Though the Brewers and righty Chase Anderson participated in an arbitration hearing on Monday, they’ll have to wait a while longer to learn the results. As the Associated Press reports (via USA Today), MLB and the player’s union agreed to request that all first-year arb-eligible starters have their cases heard (or otherwise reach agreement) before any decisions are issued. Other effected players and teams include Michael Wacha of the Cardinals, Collin McHugh of the Astros, Jake Odorizzi of the Rays, Marcus Stroman of the Blue Jays, and Taijuan Walker of the Diamondbacks. The filing gaps in these cases are relatively narrow — McHugh’s case has the most at stake ($3.85MM versus $3.35MM) — but the decision will ensure that one case isn’t able to influence the others. In Anderson’s case, the panel is deciding between his $2.85MM submission and Milwaukee’s $2.45MM counter. You can find all of the filing figures and settlement amounts for this year’s arb class right here.
Here’s the latest out of the NL Central…
- Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang will stand trial on DUI charges on February 22nd, Jee-ho Yoo of Yonhap reports. That’s after the start of Pittsburgh’s spring camp, though it seems the trial itself won’t pose any major limitations on his availability. There are much broader concerns here, of course. Kang is obviously in need of a reevaluation of his decisionmaking — it’s his third such arrest — and it remains to be seen what kind of disciplinary and/or remedial action he might face from the court (if not also the commissioner’s office).
- The latest surgery for Reds righty Homer Bailey represents yet another setback, but won’t necessarily force the club to make a 40-man roster move, as Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Referencing the team’s group of young rotation candidates, president of baseball operations Dick Williams said that “there will be an opportunity for the guys who are coming to assert themselves.” At the same time, the Reds will likely “at least look around to see if there are some options” available to bolster their depth.
- The Cubs thought they were doing Jason Hammel a favor when they declined his $12MM option in November, thereby enabling him to reach free agency, but it ended up hurting the right-hander’s value, writes ESPN’s Buster Olney (subscription required). Hammel agreed to a two-year, $16MM deal with the Royals on Sunday, though it took nearly three months for him to find a job despite being one of the most accomplished starters available in a weak class of free agents. Rival teams inferred from the Cubs’ decision that the Theo Epstein-led franchise didn’t think Hammel was good enough to crack their rotation going forward, Olney suggests, and late-season elbow tightness didn’t help matters. The 34-year-old Hammel didn’t pitch past Sept. 24 — when he allowed six earned runs in a 2 1/3-inning start — meaning he missed the Cubs’ run to the World Series.
- Meanwhile, Cubs senior VP of player development and amateur scouting Jason McLeod spoke recently about the state of the arms on the Chicago farm, as Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago reports. While the club lacks “impact starters at the upper levels,” he notes, there’s optimism more broadly. “We now feel really good, not just with the depth of the organization but having some major league starting impact guys who are at the the A-ball level and progressing toward Double-A now,” said McLeod, who also discussed the team’s hopes for just-acquired righty Eddie Butler.