After getting struck by a pitch, Austin Hays leaves.

Austin Hays and the Baltimore Orioles argued the first of 18 scheduled salary arbitration cases, with the All-Star outfielder asking a three-person panel for $6.3 million on Tuesday and the team arguing for $5.85 million.

A decision by Brian Keller, Allen Ponak and Jasbir Parmer is not expected until after cases involving Los Angeles Angels outfielder Taylor Ward and Houston Astros infielder/outfielder Mauricio Dubón are resolved or argued.

The 28-year-old Hays hit .275 last year with 16 homers and 67 RBIs, earning $3.2 million. He is eligible for free agency after the 2025 season.

Two additional Orioles remain scheduled for hearings, which run through Feb. 16: right-hander Jacob Webb ($1 million vs. $925,000) and first baseman/outfielder Ryan O’Hearn ($3.8 million vs. $3.2 million).

Toronto star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has asked for $19.9 million and been offered $18.05 million by the Blue Jays. If the case doesn’t settle, it would be the highest salary awarded in arbitration win or lose, topping the $14 million Seattle outfielder Teoscar Hernández received after he lost his hearing last year.

Outfielder Austin Hays has won his arbitration case with the Baltimore Orioles, The New York Post’s Jon Heyman reported Tuesday.

Hays will make $6.3 million in 2024, rather than the $5.85 million the Orioles proposed. The 28-year-old will be arbitration-eligible again next offseason before hitting free agency ahead of 2026.

Hays was once tabbed as the top prospect in the Orioles’ farm system and the No. 23 prospect in baseball back in 2018. He got a few at-bats at the big league level in 2017 and 2019 before becoming a full-time major leaguer in 2020.

After taking over as an everyday starter in 2021, Hays has yet to relinquish that role, appearing in 420 games in the last three seasons. He is averaging 18 home runs, 66 RBI, seven defensive runs saved and a 2.6 WAR in that span, all while batting .261 with a .752 OPS.

Hays made the All-Star Game for the first time in his career last summer. He moved around in the lineup, spending 25 games as the Orioles’ leadoff man while splitting the rest of his time between the 4-through-7 holes.

Baltimore lost Aaron Hicks to the Los Angeles Angels in free agency, but between Hays, Cedric Mullins and Anthony Santander, they are still projected to return their three top outfielders from a year ago. The trio helped the Orioles win 101 games and the AL East title – their first since 2014 and second since 1997.


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