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Arbitration Eligibles Rumors
The Angels are next in our arbitration eligibles series.
- First time: Jerome Williams
- Second time: Kendrys Morales, Alberto Callaspo, Jeff Mathis
- Third time: Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar
Mathis is a non-tender candidate, though the Angels retained him last year and his performance hasn't changed much. His salary would be virtually the same, around $1.8MM. Though it's only been 30 innings, Williams has done a nice job and would cost only $700K or so to retain.
The Angels' entire projected infield (aside from Mark Trumbo) is arbitration eligible. Having missed all of 2011, Morales projects to stay at the same salary, $2.975MM. We've got Kendrick for $5.1MM, Aybar for $4.5MM, and Callaspo for $3MM. The middle infield tandem of Kendrick and Aybar will be entering their walk years.
If Mathis is cut loose, the Angels' five arbitration eligible players could cost $16.275MM. Adding in players under contract for 2012, the team's commitments could total about $118MM not including minimum salary players. The Angels' Opening Day payroll in 2011 was about $23MM above that point, so GM Tony Reagins should have flexibility this winter.
The Athletics are next in our arbitration eligibles series.
- First time: Andrew Bailey, Daric Barton, Adam Rosales, Gio Gonzalez, Landon Powell
- Second time: Dallas Braden, Ryan Sweeney, Craig Breslow
- Third time: Joey Devine
- Fourth time: Brandon McCarthy
This entire group could reasonably be tendered contracts. It's possible someone like Rosales, a potential Super Two, would be cut loose even though his projected salary is only $600K. Powell, another likely Super Two, also failed to produce in the bigs but could be retained affordably.
Gonzalez should land the biggest salary at an estimated $3.6MM, as he'll be arbitration eligible as a Super Two. Braden should stay around $3.3MM after missing most of the season. Bailey could get $3.4MM for his first time through, while the A's can enjoy McCarthy cheaply for one more season at around $2.6MM.
Barton, Sweeney, and Breslow should fall in the $1.6-1.8MM range. It was a lost season for Barton culminating in shoulder surgery, but it's still a reasonable price to retain him. The A's also have Devine checking in around $900K.
In total we estimate $19.5MM for the Athletics' nine arbitration eligibles. Assuming Michael Wuertz's option is exercised, the A's are looking at a commitment of maybe $44MM plus minimum salary players. That'd put them $23MM short of this year's Opening Day payroll.
Matt Swartz contributed to this post.
The Royals are next in our arbitration eligibles series.
- First time: Mitch Maier, Chris Getz
- Second time: Luke Hochevar, Felipe Paulino, Brayan Pena
- Third time: Alex Gordon
- Fourth time: Melky Cabrera
I view Getz and Pena as non-tender candidates. However, with projected salaries of a million bucks or less, they may be retained. Maier is also in line for an affordable salary, at about $700K.
Paulino won't be going anywhere, as we have him down for about $1.6MM. Hochevar leads the club in innings, and should jump up to the $4MM range. Cabrera was a fine cheap free agent signing for GM Dayton Moore, who can retain the outfielder again for approximately $4MM.
We've got Gordon down for $4.3MM. Extension talks are on the offseason agenda, so the Royals could get him at a reduced salary for 2012 as part of a long-term deal.
The Twins are next in our arbitration eligibles series.
- First time: Jose Mijares, Matt Tolbert, Phil Dumatrait
- Second time: Kevin Slowey, Alexi Casilla, Glen Perkins
- Third time: Francisco Liriano, Jason Repko
The Twins have a lot of non-tender candidates in this bunch: Mijares, Tolbert, Dumatrait, Slowey, and Repko. MLBTR's Steve Adams points out that the success of Perkins and the likelihood of moving Brian Duensing to the bullpen could make lefties Mijares and Dumatrait expendable. Tolbert and Repko are bench players who would cost under $1MM each, but neither has provided any offense.
Momentum for a Slowey trade has been building since at least Spring Training, though his limited 2011 contribution would probably keep his salary at $2.7MM. With Kyle Gibson going down for Tommy John surgery the Twins might prefer the depth Slowey provides. So while a non-tender is possible, it's more likely that the Twins trade or keep Slowey.
Perkins and Casilla will be retained, each projected in the $1.5MM range. Liriano had an off year, plagued with shoulder issues. He projects for a $5.7MM salary in 2012, and he's too tantalizing a talent to cut loose unless major surgery becomes necessary.
The Twins could end up with Perkins, Casilla, and Liriano on next year's roster for a total of around $8.6MM. That'd put their total around $74.35MM before accounting for minimum salary players, so if the 2011 Opening Day payroll level is maintained the Twins could have over $30MM to spend in 2012 salaries.
Steve Adams and Matt Swartz contributed to this post.
The Indians are next in our arbitration eligibles series.
- First time: Justin Masterson, Jack Hannahan
- Second time: Shin-Soo Choo, Chris Perez, Asdrubal Cabrera, Joe Smith
- Third time: Fausto Carmona, Rafael Perez
Carmona would be arbitration eligible if the Indians decline his $7MM club option. He hasn't been great in terms of the categories that earn pitchers big bucks in arbitration, but he's done enough for the option to represent about $1MM in savings.
The Indians' group doesn't appear to have any non-tender candidates. Masterson projects to a healthy $4MM for his first time. Choo had been on the fast track to big arbitration earnings, but this year's dismal counting stats may keep him under $5MM for 2012. Perez's first 30+ save season should allow him to jump to $4.3MM. Cabrera's power surge should push him to $4.9MM or so. Hannahan, Smith, and Perez each project to fall in the $1.4-1.9MM salary range.
Assuming Carmona's option is exercised, these eight players should cost about $30MM in 2012. If the Indians pick up Grady Sizemore's option as well, they'll be around $56MM. That commitment is firmly in the middle of their last two Opening Day payrolls, though it doesn't account for minimum salary players.
Matt Swartz contributed to this post.
The White Sox are next as we continue our series looking at each team's arbitration eligible players.
Pena is a non-tender candidate. Though he could be retained with no raise on his current $1.6MM salary, he may need Tommy John surgery and might not be able to contribute much in 2012.
Quentin has solid production in the categories arbitration favors: home runs and RBIs. That should lead to a salary in the $7.5MM range.
Danks is an interesting case for arbitration nerds. He missed around four starts for an oblique strain this summer, at a point in his career where an inning is worth about $24K and a win around $80K in salary. He's likely to come in under 180 innings and 10 wins. There are few recent comparables for a five-plus service time starter like Danks, but Jeremy Guthrie and Matt Garza are current-year comparables whose fates will be intertwined. A vintage Danks year might have resulted in a $10MM salary, but we see him closer to $8MM for 2012.
Retaining Quentin and Danks could put the White Sox around $105MM in commitments for 2012. That's well below this year's $128MM payroll, but with attendance down the team may pull back spending.
Matt Swartz contributed to this post.
- First time: Rick Porcello, Max Scherzer, Phil Coke, Don Kelly, Brad Thomas
- Second time: None
- Third time: Delmon Young
I can see the Tigers tendering contracts to all but Thomas. Porcello and Kelly project to be arbitration eligible as Super Twos. Starters Porcello and Scherzer should get nice first-time salaries in the $4MM range. Porcello, especially, is helped by a pre-arbitration salary of $1.536MM owing to the Major League deal he signed out of high school. Kelly might get around $700K, while Coke projects at $1.4MM. Thomas has battled elbow issues for most of the year, and the Tigers tried to outright him but had to put him on the 60-day DL. He's likely to be cut prior to the non-tender deadline.
Young's non-tender candidacy was a factor in his trade to the Tigers. His power has bounced back in 89 plate appearances with Detroit, though he's yet to draw a walk. If you look at Young's current 2011 counting stats – 7 home runs, 49 RBIs, 39 runs – they should lead to a relatively meager raise. We're thinking a $725K bump to a $6.1MM salary, a gamble the Tigers might take if they like what they see for the rest of the year.
If the Tigers retain Jose Valverde for $9MM and tender contracts to all arbitration eligibles, they'd have just under $100MM in 2012 commitments. With a 2011 Opening Day payroll of $107MM, the Tigers would have to trade someone or raise payroll to 2008-10 levels to be able to add a prominent free agent or two.
We've covered the Orioles, Red Sox, Yankees, and Rays in our arbitration eligibles series. Let's finish off the AL East by discussing the Blue Jays players who will be eligible for arbitration after the season.
- First time: Jesse Carlson, Colby Rasmus
- Second time: Brandon Morrow, Jesse Litsch
- Third time: Carlos Villanueva, Casey Janssen, Dustin McGowan
Carlson and McGowan are non-tender candidates, though on the other hand neither would cost much more than the league minimum. Carlson's season ended with a torn rotator cuff, while McGowan is expected to pitch for Toronto next month for the first time since 2008.
Overall it's an affordable arbitration group. We've got Morrow at $4.1MM, Rasmus at $2.8MM, Villanueva at $2MM, Janssen at $1.5MM, and Litsch at $1.3MM. Rasmus switched agencies partially because of this upcoming arbitration case.
- First time: David Price, Jeff Niemann
- Second time: Andy Sonnanstine
- Third time: B.J. Upton, J.P. Howell
- Fourth time: Joel Peralta
Sonnanstine and Howell are potential non-tender candidates, as both have had rough years. Sonnanstine is currently at Triple-A.
Price and Upton will be a relatively expensive pair. Price, an expected Super Two player, comes with a projected $5.9MM salary that would be a first-time starter record if we didn't expect Clayton Kershaw to do even better. Price's days as cheap ace are ending. Upton, a trade candidate, projects in the $7MM range.
Niemann and Peralta are worth retaining as well. Niemann is looking at a first-time salary in the $2.7MM range, while Peralta could come in at a still-affordable $1.8MM.
- First time: Brett Gardner, David Robertson
- Second time: Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain
- Third time: Boone Logan
- Fourth time: Russell Martin
I expect all six players to be tendered a contract. Robertson, Logan, and Chamberlain should all come in under $2MM. Gardner looks to be in the $2.4-3.3MM range for his first time through; a stolen base title would put him toward the higher end of that range. Hughes will get a mild raise, perhaps to $3.4MM or so. We have Martin around $5.2MM, though his is a little tricky to determine because he's coming from a free agent salary.