The 2017 season was a down year for a player of Machado's caliber, as the third baseman got off to a cold start. So that salary should not be a hindrance if the Orioles do trade Machado this year.
Because they tendered Britton a contract before the injury, and because the injury occurred while in the capacity of preparing for the season, the belief is the Orioles would have to pay most, if not all, of his salary even if they cut him before the season.
Shortstop Tim Beckham agreed to a $3.35 million deal for 2018, according to a report from The Baltimore Sun. The previous record salary for an arbitration-eligible player was the $19.75 million that left-hander David Price negotiated before the exchange deadline in 2015 for his final year before free agency.
Britton earned $11.4 million in 2017.
The Orioles could still reach an agreement before Machado's arbitration hearing.
That left the Orioles with two arbitration-eligible players Friday afternoon: pitcher Kevin Gausman and second baseman Jonathan Schoop. Right-handed reliever Brad Brach also went to an arbitration hearing last year, handing the Orioles their only arbitration hearing defeat in 22 years. If Baltimore does decide to trade Machado, they might be reluctant to send him to an AL East rival like the Yankees or Red Sox. MLB.com's Mark Feinsand says the deal also includes awards bonuses.
While the Orioles are prepared to hold on to Machado and Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette has said his focus has turned to other offseason priorities, the team has continued to field offers.
Machado is eligible for free agency after the 2018 season and has been mentioned prominently in trade rumors, but the Orioles appear to have made little progress since telling teams they would be willing to entertain offers during the Major League Baseball winter meetings in December.
This story will be updated.