The Orioles have avoided arbitration with two of their biggest stars, third baseman Manny Machado and closer Zach Britton, according to multiple reports Friday.
Baltimore settled with Machado for $11.5 million and with Britton for $11.4 million for 2017. The club has not confirmed the reports.
Orioles avoid arbitration with Manny Machado and Zach Britton
Machado, only 24, finished in the top five of American League Most Valuable Player Award voting for a second straight year in 2016. He hit .294/.343/.533 with 37 home runs and 96 RBIs, good for a 129 wRC+. Machado racked up 6.5 Wins Above Replacement, per FanGraphs, the seventh-highest WAR in the Major Leagues.
Machado earned his second straight AL All-Star nod last year, and he's been named an All-Star in all three of his full seasons. Although 2016 was his first full season without winning an AL Gold Glove Award, he continued his stellar play at the hot corner (with a midseason stretch at shortstop thrown in for good measure). Machado's 12.6 Ultimate Zone Rating per 150 games was third highest among Major League third basemen.
Britton, meanwhile, had one of the best seasons by a relief pitcher in 2016, going a perfect 47-for-47 in save opportunities with a sparkling 0.54 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 67 innings. He allowed only four earned runs all year and went 41 1/3 innings without one from May 5 to Aug. 22. Britton made his second straight AL All-Star team (getting the save in the All-Star Game) and finished fourth in the AL Cy Young Award voting and 11th in the AL MVP Award voting.
Britton's heavy sinker was nearly impossible to elevate -- the 29-year-old left-hander's 80 percent ground-ball rate was the highest in the Majors. He allowed only one home run all year, to AL MVP Award runner-up Mookie Betts in his fourth outing of the year on April 11.
Of course, one of the moments that stuck out the most from Britton's season was manager Buck Showalter's decision not to use him in the AL Wild Card Game against the Blue Jays, which the Orioles eventually lost on Edwin Encarnacion's walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the 11th.
Machado made $5 million in 2016, while Britton made $6.75 million.
Utility man Ryan Flaherty and pitcher T.J. McFarland also reportedly reached one-year deals to avoid arbitration on Thursday. The Orioles have not confirmed these deals.
David Adler/

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