While the majority of the 156 players that filed for salary arbitration last week have agreed to terms with their teams, either on a one-year deal for 2016 or on an extension, the cases of more than 20 players remain unresolved. You can track the status of each case using MLBTR’s 2016 Arbitration Tracker, and we’ll keep track of all of today’s smaller deals to avoid arbitration in this post (all referenced projections via MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz)…
- Center fielder Charlie Blackmon and the Rockies have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $3.5MM, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). The Rockies had filed for a $2.7MM salary figure against Blackmon’s number of $3.9MM. That placed the midpoint at $3.3MM, which Blackmon cleared by $200K. The 29-year-old Blackmon is coming off a season in which he slashed .287/.347/.450 with 17 home runs and 43 stolen bases in 157 games/682 plate appearances. That served as a strong followup to a breakout 2014 campaign and cemented Blackmon as fixture in the Colorado outfield (though his name has come up in trade speculation this winter).
- The Rangers announced that they’ve signed closer Shawn Tolleson to a one-year deal, thus avoiding arbitration. Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets that the right-hander will earn $3.275MM next season. Tolleson, 28, broke out as a setup man with the Rangers in 2014 and seized the keys to the ninth inning from Neftali Feliz early this season. It was a seamless transition from the seventh/eighth inning to the ninth inning for Tolleson, who worked to a strong 2.99 ERA with 9.5 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and a 42.4 percent ground-ball rate in 72 1/3 innings. Tolleson racked up the first 35 saves of his career along the way, cementing himself at the back of the Texas bullpen. Tolleson had filed for a $3.9MM salary, while the team countered at $2.6MM. The eventual landing spot agreed upon is $25K higher than the $3.25MM midpoint between those two figures and comes in considerably north of the $2.6MM projected by Swartz’s model. With Tolleson’s case settled, the Rangers have just Jake Diekman and Mitch Moreland remaining as unresolved arbitration cases, as can be seen in the tracker linked to above.