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Orioles, Tommy Hunter settle on $4.65 million contract for 2015 season

The O's took care of the first of their arbitration candidates on Monday, agreeing to a $4.65 million contract with Tommy Hunter for the 2015 season.

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles knocked out the first of their many potential arbitration cases on Monday night, settling on a $4.65 million salary for Tommy Hunter for the 2015 season. The news was first reported by CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Hunter, who is in his last year before hitting free agency, will get a nice raise over his $3 million salary from last year.

On MLBTR, Hunter had been projected for a $4.4 million salary.

In all, the Orioles still have ten arbitration-eligible players whose salaries will be increasing compared to last year. That will likely eat up most, all, or even more of the money freed up by departing free agents like Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis.

There will probably be more of these over the next several days. Friday is the date when teams and players must exchange salary numbers if they haven't settled before then. Most teams and most players just don't want to go through the process, so there's incentive to settle ahead of time. For most of the rest, once the sides exchange numbers, that provides an extra to negotiations in that there is a natural halfway point for a compromise.

Hunter put in an appearance at the Orioles minicamp in Sarasota on Monday, although he did not do any throwing due to his offseason use in the MLB All-Stars tour across Japan.