Sherrill & Olson

It looks like the Orioles and George Sherrill are headed for a showdown — in an arbitrator’s office — perhaps sometime next month, unless a deal can be worked out. As it is, from what I know, the arbitration process is no fun as both sides argue for money — the Orioles want to pay him X amount, while Sherrill wants Y amount.

Basically, Baltimore will counter that Sherrill is not what he thinks he’s worth, while number 52 will contend why he should get a raise.

Usually, the amount the player gets is somewhere between the lowest figure (the team) and the highest figure (the player). The Orioles have been successful aruging arbitration cases, and usually there’s hurt feelings, but everyone tries to be professional and move on. As much fun as baseball is, it’s a huge business — and sometimes a very cruel one.

George started strong in 2008 and ended up in the All-Star Game — quite an accomplishment — however, he suffered an injury not too long after that game and seemingly was never the same once he returned. Based on the way he finished, and his overall numbers at the end of the season — 3-5, 4.73 ERA, 31 SV, 53.1 IP, 53 Games — he’ll lose the case.

From the Baltimore Sun’s Peter Schmuck: The Orioles are down to one salary arbitration case, and George Sherrill will get his day in salary court on Feb. 19 in Phoenix if the sides don’t compromise on a figure between his salary demand of $3.4 million and the club’s offer of $2.2 million.

Sherrill saved 31 games last year and made the All-Star team, but struggled with a tired arm down the stretch. He earned $900,000 for his first season with the Orioles and is looking at a win-win situation, since the worst he can do is a 144 percent raise. If I had to guess, I think the club has the advantage here, both on the merits and on the perfect arbitration track record of Orioles attorney Russell Smouse.

Smouse is 6-0 in cases that go to a hearing and the club is 8-1 in its last nine cases dating back to 1994. I’ll throw a guess out there and predict that the thing gets settled at $2.7 million before Sherrill has to fly to Arizona during the first week of pitcher/catcher workouts.

They’ll get this settled before the case is scheduled — I hope.


I really thought Garrett Olson was headed to San Diego after being traded to Chicago. Geez, it’s funny how the business side of the game works at times.

SEATTLE – Garrett Olson’s stay in Chicago was brief — less than two weeks.

The Cubs today traded the former Orioles left-hander and infielder Ronny Cedeno to the Mariners for recently acquired reliever Aaron Heilman.

The Orioles traded Olson and Single-A pitcher Henry Williamson to the Cubs on Jan. 18 for outfielder Felix Pie. Olson, 25, was 10-13 with a 6.87 ERA in 33 starts for the Orioles the past two seasons.

Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said today that Olson will get the chance to join the starting rotation, and Cedeno will compete for a job at second base and shortstop, prodding incumbents Jose Lopez and Yuniesky Betancourt.

Good luck, Garrett.