First-Time Arbitration Eligible For 2012

Kendrys Morales, Joey Votto, Jay BruceBilly ButlerGeovany Soto, Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz, Johnny Cueto, and Phil Hughes were among the players who were arbitration eligible for the first time in 2011.  Several of the biggest names signed multiyear extensions, while other top players signed one-year deals in the $3-4MM range.  For most players, arbitration eligibility is their first shot at a million-dollar salary.  Let's go around the diamond and look at the potential notable first-timers for 2012.  I've included some potential Super Twos, based on the possibility of the cutoff being in the range of two years and 120 days.


Nick Hundley leads this small group, which also includes John Baker.  Hundley may set a career-high for playing time this year, and he has extra financial incentive to produce.

First Basemen

Not much here aside from Oakland's Daric Barton.  His agent at Legacy Sports Group faces the tough task of getting the arbitration system to properly value walks.

Second Basemen

Gordon Beckham of the White Sox might be the most interesting name here, if service time of 2.123 results in Super Two status.  Sean Rodriguez, Mike Aviles, and Blake DeWitt should also be arbitration eligible after the season.


The Rangers' Elvis Andrus heads the first-time arbitration eligible shortstops.  Offensively, his agent's pitch might be based on runs scored and stolen bases.  Jed Lowrie and Paul Janish also should be arbitration eligible.

Third Basemen

Casey McGehee and Pablo Sandoval top the list of first-timers at the hot corner.  Their cases figure to be linked, as they currently have very similar career home run and RBI numbers.


It's time for the Pirates to consider an extension for Andrew McCutchen, who will be arbitration eligible after the season after adding to his already impressive numbers.  Colby Rasmus and Brett Gardner are also in line for arbitration paydays, with Travis Snider a potential Super Two at a projected 2.126.  Chris Coghlan, Will Venable, Seth Smith, and Dexter Fowler are a few of the other arbitration eligible outfielders.

Starting Pitchers

Many of the game's best young starters will be arbitration eligible after the 2011 season, if they're not extended first.  Clayton Kershaw, Clay Buchholz, Max Scherzer, Trevor Cahill, Jaime Garcia, and Gio Gonzalez are the headliners, but don't forget J.A. Happ, Brett Cecil, Randy Wells, Justin Masterson, Jordan Zimmermann, Clayton Richard, Jeff Niemann, Homer Bailey, and Phil Coke.  Three who have a chance at Super Two, especially if the cutoff keeps decreasing: Tommy Hanson (2.120), Derek Holland (2.120), and Ian Kennedy (2.124).    


Andrew Bailey, Daniel Bard, Luke Gregerson, Tyler Clippard, Evan Meek, and Sergio Romo are the top relievers who project to be first-time arbitration eligible after 2011.  Plenty more are in the mix, including Kevin Jepsen, Jason Motte, Mitchell Boggs (2.125), Joe Thatcher, Tony Sipp, Ryan Perry, Jose Mijares, and David Robertson.

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12 Responses to First-Time Arbitration Eligible For 2012 Leave a Reply

  1. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    The Indians need to seriously consider signing Choo long term. He’s still only 28 and at least in the top 3 of right fielders in the game, so they might as well rebuild around him.

    Or they could always just trade him in the offseason to the Red Sox for Nava and Hill (Yes, that was a joke).

    • krosnest0713 4 years ago

      I know you said it was a joke but why would the Sox trade for him? Drew is off the books after this year but they have Kalish waiting to take over right field. And so far Hill has been doing well in spring training as a reliever.

      • If they could get Choo for Nava and Hill then you definitely go ahead and do it. That’s easy.

      • start_wearing_purple
        start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

        As I said, joke. But I wouldn’t mind seeing Choo patrolling right in Fenway over Kalish. Choo is incredibly underrated and Kalish is a rookie, basically the argument is proven talent versus prospect.

    • I can see the Indians clashing with Scott Boras on what a reasonable extension offer would be, but you never know.

      • start_wearing_purple
        start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

        Ah… I forgot that Scott Boras was his agent.

  2. wintwins 4 years ago

    I just took a super two

  3. Todd Smith 4 years ago

    Are you sure about McCutchen? Last year was his first full year. After this season, he should be at 2.123…is that enough for Super Two?

    • Todd Smith 4 years ago

      Nevermind, actually went back and read the first paragraph of the article. Duh.

  4. The Dodgers need to sign Kershaw to a deal.. He would easily get the biggest deal out of all these players if they were Free Agents. If he has another awesome season, he will be line for a massive pay day not after long.

  5. NorCalTribeFan 4 years ago

    I think Chris Perez is arb eligible after the season. He should be on the list.

  6. RahZid 4 years ago

    I would expect an extension to come by the end of May. Clay is looking for Lester money, and that’s certainly reasonable.

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