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).
Worth nothing, in my opinion: The cost, compared to the Jays’ filing numbers, for settling with Chavez AND Donaldson at the midpoints would have been $450,000.
The cost of losing this single arbitration case is $400,000.
I hope that potential $50,000 they might save if they win on Donaldson is worth it to them to have taken their MVP and a guy they just acquired through the arbitration process.
“File and trial” is a poor way of going about your business.
That should be worth NOTING above.
They went to the trial with Donaldson last year, not that big of a deal besides maybe Donaldson won’t agree to the middle
It’s not about the short-term cost savings. It’s about managing the arbitration market because all future cases are built on comparables and will use present-day cases as points of reference. If every team just conceded and “paid the player what he wanted,” as fans often say the team should, the arbitration market would skyrocket in short order. The Jays are just one of many teams that go file
Nowhere did I suggest a team should “pay the player what he wants.” We’re talking about a CUMULATIVE difference of less than a half million dollars, assuming they can get a settlement at the midpoint, which the vast majority of settlements do. There are times when bringing in a third party to resolve an unresolvable dispute is absolutely the way to go. These cases are not them.
Second, I don’t see how managing the arbitration market is a relevant concern. We’re not talking about an arbitration award, we’re talking about pre-arbitration settlements. And as I pointed out, they have already done nearly as much harm to this “arbitration market” by losing this single case as they would have settling both at the midpoint regardless of what comps an arbitrator chooses to look at. And they’ve got the MVP coming up.
Add to that the cost of the arbitration process itself (teams have people dedicated to doing exactly this), the PR issues for the team, especially with a new and already unpopular president at its helm and potential damage to the relationship with players you ostensibly want to keep enough that you’re trying to work a long-term deal, and all I see is a team cutting off its nose to spite its face — and having no choice but to do so by policy. Surely the people helming major league teams are intelligent enough AT LEAST to consider each case on its own merits.
My intent wasn’t to put words in your mouth, but to refer to a common refrain fans take when referencing hearings. Apologies for not making that clear — I obviously know that you, specifically, did not say that.
Managing the arb market is exactly what is relevant to the team here, though. The very basis of a file
All the talk about teams having a “responsibility” to each other is PR spin BS. That only works if everybody was on the same page.The “file and trial” system is just a gamble of losing twice as much leverage in future years by not just agreeing on a midpoint or close to it. The ironic thing about it is that the arbitration process uses comparables of all similar players in the league. File and Trial would only work for a team if all teams used it and over half of the cases were won by the teams..
I would argue that the best way for teams to “manage” the process is to meet with the agents and try to come to an agreement. Only then go to trial if something can not be worked out.
The “responsibility” aspect really only comes into play for contracts avoiding arbitration. A player who wins or loses his hearing is almost never going to be used as a comparison unless the two filing numbers are extremely close (like in Hoover’s case) since the filing number isn’t a true representation of the player’s value.
Your reasoning is flawed owing to unexamined assumptions. You assume the Jays did not go to the halfway mark, but you do not know that. You assume the players would have taken less than their filing number, but you do not know that.
So through faulty reasoning, you have created a fictional scenario where the Jays have mismanaged their finances and caused there to be bad blood between the team and the players.
Your logic is wholly without warrant, and so your criticism is entirely without merit.
Doesn’t the team typically win these? In the last couple of days I think all have gone in the players favor.
Players 3 – Teams 0 so far this year.
It’s interesting. Perhaps teams haven’t adjusted their arbitration figures enough with the quickly rising salaries.
I think you might be right.
I still don’t understand why Chavez is a Blue Jay. Especially if he is taking Hendricks place in the pen. Less upside than Liam, less club control and literally 10 times more expensive. Acquiring him is the weirdest thing the new FO has done.
Chavez is a viable rotation option though, so even if he ends up in the bullpen as a long man, he’s still providing valuable depth to the rotation that Hendriks didn’t,
I suppose so, but my money has Chavez as a relief arm-not the 5th starter. If that’s the case, I would rather have Hendricks back.
I think the Blue Jays are in a bit of a pickle, Donaldson to me is a prime extension candidate given his age, and MVP status but can they do that before they give extensions to Joey Bats and encarnacion ?
It sounds like they’re going to try. For what it’s worth, I’d bet on them extending Donaldson and Bautista. Hopefully the Jays are in contention at deadline and Eddie is with them for another post season run. After that I see them offering him a QO and getting a pick for losing him. If not, a deadline deal to grab a prospect or two from someone needing a power surge. As much as I’d love to see them all Jays long term, I can’t see them keeping everyone.
I’d lock up Donaldson and then worry about the rest. I’m not knocking EE or Joey Bats, but Donaldson is the priority. He’s the hardest to replace anyways. As an A’s fan we all figured that out the hard way. That Barreto kid had better be a star…
I agree 100% pd14. It sounds like they are trying to work something out w Donaldson. 2nd priority is Jose and then Eddie in my books. I think Barreto is going to turn out just fine for you guys. Might be a win win trade after all if he turns into a monster down the road.
He’s not a prime extension candidate given his prime years are covered under arbitration. Jays fans are so spoiled with Encarnacion and Bautista that they think guys aren’t prone to falling off in their mid 30’s. Meanwhile declines like Victor Martinez happen almost every day.
Going on a year to year basis with Donaldson is fine unless he’s willing to give the Jays a discount for a guaranteed contract, he should be doing so because it’s never a guarantee he doesn’t decline in the near future.
I really don’t understand the file and trial strategy. I think it creates dissension between the team and player. I think teams should follow the strategy used by the Orioles. They only go to trial when they know they are going to win meaning it’s only when the player is being unrealistic or unreasonable. I think the Os have a perfect record in arbitration over the last decade. They always propose a fair number and are willing to negotiate which has led to getting an agreement just slightly less than half the difference repeatedly. Over the last five years this has saved the team over 5 million bucks and generated an impression to the player that they are better off agreeing than going to arbitration. Probably the only thing the organization is consistently good at.