Left-hander Drew Smyly and his agents at Frontline Athlete Management have won their arbitration hearing against the Rays, reports Jon Heyman (on Twitter). Because of the arbitration panel’s ruling, Smyly will earn $3.75MM in 2016 as opposed to the $3.2MM figure that had been submitted by the team.
This will be Smyly’s second trip through the arbitration process. As a Super Two player, he landed a $2.65MM salary last offseason and will be eligible for arbitration twice more before qualifying for free agency. Because his future salaries will be based off of his 2016 salary, that fact that he received the higher of the two possible sums in this hearing means that not only will he receive a greater salary in 2016, but his future salaries, too, will be based on a considerably more favorable launching point.
The sum in question at the hearing may seem relatively trivial to onlookers, although as several GMs and assistant GMs explained to MLBTR last year at this time, teams feel a responsibility to manage the arbitration market, as it is shared by all 30 clubs. Because all arbitration cases are built on recent historical comparables, the slight increases would eventually compound and become more significant were every team simply to give in to what appear, on the surface, to be relatively trivial amounts.