Now that the dust has settled from the morning’s rash of arbitration-avoiding deals, it is time to look out for reports on the arbitration numbers filed by players and teams that have yet to reach agreement. As MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker shows, of the 156 players to file, 34 have still yet to agree to terms on a contract. (Lorenzo Cain exchanged figures but is said to be nearing a two-year deal with the Royals, so he isn’t included.)
Remember, deals avoiding arbitration can still be reached even after the exchange of numbers. Hearings will be scheduled between February 1st and 21st, so there is plenty of time for the sides to come together before making their cases. In 2014, for the first time ever, no arbitration hearings took place, but several took place again last season.
That being said, some teams are known for their “file and trial” approach to arb-eligible players, meaning that they refuse to negotiate after the exchange deadline and go to a hearing if agreement has not been reached. Of those clubs believed to continue to utilize such a strategy, only the Blue Jays (Josh Donaldson, Jesse Chavez) and Rays (Drew Smyly) have open cases remaining. Also, the Reds reportedly will take any sub-$2MM contracts to a hearing, which could suggest that reliever J.J. Hoover may appear before a panel. The Astros are also said to be taking a “file-and-go” approach with catcher Jason Castro.
Other notable players who have yet to agree upon a 2016 salary include Jake Arrieta of the Cubs; Brandon Belt of the Giants; Zach Britton of the Orioles; Aroldis Chapman of the Yankees; Neil Walker, Lucas Duda, and Jeurys Familia of the Mets; Mike Moustakas of the Royals; Trevor Plouffe of the Twins; and A.J. Pollock of the Diamondbacks. Be sure to keep a close eye on MLBTR’s pages for information on those and other situations, and in the meantime click here to review MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz’s projections for all arbitration-eligible players.