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 Rangers are next in our series. Estimated service time is in parentheses, and estimated 2014 salary follows.
- Neftali Feliz (4.064): $3MM
- Mitch Moreland (3.067): $2.7MM
- Alexi Ogando (3.114): $2MM
- Neal Cotts (5.041): $1.5MM
- Craig Gentry (3.084): $1.1MM
- Adam Rosales (4.049): $900K
- Travis Blackley (3.026): $600K
Feliz had Tommy John surgery in August 2012, and was activated from the DL in September this year. He's expected to remain in the bullpen in 2014, and could ascend back to the closer role at some point. His salary remains low for now. Ogando's role is undecided for 2014, but injury issues could relegate him to the bullpen again. Cotts was an incredible story, and should again be an asset in the Rangers' pen as he enters his contract year at age 34. Cotts hasn't earned much in the game and seemed close to retirement at one point, so it's possible the Rangers could tack on a year at a modest salary.
Moreland, 28, is a tough tender decision. With a .232/.299/.437 line in 518 plate appearances, plus a DL stint for a hamstring injury, he didn't have the breakout year in 2013 for which the Rangers had hoped. Jose Dariel Abreu is off the market, but the team could look at free agents like Kendrys Morales, James Loney, Corey Hart, and even Mike Napoli for first base. If they make an acquisition prior to the December 2nd non-tender deadline, a trade or non-tender of Moreland will become more likely. Gentry had an excellent season in limited duty, and will have a role in next year's outfield.
Rosales bounced around between the A's and Rangers multiple times this year, and will probably lose his 40-man roster spot again. Blackley was removed from the Astros' 40-man roster in August, but was acquired by the Rangers and had his contract purchased. He's likely to be non-tendered as well.
Moreland is an unknown at this point, but if the Rangers tender contracts to him, Feliz, Ogando, Cotts, and Gentry, they're looking at an estimated $10.3MM for five arbitration eligible players.