With the non-tender deadline looming tomorrow, there figure to be several players agreeing to pre-tender deals to avoid arbitration today. Many players who agree to terms prior to the deadline will be fringe non-tender candidates and, as such, are likelier to sign for less than they’d been projected in order to avoid a non-tender. We’ll keep track of today’s players who are avoiding arbitration in this post (with all referenced projections coming courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz)…
- The Royals announced that they’ve agreed to one-year deals with both Cheslor Cuthbert and Jesse Hahn. Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports (via Twitter) that Cuthbert will earn $850K, while Hahn’s deal contains an $800K base salary. Both were definitive non-tender candidates, as Cuthbert batted just .194/.282/.301 in 117 plate appearances this past season. Hahn, meanwhile, didn’t pitch in 2018 due to a sprained ulnar collateral ligament that ultimately required “primary repair” surgery — a similar, but less invasive alternative to Tommy John surgery that is perhaps familiar to Royals fans after Seth Maness previously underwent the procedure.
- The Twins have agreed to a one-year, $1.3MM contract with utility infielder Ehire Adrianza, thus avoiding arbitration, tweets Fancred’s Jon Heyman. A light-hitting defensive specialist, Adrianza batted .251/.301/.379 with career-highs in plate appearances (366), home runs (six) and doubles (23). His level of playing time increased due to the suspension for Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco as well as the midseason trade of Brian Dozier. Adrianza had been projected at $1.8MM.
- The Athletics announced that they’ve avoided arbitration with catcher Josh Phegley by agreeing to a one-year deal. Heyman tweets that Phegley will earn $1.o75MM next season. Phegley, 31 in February, has posted a .255 OBP in each of the past two seasons while struggling to keep his average above the dreaded Mendoza Line. Phegley has some pop, however, and has controlled the running game quite well throughout his career (33 percent caught-stealing rate, including 35 percent in both 2017 and 2018). He’s the only catcher on Oakland’s 40-man roster at present, so the A’s will surely be looking for some additions. Phegley had been projected at $1.2MM.
- The Rockies announced that they’ve agreed to a one-year deal with lefty Chris Rusin. He’ll earn $1.6875MM next year — a $400K raise over his 2018 salary — tweets Heyman. Rusin was widely considered a non-tender candidate on the heels of a disastrous season in which he was clobbered for a 6.09 ERA with a career-worst 4.3 BB/9 mark through 54 2/3 innings. He’s only a year removed from a terrific season out of the Colorado bullpen, however, during which he totaled 85 innings of 2.65 ERA ball in 60 appearances. He’d been projected to earn $1.7MM.
- The Royals have avoided arbitration with lefty Brian Flynn in advance of tomorrow’s non-tender deadline, the team announced. His contract is worth $800K, MLBTR has learned (Twitter link). Flynn, 29 in April, appeared in 48 games out of the Kansas City bullpen in 2018 and pitched to a 4.04 ERA with 5.6 K/9, 4.2 BB/9, 0.59 HR/9 and a 49.8 percent ground-ball rate. It’s the first trip through the arbitration process for Flynn, whom the Royals initially acquired in the 2014 trade that sent righty Aaron Crow to the Marlins. In parts of three seasons since that trade, Flynn has compiled 133 1/3 innings of 3.44 ERA ball with 91 strikeouts against 58 walks and a grounder rate north of 50 percent. As things currently stand, Flynn will join Tim Hill as one of the top two lefty options in an inexperienced Kansas City bullpen. General manager Dayton Moore and his staff figure to be on the lookout for some veteran additions to supplement that relief corps this offseason.