Tonight marks the deadline for MLB clubs to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. As such, there’ll be a slew of pre-tender agreements announced today — particularly for arbitration-eligible players who might have otherwise been non-tender candidates. As we saw yesterday (and frequently in previous seasons), players agreeing to terms before the tender deadline will often sign for less than they’re projected, as the alternative in some cases may simply be to be cut loose into a crowded free-agent market.
We’ll track today’s pre-tender agreements here, with all referenced projections coming courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz…
- Giants infielder Joe Panik settled at a $3.8MM price tag, per Heyman (via Twitter). That’ll represent a savings as against the $4.2MM projected salary. Many had wondered whether the new San Francisco front office would move on from Panik, who has one more year of arb eligibility remaining. Meanwhile, Heyman tweets that reliever Sam Dyson has agreed to a $5MM pact. That also comes in $400K below his projection.
- The Padres settled with righty Bryan Mitchell for $900K, Heyman tweets. Mitchell had been a non-tender candidate at a projected $1.2MM sum.
- Newly acquired first baseman C.J. Cron has agreed to a $4.8MM contract, the Twins announced. He projected to a $5.2MM salary; this becomes the latest of many indications of the unstable market position of defensively limited slugger types.
- The Indians have settled with righty Danny Salazar for $4.5MM, Jon Heyman of Fancred tweets. He was projected at $5MM, with some wondering whether the Cleveland organization might non-tender him. The talented hurler missed the entire 2018 season. Meanwhile, righty Nick Goody is slated to earn $675K, Heyman tweets.
- Southpaw Jonny Venters avoided arb with the Braves, David O’Brien of The Athletic tweets. It’s a $2.25MM deal, sitting well over the $1.5MM projection, though certainly his unusual career path could have led to some additional arguments for a stronger raise.
- The Cardinals announced an agreement with lefty Chasen Shreve. Terms aren’t yet known. The 28-year-old had projected to take home $1.2MM for the 2019 campaign, but will settle at $900K per Heyman (via Twitter).
- Pirates righty Michael Feliz has avoided arbitration with the club, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic was among those to report on Twitter. Feliz projected at a $900K salary and will get $850K, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets. It’s a split agreement that promises $375K in the minors, per Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (via Twitter).
- Infielder Tyler Saladino has agreed to a $887,500 salary with the Brewers, Jon Heyman of Fancred tweets. That comes in below the $1MM he projected to earn.
- The Athletics settled at $2.15MM with Liam Hendriks, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter), all of which is guaranteed. That’s just where he projected ($2.1MM) on the heels of a fascinating 2018 season. Hendriks was dropped from the MLB roster in the middle of the season but returned late in the year in dominant fashion as the A’s “opener.”
- Lefty Sammy Solis agreed to terms with the Nationals to avoid arbitration, the club announced. He profiled as a potential non-tender candidate, so it seems likely the organization pushed to get something done before the deadline. Solis, who has an intriguing power arsenal but struggled through a homer-prone 2018, projected at $900K. He’ll earn $850K, per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post (Twitter link).
- The Athletics announced that they’ve agreed to a one-year deal with righty Ryan Dull in advance of tonight’s deadline. He’ll get $860K, Fancred’s Jon Heyman tweets, which checks in pretty closely with his $900K projection. Dull, 29, posted a 4.26 ERA with 21 strikeouts and seven walks in 25 1/3 innings of relief in 2018.
- Heyman also tweets that the Padres and Greg Garcia, whom they claimed off waivers earlier this offseason, settled on a one-year deal worth $910K that aligns with his $900K projection. Garcia hit .221/.309/.304 in 208 plate appearances with St. Louis last season and is a career .248/.356/.339 hitter in 860 plate appearances.
- The Brewers and Hernan Perez avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $2.5MM, as first reported by Heyman. He’ll check in a bit shy of his $2.7MM projection but remain on hand as a versatile utility option in Milwaukee.
- Left-hander Tony Cingrani and the Dodgers avoided arb with a one-year deal worth $2.65MM. That checks in just south of the lefty’s $2.7MM projection. Cingrani turned in a brilliant 36-to-6 K/BB ratio in 22 1/3 innings but was also tagged for a considerably less palatable 4.76 earned run average.
- The Red Sox announced that they’ve agreed to terms on a one-year contract for the 2019 season with right-hander Tyler Thornburg. They’ve also tendered contracts to the remainder of their arbitration-eligible players, though the terms of those deals will be negotiated in the coming weeks. Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston tweets that Thornburg will earn $1.75MM i 2019 and can earn another $400K via incentives. I’m told that includes $100K for reaching each of 45, 50, 55 and 60 appearances. Thornburg, 30, was roughed up to the tune of a 5.63 ERA in 24 innings for the Sox this season — his first action for Boston since being acquired prior to the 2017 season. His Boston tenure has been utterly derailed by thoracic outlet syndrome and the ensuing surgery. Thornburg was excellent for the 2016 Brewers, and Boston parted with Travis Shaw in order to acquire him, so the Sox will surely hope that a regular offseason of rest and further removing himself from TOS surgery will get the righty back on track. This will be Thornburg’s final season of club control. He’d been projected to earn $2.3MM.