Recently, I have been discussing some of the higher-profile upcoming arbitration cases as part of MLBTR’s Arbitration Breakdown series. I rely partly on my arbitration model developed exclusively for MLB Trade Rumors, but will also break out some interesting comparables and determine where the model might be wrong. Full arbitration projections for 2018 are also available.
Jacob deGrom enters his second year of arbitration eligibility poised to earn a solid bump up from his $4.05MM salary from 2017. He went 15-10 with a 3.53 ERA in 201.1 innings and struck out 239 batters, so my model places him at $9.2MM, good for a $5.1MM raise. This is probably too high based on comparables, as I discuss below, but it should easily be enough to earn him a large raise.
Players who are past their first year of arbitration eligibility general get raises based on their platform year performance only. So we just need to look for pitchers with roughly 15 wins and a ton of strikeouts, along with respectable ERAs. One such player who got a very large raise is David Price—he got a $5.76MM raise back in 2013 after going 20-5 with a 2.56 ERA and 205 punch outs. That is probably somewhat stale by now, although it certainly looks like a ceiling given the much stronger performance in terms of wins and ERA. A more recent ceiling might be Jake Arrieta’s $7.07MM raise two years ago after going 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA. Like Price, he won a Cy Young, and clearly has better numbers. I think both Price and Arrieta cap how high deGrom’s raise can get.
More within striking distance is Stephen Strasburg three years ago. He went 14-11 versus deGrom’s 15-10. And his 3.14 ERA is better than deGrom’s 3.53, but when you consider run environment it’s nearly a dead ringer. A panel might not consider run environment, but either way both have ERAs in the 3’s. Strasburg’s 242 strikeouts are of course very similar to deGrom’s 239. Strasburg took home a $3.43MM raise. Add in some salary inflation, and you might get closer to $4MM for deGrom.
Strasburg is actually the largest raise in the last five years excluding the two Cy Young Award winners (Arrieta and Price), so that might be the best comparable. Tyson Ross had a 13-14 record the same year as Strasburg and just 195 strikeouts, but had a 2.81 ERA. He got a $3.27MM raise. But that is likely to fall below where deGrom gets, and could be viewed as something of a floor. ERA is generally not as important in arbitration as you might expect.
Garrett Richards is the only other comparable that makes sense to me. His $3.23MM raise two years ago off a 15-12/3.65 performance came with only 176 strikeouts, though. So he also likely helps to establish a floor for deGrom.
Overall, I think there is a good case case for deGrom to get a raise closer to $4MM than the $5.1MM projection. Look for a salary around $8MM when push comes to shove.
Offer him 4 years $50 million right now
Or wait until he tests free agency and make the 4th best offer.
That’s the Mets MO.
I don’t think he would go for a 4 yr offer right now. Rough guess he is looking at 3 trips thru arb totalling around $35-$45 million ( $8/$13/$18 would be conservative ). Guessing he would sign a 3 yr deal to give mets cost control thru his arb years or a 6-7 yr deal. that would represent his big payday contract.
I think he’s a free agent after 2019.
Maybe he’d rather go year to year, but if he looks around his own locker room he may realize that it might be better to lock down $50 million guaranteed; he’s already been hurt omce himself, if he blows out his arm again he could be toast.
I think you nailed it perfectly. He’s looking to get a 4ish million raise. However if i’m the Mets, I would try to long term him. He has been the constant rock in all of their starting pitcher craziness.
Depending what you mean by long term, he’s not that young and has had arm problems in the past.
I still think we need to ban the Braves prospects.
I know right.
I think we should ban all prospects.
Why? I’m just talking about prospects that broke the rules.
? I was joking.
You don’t think these kids were misled into thinking what they were doing was okay?
I think we should ban all people who think all the braves prospects should be banned
Why? Because you disagree.
These are 16 y/o kids. You really think they did anything other than sign where they were told & take what they were told to take? If you want to ban their agents (assuming they had agents), fine. There’s an argument for that. But the kids? It would be wrong & cruel. The right people got punished.
Ya let’s ban the kids who were taken advantage of
No! Cuz you’re an idiot.
Enough already holy $^%t. Get over it you loser
I don’t think they should be banned (why is this in this thread btw) but they shouldn’t have been allowed to profit from it- baseball should have conducted an auction of sorts to teams using their picks in upcoming draft, whoever is willing to give up the highest pick would have gotten him with same contract he had had with the Braves.
In the arbitration process, do they compare a pitcher’s performance to his previous seasons? DeGrom’s ERA last season was the highest of his career so far. Will that work against him?
My understanding of the hearing process is that they present the numbers and argue over it. Iv’e never heard of comparing themself against their own career numbers. It is more of a “He had 233 strike outs, which is 4th in the league”. Ect.