Orioles avoid arbitration with Scott (updated)

Once again, the Orioles have managed to reach agreement on a contract with an arbitration-eligible player and avoid the potentially messy process.

Luke Scott, expected to be the regular left fielder, has agreed to terms on a 2011 deal, according to a team official. The Sun is reporting that Scott will be paid $6.4 million. He asked for $6.85 million and the Orioles countered at $5.7 million.

A hearing was scheduled for Monday in Phoenix, which is no way to spend Valentine's Day.

It's been an interesting winter for Scott. He stirred up a controversy during the winter meetings with his comments about the president, became the favorite to start in left field after the Orioles signed Vladimir Guerrero and earned a nice raise from his $4.05 million salary in 2010.

The Orioles still need to work out a deal with pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, who's expected to start on opening day. Guthrie is seeking $6.5 million, while the Orioles countered at $5 million. He made $3 million last year.

I'm in the wrong business.

A hearing is slated for Wednesday, but again, it would be surprising if an agreement isn't reached.

When I asked Guthrie in a text message whether he feels that he's getting close to a deal, he wrote back, "Closer than yesterday."

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