2012’s Highest-Paid Arbitration Eligible Players

Arbitration eligible players may not get paid like free agents Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, but the arbitration process can be lucrative, too. Many players have already doubled or tripled their 2011 salaries through arbitration and some of the unsigned arbitration eligible players are set to do the same in the coming weeks, as our Arbitration Tracker shows.

Here’s a list of the 20 arbitration eligible players who will earn the most in 2012. I’ve included 2012 salaries on long-term extensions signed this offseason and listed team submissions for unresolved arbitration cases, since that represents a floor for each player's earnings. Players with six-plus years of service time, such as David Ortiz and Francisco Rodriguez aren’t included. Here’s the list:

  1. Tim Lincecum – $18MM (part of an extension)
  2. Cole Hamels – $15MM
  3. Andre Ethier – $10.95MM
  4. Hunter Pence - $10.4MM
  5. Matt Kemp – $10MM (part of an extension)
  6. Mike Napoli – $8.3MM (minimum salary possible via arbitration)
  7. Jacoby Ellsbury – $8.05MM
  8. John Danks – $8MM (part of an extension, including signing bonus)
  9. Matt Garza – $7.95MM (minimum salary possible via arbitration)
  10. Russell Martin – $7.5MM
  11. Jeremy Guthrie – $7.25MM (minimum salary possible via arbitration)
  12. Carlos Quentin – $7.025MM
  13. B.J. Upton – $7MM
  14. Anibal Sanchez – $6.9MM (minimum salary possible via arbitration)
  15. Michael Bourn – $6.845MM
  16. Delmon Young – $6.75MM
  17. Shaun Marcum – $6.75MM (minimum salary possible via arbitration)
  18. Clayton Kershaw – $6.5MM (minimum salary possible via arbitration)
  19. James Loney – $6.375MM
  20. Melky Cabrera and Juan Carlos Oviedo - $6MM

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