pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings to help the American League secure a 15-inning victory at Yankee Stadium.