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 Diamondbacks are next in our series. Estimated service time is in parentheses, and estimated 2014 salary follows.
- Brad Ziegler (5.122): $5MM
- Gerardo Parra (4.145): $4.2MM
- Joe Thatcher (5.019): $2MM
- Tony Sipp (4.138): $1.4MM
- Daniel Hudson (3.117): $1.1MM
- Josh Collmenter (3.000): $900K
- Matt Reynolds (3.046): Avoided arbitration. $550K for 2014, $600K club option with a $50K buyout for '15
Due to the struggles of the team's other relievers, Ziegler ascended to the Diamondbacks' closer role in July and ended up recording 13 saves and 11 holds. He projects to earn a nice $5MM salary in his contract year, and it seems possible the D'Backs try to tack on an additional season.
Parra had one of the quietest 4.6 win seasons you'll see, due mainly to his exceptional defense in right and center field. Defense doesn't generally pay in arbitration, but if Parra picks up another Gold Glove award he might see a salary boost from it. He also set career bests with 10 home runs and 79 runs scored. Parra's skillset is destined to remain undervalued, but with free agency coming up after 2015, an extension might be wise for Arizona.
Thatcher was the biggest name the D'Backs received for two-plus years of Ian Kennedy, and he had several rough outings in the weeks following the trade. The team would look pretty bad in cutting him loose this winter, but a non-tender or trade remains possible. Sipp seems a good bet to be non-tendered following a lackluster season. Collmenter, working full-time in relief for the first time, put together a strong 92-inning campaign and will be a part of next year's bullpen.
Hudson had Tommy John surgery in July 2012 and was close to returning this summer when he unfortunately re-tore his elbow ligament. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic talked to Reds chief medical director Tim Kremcheck in June, who said the failure rate of a second Tommy John procedure is in the 40-50% range. In that article, Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers suggested Hudson has a better chance of returning as a reliever this time. As Hudson later noted to Piecoro in September, "I’m in a pretty weird situation going into my first year of arbitration." In that article, Towers talked about being creative in advance of the December 2nd non-tender deadline, and Hudson says he would like to stay. If nothing can be worked out by the deadline, a non-tender does not seem out of the question.
There is a good amount of uncertainty with Hudson and Thatcher. But if those two plus Ziegler, Parra, and Collmenter are tendered contracts, the Diamondbacks are looking at an estimated $13.2MM for five arbitration eligible players, plus $600K for Reynolds to bring the total to $13.8MM.