The Orioles have avoided an arbitration hearing with Trey Mancini, as the team announced that the two sides have agreed to a contract for the 2022 season. The deal also contains a mutual option for the 2023 campaign. The Athletic’s Dan Connelly (through Twitter) reports that Mancini will earn $7.5MM in 2022, and the mutual option is worth $10MM with a $250K buyout. Mancini is represented by Frontline.
Mancini and the O’s couldn’t reach common ground on a deal prior to the deadline for exchanging arbitration figures, and there was a $625K gap between the two numbers — the Orioles offering $7.375MM and Mancini seeking $8MM. With the buyout money factored in, Mancini is guaranteed $7.75MM in 2022, bringing his total earnings closer to his desired figure. MLBTR’s Matt Swartz projected Mancini for a $7.9MM salary, a nice bump up from the $4.75MM salaries Mancini received in his first two arb-eligible seasons.
Of course, Mancini didn’t receive a raise last winter since he didn’t play in 2020, taking the year off to battle colon cancer. Receiving a clean bill of health heading into last season, Mancini won AL Comeback Player Of The Year honors after hitting .255/.326/.432 with 21 home runs over 616 plate appearances in his return to action.
2022 is Mancini’s third and final season of arbitration eligibility, and he is scheduled to hit free agency next winter. While the inclusion of the mutual option technically represents something beyond just a flat one-year deal, mutual options are rarely exercised by both parties. In short, the option doesn’t make it any more or less likely that Mancini will still be an Oriole at this time next year, and it remains possible that the rebuilding O’s could still trade Mancini to a contender at some point prior to the trade deadline.
John Means is the only remaining member of Baltimore’s arbitration class that has yet to agree to terms on his 2022 contract. Means submitted a $3.1MM figure while the Orioles submitted a $2.7MM figure, and barring an agreement, the two sides are set to eventually meet in an arbitration hearing.