Arbitration Roundup, Part II: Notable Deals And Cases

With the day's arbitration activities complete, the filterable MLBTR Arbitration Tracker now has a full set of information for your perusal. The settlement amount is available for every player that has reached agreement already. And the team and player arbitration demands exchanged earlier today (and the resulting midpoint) are available for all 38 players that have yet to ink a new deal. (As always, you will want to reference the projections from the arbitration model of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz.)

Let's take a quick look back, and then a quick look forward:

Notable Deals

The most interesting signings of the day included:

  • Starter Max Scherzer of the Tigers landed far and away the biggest one-year jump of a 5+ service year hurler.
  • Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, who received a record raise for a second-time eligible player.  
  • Outfielders Brett Gardner of the Yankees (link) and Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins (link) both got substantially more money than was projected by Swartz.
  • The Nationals signed interesting two-year deals with extension candidates Jordan Zimmermann (link) and Ian Desmond (link) that guaranteed their remaining arbitration years without extending team control.
  • Dillon Gee of the Mets became the first player to sign after exchanging figures, when he and the club apparently realized that they were too close to warrant a fight.

Notable Cases

As we move ahead, here are the situations most worth watching:

  • The Braves say they will go to hearings with star players Craig Kimbrel ($9MM vs. $6.55MM), Jason Heyward ($5.5MM vs. $5.2MM), and Freddie Freeman ($5.75MM vs. $4.5MM).
  • Homer Bailey and the Reds are nearly $3MM apart in terms of arbitration positions ($11.6MM vs. $8.7MM), but seemingly plan to use their time before the hearing to talk long-term extension.
  • Some of the other sizeable gaps between player and team filings, in absolute terms, are Justin Masterson and the Indians ($3.75MM), Doug Fister and the Nationals ($2.75MM), Mark Trumbo and the Diamondbacks ($2.45MM), and Matt Wieters and the Orioles ($2.25MM). 
  • More significantly, in some respects, are the differences in position in relative terms. These cases feature the greatest relative gulf (percent by which player demand is higher than team offer): Logan Morrison and the Mariners (127.3%), Daniel Descalso and the Cardinals (77.42%), Brandon Belt and the Giants (75.6%), Ben Revere and the Phillies (75.0%), and Trumbo and the D-Backs (72.1%). Among these situations, all of the player figures were further away from Swartz's projections than were the teams'. Belt and Revere — both Super Two players — were furthest away from the projected salary. The gap in exchanged figures can have a huge impact on the bargaining positions of lower-salaried players in post-exchange negotiations: they stand to lose much more by failing in a hearing, and their teams are better able to take on the risk of taking them to a hearing.
  • Amongst cases with over $4.5MM player demands, these have the largest percentage differences: Trumbo and the D-Backs (72.1%), A.J. Ellis and the Dodgers (53.3%), Fister and the Nationals (47.8%), Masterson and the Indians (46.6%), David Freese and the Angels (46.3%), Kenley Jansen and the Dodgers (44.3%), Tyler Clippard and the Nationals (42.7%), Alex Avila and the Tigers (42.7%), and Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs (40.9%). 
  • The two seemingly unnecessary disputes are between Andrew Cashner and the Padres (5.49%) and Heyward and the Braves (5.77%). And yet, both cases could end up in a hearing.

Full Story | 19 Comments | Categories: Uncategorized

19 Responses to Arbitration Roundup, Part II: Notable Deals And Cases Leave a Reply

  1. RetroRob 2 years ago

    How can the Braves go to a hearing with Heyward when they are only $300K apart? Did they submit their best offer with no ability to negotiate? Crazy. And I’d love to hear the “negative” report they’ll have to build against Kimbrel. Find me some negative, any negative!

    • Jeff 2 years ago

      File and trial. One possibility is the Braves tried to meet Halfway with Heyward, and he refused.

      Braves should probably try to trade Heyward this offseason, or as a deadline deal. He’s not signing long-term.

    • PittsburghPirates0022 2 years ago

      Because they are both Greedy.

    • Matt Talbert 2 years ago

      I agree I would sign if our figures are only 300k apart. I mean you can get that in one quarter if you invest wisely even in small isos.

  2. obarron 2 years ago

    I wonder how much a team’s file-and-trial stance impacts their ability to sign homegrown players to discounted extensions. Being seen as willing to nickel-and-dime your core players can’t be a good thing when it comes to signing them long-term, can it?

  3. UltimateYankeeFan 2 years ago

    Looking ahead to if or when Bailey becomes a FA. Bailey will be a FA next winter, he will turn 29 in May 2015 unless he gives the Reds a major hometown discount he should be looking at a contract after this of somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 years and $102MM ($17MM per) maybe slightly more in dollars.

    • John Donovan 2 years ago

      The Reds will resign him and then trade Phillips shortly thereafter (or at least attempt to).

      • UltimateYankeeFan 2 years ago

        If they are going to trade Phillips they better plan on eating some of that $50MM they owe him over these next 4 years. His BA, OBP and OPS have been in decline since 2011 and his strikeouts have gone up and his stolen bases were almost non existent in 2013. He’s trending in the wrong direction for any team to pick up that much salary and give up players.

        • John Donovan 2 years ago

          One hot streak during the season or one ST season ending injury to an Ian Kinsler or Dustin Pedroia type and there you go. Or there is always the Yankees who could possibly try again when they lose Roberts for the year because of a hang nail in a week or two. They won’t get a ton for him because of the contract, but Phillips is still a top 5 second baseman and he is only 32. He trended down about the same way a few years back and it spiked the next year. Baseball stats are not always a bell curve.

          • UltimateYankeeFan 2 years ago

            They may not be but $50MM for what will be a 33 year old Phillips during the 2014 season for a player who plays a position 2nd base that generally is not kind to players in their mid 30’s I think is stretching it. Add in the Reds asking for a prospect or 2 and in my opinion it ain’t gonna happen without some salary relief on the part of the Reds. In my opinion that salary relief has to be in the neighborhood has to be about $10MM of the $50MM that’s he’s owed. Maybe then they will be able to move him.

            Who knows Drew might even be an option for 2nd base now that both he and his agent Boras have said he’s willing to move positions. Drew would cost less in both years and total dollars.

          • RetroRob 2 years ago

            The money owed is the issue. If he was still playing at his peak level then I think there would be teams interested. His bat is showing clear signs of decline and he is 33, with a good percentage of his WAR last year driven off his defense, which remains strong. Unfortunately, defense is a young man’s game and Phillips’ is about to go south. The Reds will have to eat a large chunk of Phllips’ contract for some team to do a deal.

  4. Mike1L 2 years ago

    It may have been with Gardner (and the other Yankee settlements) that the team wanted to know exactly how much they were spending because of the 189 threshold. So they overpaid a bit to take out the topside risk. And, if they are going to trade Gardner, his value isn’t hurt much by the salary. He’s still cheap compared to a free agent.

    • UltimateYankeeFan 2 years ago

      I don’t think $5.6MM is an overpay at all. Last year with his incentive he made $3MM. He had a very good year in 2013 both offensively and defensively and he took over the premier position of CF which carries more value then a corner outfielder. Granted he’s moving back to LF but if consider the Yankees just paid Ellsbury (FA) over $21MM AAV Gardner was a bargain.

      • Mike1L 2 years ago

        I was referring to the apparent overpay per Swartz’s projections, not whether Gardner is worth the money. The Yankees are about $8M short of the 189 threshold according to one count I saw. They still have roster spots to fill, which presumably they could go cheap on. I was thinking that a possible reason they would have settled with Gardner and the two others was to have certainty on their payroll as they look to fit in the last pieces. Of course, if they sign Tanaka, etc. then it’s irrelevant.

        • Derpy 2 years ago

          They are not 8million short of 189, their payroll is around 187 right now. 189 thing isn’t going to happen unless they make a big trade.

          • UltimateYankeeFan 2 years ago

            Actually I have them at $190MM that includes $1MM in very attainable incentives for Kuroda (IP’ed) and Roberts (PA’s). That $190MM I’ve calculated includes their 40 man roster and benefits and A-Rods charge of $3.156MM. Unless they unload someone’s payroll namely Ichiro or trade Gardner for a lower cost option the Yankees can not get under the tax threshold this year.

        • RetroRob 2 years ago

          Plan 189 is dead and has been for quite some time. I think it’s the media that keeps it alive. They’ll be somewhere in the $210 range when it’s all said and done.

  5. Junior7188 2 years ago

    Starter Max Scherzer of of? thats needs to be fixed mlbtraderumors!!!!!! lol

  6. Derpy 2 years ago

    Braves and Padres should be reprimanded if Heyward or Cashner actually go to arbitration hearings. That is unacceptable.

Leave a Reply