First Time Arbitration-Eligibles

More than 80 players project to be eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2010 season.  It's a big step in a player's career; for many, it's the first chance at a million-dollar salary.  Let's go around the diamond and look at some notable first-timers:


The Athletics' Kurt Suzuki leads the group.  He's yet to discuss a long-term extension with the A's, but it seems possible.  Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Brayan Pena should also be eligible.

First Basemen

This group has three huge names: Kendry Morales, Joey Votto, and Billy Butler.  They're candidates for extensions, but either way they're getting big raises in 2011.

Second Basemen

Martin Prado may be on his way to a breakout season.  Alberto Callaspo fits here as well, unless you consider him a third baseman.


Some impressive youngsters here: Yunel Escobar, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Brendan Ryan.

Third Basemen

Ian Stewart and Andy LaRoche lead the way, with Stewart a potential Super Two.


Shin-Soo Choo, Adam Jones, Nelson Cruz, Ben Zobrist, Jacoby Ellsbury, Ryan Sweeney, Lastings Milledge – it's a talented group.  Choo and Ellsbury are represented by Scott Boras, and thus appear unlikely to sign long-term.

Starting Pitchers

The top names: Jair Jurrjens, Mike Pelfrey, John Lannan, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Kevin Slowey, and Phil Hughes.  These days, most of the best young starters are locked up before reaching arbitration.  Brandon Morrow, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Ross Ohlendorf, and Luke Hochevar are more arbitration candidates, with the latter two likely Super Twos.


Joba Chamberlain, Jim Johnson, and Chris Perez are the best-known relievers; Perez is a potential Super Two.  The group has more solid members in Eric O'Flaherty, Kyle McClellan, Joe Smith, Aaron Laffey, Burke Badenhop, Edward Mujica, Joel Hanrahan, and Darren O'Day

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7 Comments on "First Time Arbitration-Eligibles"

5 years 4 months ago

I could be wrong on how this adds up, but since Colby Rasmus made the St. Louis opening day roster last season wouldn’t that make him a Super Two? Assuming of course he stays on the roster all of this season.

5 years 4 months ago

To be a Super Two you will always need two years plus more than 130 days of service time…Rasmus will just be an even two years after the season.

5 years 4 months ago

Thank you, I was just curious since Rsamus’s contract will probably end up being one of the 10,000 things that ends up being affected directly or indirectly by Pujols’s extension.

5 years 4 months ago

Some people wondered (or whined about) why the Braves didn’t hand over a huge long term contract to that mythical ‘big bat’ this winter. Jurrjens, Escobar, Prado and to a lesser extent O’Flaherty will all of a sudden go from playing for thousands to playing for millions. Kawakami and Lowe will come off the books in ’11 and ’12 respectively so that will help as their arb awards and free agent years aproach, but a big (say a Bay or Holliday) contract would really complicate things, expecially when we start paying Heyward in three years.

5 years 4 months ago

I have a hard time believing that any of the 4 players that you mentioned are going to make enough money to stop the Braves from having potentially siging a big bat. I think that not being able to unload Lowe and his 3 years and having instead unloaded Vazquez and his 1 year was probably the biggest issue. Heyward probably won’t start to make big time money for 4 or 5 years, had they say signed Bay to a deal similar to the one he got from the Mets that deal would’ve either been off or almost off the books by that time, they could potentially sign him to favorable contract and addressed that issue before it actaully became an issue.

5 years 4 months ago

Joey Votto, Edinson Volquez, and Johnny Cueto.

The Reds going to be spending some money this winter.

5 years 4 months ago

Well, they have Harang ($14M) and Arroyo ($13M) coming off the books, as well as Hernandez, Cabrera, Rhodes and Lincoln, too. Not to mention that Rolen takes a $4.5M payc ut next year.

That’s over $40M coming off the books, which should help to pay for the raises to the first-year arb guys, as well as the raise already in place for Phillips. I still can’t believe that the Reds have been spending so much money over the past couple years on Harang, Arroyo and Cordero.