Major Arbitration Paydays For 2012

Last month we looked at the best players who will be arbitration eligible for the first time in 2012, including Andrew McCutchen, Clayton Kershaw, and David Price.  While the top names in that group will be well-compensated, none project to earn $10MM or more for the '12 season.  Which arbitration eligible players are headed toward that level of a payday?

  • Jered Weaver, Angels.  Even after losing an arbitration case to the Angels, Weaver stands to jump past $10MM with another $3MM+ raise.
  • Hunter Pence, Astros.  Pence won his arbitration case against the Astros, netting an extra $1.75MM.  Another $3MM+ jump will put him right around $10MM, and he's arbitration eligible twice more if he's not non-tendered.
  • Matt Garza, Cubs.  He's at $5.95MM currently, so a jump to $10MM seems unlikely.  He'll be arbitration eligible again after '12.  Jeremy Guthrie and Joe Saunders are working from similar salaries, while Francisco Liriano is over $1MM behind.
  • John Danks, White Sox.  Danks is paid $6MM this year, so he and Garza face a similar challenge in trying to make the leap to $10MM.
  • Carlos Quentin, White Sox.  Much is riding on Quentin's 2010.  If he has another 2008 he could get to $8MM or more and the White Sox won't mind.
  • Andre Ethier, Dodgers.  Ethier sees a non-tender after the season as a possibility, but that seems unlikely.  But whether it's the Dodgers or another club, Ethier should get around $12MM next year.
  • Matt Kemp, Dodgers.  Kemp will be coming from a $6.95MM salary, so he should also see his first $10MM+ payday.
  • Tim Lincecum, Giants.  Extension talks between Lincecum and the Giants are not expected during the season.  He'll be building on a $13MM salary, which might be even higher had he not signed a two-year deal previously.  This is a case to watch next offseason.  Lincecum's teammate Jonathan Sanchez probably won't make it to $10MM next year but he could be close.
  • Shin-Soo Choo, Indians.  Choo is operating from a strong $3.95MM first-time salary, which he could double next time around.  Nelson Cruz will operate from a slightly lower salary.
  • Luke Scott, Orioles.  Scott is not someone you usually think of as a $10MM player, but he's already at $6.4MM.  Another nice year will put him in the eight-figure range.    
  • Cole Hamels, Phillies.  Like Lincecum, Hamels signed a multiyear extension but left at least one arbitration year open.  He's already at $9.5MM this year.  Next year might cost $12-13MM, and then each free agent year should be priced at $20MM+. Hamels hopes to stay with the Phillies.
  • Mike Napoli, Rangers.  Napoli is already at $5.8MM, so the Rangers will have a tough decision as to whether to tender him a contract for '12.
  • Delmon Young, Twins.  Young will be paid $5.375MM this year, and another 100 RBI year should push him close to $10MM.

Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the info.

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13 Responses to Major Arbitration Paydays For 2012 Leave a Reply

  1. stl_cards16 4 years ago

    At the end of the season when the Rangers look at Mike Napoli’s numbers after playing in Arlington all year, I think he will for sure be back. I think he is going to have a huge year with that ballpark and getting plenty of playing time. With their question marks at first base, and no true DH, I think it is a no-brainer to bring him back.

  2. Mario Saavedra 4 years ago

    Not non-tendered = tendered… at least that’s what I thought.

  3. indybucfan 4 years ago

    This McCutchen’s second full year. Unless he is granted super 2 status, he won’t be arb eligible until after 2012.

  4. $1742854 4 years ago

    $10M for Delmon? Yikes.

    • TapDancingTeddy 4 years ago

      I think he would have an easier time getting 10MM in arbitration than on the open market. In arbitration traditional numbers like Delmon’s BA and RBI still carry a lot of weight. In the open market, OBP is more attractive than BA, and GM’s are increasingly interested in WAR, UZR where Delmon doesn’t shine.

  5. andrewyf 4 years ago

    Let’s see, prime-age years, upper-3s strikeout to walk ratio, yup, if Cole Hamels is allowed to hit free agency, he’s easily getting $20MM a year.

  6. I’m not sure whether I’d make the commitment as a GM, but I definitely put Hamels above the Lackey/Burnett bracket and I do think he would find a team willing to pay $20MM a year per free agent season (barring a major injury between now and then).

  7. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    but that would depend on if the Lackey/Burnett signings being the new market price, or just outliers overspends for mid rotation arms.

  8. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    “I definitely put Hamels above the Lackey/Burnett bracket ”

    because of the years since they’ve signed? i don’t see why else you would. at the time of the signings, they had proven ceilings quite a bit higher than hamels, who has broken 4 WAR only once 4.4) – even in the NL

    burnett was coming off a 5.5 WAR season in the AL East (and had reached 5 before) and Lackey despite a down 2009 averaged close to 6 WAR in the AL for the three years previous

    i mean if you’re putting his pricetag above theirs because of other factors – scarcity, new market etc. – that makes sense to me. but without a breakout year for hamels in 2010, i don’t really get it

  9. stl_cards16 4 years ago

    I don’t think it’s the new market price, as much as it depends on who has the need (setting the market). The market changes every year. If Hamels hits the open market at 29 and the Yankees still have a clear need for another good arm in the rotation, I have no doubts they would top 5/100 to get him to NY.

  10. East Coast Bias 4 years ago

    Problem is, they (Sox) had to do something that offseason (09) after going the last offseason (08) signing penny pinchers, no pun intended. Also, that’s the season (08) that the Yankees signed Tex, CC, and AJ. I can see the Lackey signing as a move to both add some experience and stability to the rotation, but more importantly, letting the fanbase know they’re serious about winning and willing to shell out the $ to contend.

    EDIT: Now with (years) to fight away the confusion!

  11. East Coast Bias 4 years ago

    Wait a minute, you think the Yankees would be willing to spend 4m ABOVE what AJ gets paid for a number 2 pitcher? If we’re comparing Hamels to AJ and Lackey, then why is he worth 4-5m above what they’re getting paid? No way I see that happening with Cashman still running the ship.

  12. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    2011, obv

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