Emilio Bonifacio Beats Marlins In Arbitration

Emilio Bonifacio beat the Marlins in their arbitration hearing, tweets Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. The Wasserman Media Group client will be paid $2.2MM in 2012 instead of the Marlins' $1.95MM figure.

Like the Rays, Nationals, White Sox, Blue Jays, Braves, and Astros (prior to Jeff Luhnow), the Marlins have a policy of going to hearings once the arbitration figure exchange deadline is reached.  This year they also lost a hearing to Anibal Sanchez.  The Marlins lost to Cody Ross in 2010, Dan Uggla in 2009, and Miguel Cabrera in 2007.  The team beat Kevin Gregg in '07.  Keep in mind, though, that if the Marlins had settled at the midpoint in all six cases, they only would have saved $1,562,500 in total.  They might have gained more than that amount if their "file and trial" policy compelled other players to settle at team-friendly amounts out of fear for going to a hearing.

This year the clubs and players are even at 2-2, with the teams having beaten John Lannan and Jeff Niemann.  14 arbitration eligible players remain unsigned, though in recent years we have not seen more than eight total hearings.  Check out MLBTR's arbitration tracker here.

32 Responses to Emilio Bonifacio Beats Marlins In Arbitration Leave a Reply

  1. pastlives 3 years ago

    marlins really suck at this thing eh

    • Lastings 3 years ago

      They beat Kevin Gregg, but then again who doesn’t beat Kevin Gregg? He is literally the antithesis of Charlie Sheen…

  2. chico65 3 years ago

    Looks like their record in arbitration is about as good as their record on the field

    • adammyst 3 years ago

      They have more championships than almost every other team in the last 15 years….you must be a bitter Cubs fan or something.

  3. dwarfcatt 3 years ago

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    -Albert Einstein

  4. $17867741 3 years ago

    Emilio Bonifacio is one of the underrated players in this game. Someone that is relatively unknown to the fans and media, and doesn’t make a gigantic salary.

    I mean, this guy played ALL positions (with exception to C and 1B), and still managed to participate in 152 games with 40 stolen bases at a 78% success rate.

    And don’t forget about the .296/.360/.393 slash line. The offense was probably luck, but still $2.2m is excellent value for a super utility player. I would definitely want this guy on my team.

    • Eugene_in_Oregon 3 years ago

      Agree.  The Nats really should have held onto him; in giving up on him too early, they left a hole in CF that has been difficult (to put it mildly) to fill.

  5.  I don’t know…file and trial probably saves you money on players who settle, and comparing what the Marlins paid to the midpoints of the last six players, the cost was just $1.5MM.

    • dwarfcatt 3 years ago

      That’s a good point on the strategy (either you settle with us or we take you to the hearing), but Miami should consider submitting higher figures when the cases get that far.

      It doesn’t help their case to establish a precedent of “we’re forcing you to the hearing, but once we do we’re (probably) going to lose to you”. 


  6. adammyst 3 years ago

    Every case is unique, and this approach likely has negotiation benefits, as Tim said. Sorry, dwarfcatt, your post is neither clever nor does it fit this situation.

    • dwarfcatt 3 years ago

      Makes me sad, but fair. You have to like the quote at least, right? (outside of the context of this situation)

      Whether or not going to the actual hearing was wise, I still think there must be some course correction needed when you consistently lose the hearings.

      • adammyst 3 years ago

        Yes, I like the quote. A 1-4 record is a tiny sample to start with. And.contractual negotiations are highly complex, so while these results should of course be considered, these results are far from a clear indicator that anything ought be changed.

      • adammyst 3 years ago

        Yes, I like the quote. A 1-4 record is a tiny sample to start with. And.contractual negotiations are highly complex, so while these results should of course be considered, these results are far from a clear indicator that anything ought be changed.

  7. rsanchez1 3 years ago

    For a team that was ready to drop millions on Albert Pujols, they were surprisingly stingy on just $250K. Glad Bonifacio won this one too. After coming around last season and stepping up when Coghlan went down, he deserves the raise.

    • adammyst 3 years ago

      Why overpay? He gets a contract either way, and the Marlins get nothing extra for settling rather than an arbitration decision.

      • rsanchez1 3 years ago

        They wouldn’t be overpaying for Bonifacio. It would’ve been a nice gesture of goodwill if the Marlins gave two of their best performing guys last year, Bonifacio and Anibal, the figures they were asking for instead of fighting them in an arbitration hearing, especially for Bonifacio since the difference was just $250K.

        • adammyst 3 years ago

          Gesture of goodwill? I just really don’t see that. Why shouldn’t Anibal and Bonifacio have agreed to the Marlins’s number as a gesture of goodwill for the team who traded for them and given them a chance to play, as well as paying them their weekly paycheck?

          • rsanchez1 3 years ago

            That’s rich. Why don’t they just play at the league minimum as a thank-you to the Marlins for letting them play? In fact, why doesn’t all of Major League Baseball just play with a flat salary set by the teams since they’re the ones giving players the chance to play? Why not pay them a flat salary instead of one based on performance?

          • MetsMagic 3 years ago

            I think MLB should make all teams in first place, and replace batting averages and ERAs with gold stars, that way everybody wins in arbitration. 

  8. Corey King 3 years ago

    So is Zombrano going to stand for this?

  9. Hoosierdaddy92 3 years ago

    The Tigers better trade for this guy if the Marlins do sign Cespedes. He can play all of their weak positions pretty well defensively (2b, LF, 3b if MCab can’t) and proved to be a fantastic leadoff hitter in the second half last season that can switch hit and bunt extremely well. He is the missing piece they need. The Marlins don’t need him as a leadoff hitter anymore, so go get him DD.

    How would Marlins fans like a deal of Nolasco and Bonifacio for Porcello and Raburn? Saves the Marlins around 20MM over the next two seasons for four years of a pitcher with a similar ERA last season. Raburn can play the main spots they would have used Bonifacio 2b/OF to spell Infante and LoMo.

    • Vote4DougWilson 3 years ago

      The Cubs are rebuilding and not going to give up Byrd for one year of Delmon Young. Castellanos is also 2-3 years away from mlb ready, no way does he play this season. Live in reality.

      Though going after Bonifacio is a good idea.

      • Hoosierdaddy92 3 years ago

        yeah I got rid of the part about Byrd and the lineup. Would rather focus on Bonifacio trade discussion. I think I put together a fair deal for the Marlins and am now curious if Marlins fans would feel the same way.

        I do agree with you about Castellanos, but in recent years, the Tigers have not been shy to play youngsters early so you never know. As a bottom of the order hitter, he’d have a low-pressure situation to go into. The main thing I’m concerned about is keeping MCab away from 3b. If he injures himself playing there because Delmon freaking Young is DH-ing, I, as well as the entire Tigers fan base, will be livid.

        • Hoosierdaddy92 3 years ago

          Pretty much every All-Star hitter that has played 3b has been unable to stay healthy in recent years and missed significant time because of it. Youkilis, Zimmerman, Wright, Chipper, A-Rod. It’s way too much of an injury risk demanding position to play an established, All-Star hitter like MCab at, especially for the first time in years

          • Vote4DougWilson 3 years ago

            Youk, Wright, and Chipper are all much older and have always had health problems, ditto for Arod post-steroid. Personally, Cabrera at 3b doesn’t bother me as much as Delmon in LF. Cabby only needs to play 3b until 30 (younger than most the names you listed) when Victor’s contract expires and Prince and Cabby can just platoon at Dh/1b.

            As to the trade, I don’t see the Tigers giving up Porcello under any circumstances right now, given that their pitching is already a bit worrisome. I think the problem is that the Tigers really don’t have any cheap complement for Miami… there’s only overpaid vets (Inge, Raburn) or untouchable prospects (Turner, Castellanos). So unless Miami is serious about ditching some salary, I doubt they would bite on much the org has to offer. He does plug a lot of holes though!

          • Hoosierdaddy92 3 years ago

            The reason I brought up Porcello is because you have to give up something to get something. To get a leadoff hitter/good defensive 2b, they need to give up something of value. 4 years of Porcello for 3 years of Bonifacio a decent deal by itself but gives the Marlins too many starters and Detroit not enough. However, the Marlins have said they want to move Nolasco’s contract. Nolasco is indeed an interesting gamble.

            At 2 years and 20MM, he’s overpaid no doubt for his 2011 numbers. But as a pitcher who has been extremely durable and can strikeout a lot of batters, he could be a great fit for the Tigers. With how bad the defense will be, the Tigers should focus on pitchers that can strike people out often. Porcello has not shown any ability to do so in his 3 pro seasons. Nolasco has.

            It’s a gamble no doubt, but one worth taking in my opinion. Detroit has plenty of other pitching prospects Turner, Smyly, Crosby, Oliver that could all very easily outperform Porcello in the next few seasons based on his past production. And Bonifacio, if he repeats his second half of 2011, you’re looking at a poor man’s Jose Reyes at 2b for the next 3 seasons.

          • Vote4DougWilson 3 years ago

            I’m not opposed to dealing Porcello, just not sure the organization would give him up given Mr I seems to be all-in on winning now and they seem comfortable with Rick. Nolasco would be switching to the AL as well. They’ve seemed pretty reluctant to mess with the rotation all off season, so I don’t see them doing it now given offense doesn’t seem to be a hugely pressing need after the Prince signing. They look happy to give Ajax a chance to rebound at lead off and platoon at 2b. Maybe if Miami was willing to settle for pitching prospects instead I could see a deal. Also, I don’t really know Miami’s needs, but if they land Cespedes would they need or want a Raburn?

            Either way, it has the feel more of a late spring or possibly deadline deal… once the teams have felt out their needs. Can Ajax lead off? Will they find ABs for Bonifi? How will all these Detroit pitchers look after some starts? Nolasco?

          • Hoosierdaddy92 3 years ago

            I agree with you, it probably would have to occur later. The Marlins haven’t even signed Cespedes, which is what this entire deal is contingent upon. The Marlins would probably be more interested in a utility player like Ramon Santiago  instead that can play middle IF positions moreso than Raburn anyway and Detroit can’t trade him until midseason.Here is my value in the deal for both sides. Nolasco is a strikeout pitcher with flyball tendencies, similar to Verlander-Scherzer-Fister(after the trade). These are the type of pitchers that negate risk when you have a bad IF defense, good OF defense, and a large ballpark. Detroit has all three. Unfortunately, Porcello is a groundball pitcher that doesn’t generate strikeouts who’s numbers are likely to suffer with the current Detroit IF unless he drastically improves as a strikeout pitcher, which I won’t say isn’t possible but I think is a bigger gamble than Nolasco.

            I don’t see Miami settling for prospects. They are trying to build a contender for the next few seasons as well as this season. Porcello would arguably help them moreso than Nolasco and Bonifacio, given their new, very defensively-talented IF, Rick’s ground-ball tendencies, and the fact that he has 4 arb-eligible years of control as opposed to the 2 years (20MM) and 3 arb-eligibles that Nolasco and Bonifacio have respectively

          • Hoosierdaddy92 3 years ago

            OR how about we simplify this? Instead of the Marlins, the TIGERS sign Cespedes to play CF and trade Austin Jackson for Emilio Bonifacio and cash. Yes the Marlins get one more season of control with AJax, but the Tigers get more versatility and probably a better leadoff hitter that doesn’t strikeout as often, offers more speed, and can play multiple defensive positions well.

            It’s risky to assume Bonifacio repeats his 2011 2nd half, but its also risky to assume Austin Jackson can return to 2010 form. It’s also risky to assume Cespedes fulfills the hype offensively, but I doubt scouts are wrong about his defense. If he can’t hit, they can shift him to the bottom of the order, and bat Boesch 2nd. The defense is improved wherever Bonifacio plays also and Leyland can pick and choose where else he wants to improve defensively on a game-by-game basis

            2b/LF/3b) Bonifacio (S)
            CF) Cespedes (R)
            3b/DH) MCab (R)
            1b) Fielder (L)
            DH/LF) Young (R)
            RF) Boesch (L)
            SS) Peralta (R)
            C) Avila (L)
            LF/2b/3b) Dirks/Santiago/Inge

            Another amazing thing about this is that the Tigers would have control of all of these players for at least the next 3 seasons, except Young and Peralta. VMart essentially would replace Young though and Peralta would not be hard to resign or could even possibly be replaced by Castellanos in 2013

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