Right-hander Jesse Chavez will earn $4MM in 2016 after winning his arbitration hearing with the Blue Jays. The news was reported in a tweet from Chavez’s representatives at the Sosnick Cobbe Karon agency.
There was a fairly modest gap between the two sides, as the Jays had countered with a $3.6MM offer. As a “file-and-trial” team, the Jays’ policy is to go to a hearing with any player that doesn’t reach agreement on a new contract before the arbitration filing deadline. (The exception would be if the team and player are discussing a multi-year extension, such as is the case with Toronto and Josh Donaldson before the AL MVP’s hearing on February 15.)
Matt Swartz predicted Chavez to land an even bigger salary of $4.7MM in his arbitration projections for MLBTR, though the $4MM number still represents a nice bump for Chavez over his $2.15MM salary he earned in 2015. This was Chavez’s third and final year of arbitration eligibility and he’s slated to hit free agency next winter.
Thus far, players who have gone to hearings this offseason are a perfect 3-for-3, as Chavez joins the Reds’ J.J. Hoover and the Rays’ Drew Smyly as players ruled worthy of their higher salaries. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, have lost two of three arbitration hearings over the last two winters, losing to Chavez and Danny Valencia while winning last year’s hearing with Donaldson.
Chavez, 32, is entering his second stint as a Blue Jay after being acquired from the A’s in a deal for Liam Hendriks in November. Chavez will compete for the fifth spot in the Jays’ rotation, though he could essentially fill Hendriks’ old job as the long man in Toronto’s bullpen. In three-plus years in Oakland, Chavez posted a 3.98 ERA, 8.2 K/9 and 2.80 K/BB rate in 363 2/3 innings (split between 47 starts and 54 relief appearances).