Matt Swartz has developed a very accurate model that MLBTR uses to project arbitration salaries, as explained in this series of posts. We've heard from many MLB teams and agencies that reference the projections in their work. The Marlins kick off our series for 2014. Estimated service time is in parentheses, and estimated 2014 salary follows that.
- Giancarlo Stanton (3.118): $4.8MM
- Steve Cishek (2.143, Super Two): $3.2MM
- Kevin Slowey (5.053): $1.8MM
- Justin Ruggiano (3.019): $1.8MM
- Logan Morrison (3.069): $1.7MM
- Ryan Webb (4.029): $1.5MM
- Mike Dunn (3.079): $1.4MM
- Chris Coghlan (3.171): $800K
- Koyie Hill (5.087): $500K
Even at less than $5MM, Stanton projects as the Marlins' highest-paid player in 2014. If they decide to trade him this winter, it won't be because they can't afford the slugger, who remains under control through 2016. Cishek, who projects to go through arbitration four times as a Super Two, gets a solid first-time salary in large part due to 52 career saves.
Slowey won a rotation spot out of spring training after signing a minor league deal, and looked great through his first seven starts. By June he was sent to the bullpen, however, and in July hit the DL with a forearm strain. He made his last appearance on July 25th. While $1.8MM is not a terribly prohibitive salary, the Marlins may prefer other options and could non-tender Slowey by the December 2nd non-tender deadline.
Ruggiano set a career-high with 472 plate appearances, but he disappointed offensively with a .222/.298/.396 line. He could draw trade interest as a lefty-masher who can help in center field, in advance of the non-tender deadline. Former Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan initially formed the other part of a center field platoon with Ruggiano, but missed almost three months with back and calf injuries. He logged some innings at third base upon his September return. Coghlan hit .277/.326/.415 before his injury, and he's still cheap, which may be enough to convince the Marlins to tender him a contract. Backup catcher Koyie Hill didn't return to the Majors until August, and is probably not long for the team's 40-man roster.
Assuming Stanton, Cishek, Morrison, Webb, Dunn, and Coghlan are retained, the Marlins are looking at an estimated $13.4MM for six arbitration eligible players.