Marlins first baseman Jesus Aguilar, Angels outfielder Brian Goodwin and Astros utility player Aledmys Diaz have all won arbitration hearings against their respective teams, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports (via Twitter). Aguilar will now earn $2.575MM in his first season with Miami, rather than the $2.325MM at which the club filed. Goodwin will be paid $2.2MM instead of the Angels’ $1.85MM submission. Diaz, meanwhile, will take home a $2.6MM salary instead of the flat $2MM filed by the Astros. Aguilar and Goodwin are repped by the MVP Sports Group, while Diaz is a client of Excel Sports.
Miami claimed the 29-year-old Aguilar off waivers from their fellow Floridians up in St. Petersburg, as the Rays weren’t keen on paying the slugger’s arb salary after picking him up in a July deal with the Brewers. Aguilar was an All-Star in 2018 when he broke out with a .274/.352/.539 slash and 35 home runs, but his offensive output scaled way back in ’19. He was hitting just .225/.320/.374 at the time the Brewers swapped him for righty Jake Faria, and while he improved a bit with Tampa Bay, his overall production this past season was nowhere near his 2017-18 levels.
That said, the Marlins clearly feels there’s significant rebound potential with Aguilar. He’s currently lined up to be the organization’s primary first baseman, and a return to form would make him a steal of a waiver claim. Aguilar is controlled through the 2022 season via arbitration, so he could be a multi-year piece in Miami if he rights the ship.
Speaking of savvy waiver claims, Goodwin was claimed by the Angels at the end of Spring Training last year after the Royals put him on release waivers. Despite being cut by a rebuilding club, Goodwin intrigued the Angels as a potential stopgap with Justin Upton sidelined. What they got instead was a very solid .262/.326/.470 slash that was accompanied by 17 home runs, 29 doubles and three triples. Goodwin was a near-regular in Anaheim last year, appearing in 136 games and taking a career-high 458 plate appearances. His output was strong enough that the Angels now view him as an important piece of the outfield puzzle. Like Aguilar, he’s controlled through 2022.
Diaz hit .271/.356/.467 in 247 plate appearances with the Astros in 2019. The versatile 29-year-old played primarily 140 innings at third base, 151 innings at second base and 161 innings at first base while also logging brief action at shortstop and in left field. Houston was Diaz’s third team in three seasons, but he’ll return to give new manager Dusty Baker some versatility off the bench and serve as a backup option for any of the team’s four regular infielders. He, too, is controlled through the 2022 season. Also of note — Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle observes that this, somewhat remarkably, is the sixth consecutive arbitration loss for the Astros organization (Twitter link).
Up until this point — as can be seen in MLBTR’s 2020 Arbitration Tracker — players had gone just 1-for-7 against teams in 2020 trials. Dodgers righty Pedro Baez was the lone player to topple his club in arbitration, while Jose Berrios, Shane Greene, Josh Hader, Joc Pederson, Eduardo Rodriguez and Tony Wolters had all come up short. The players have now evened things out a bit, as they’re suddenly 4-6 in this February’s arb proceedings. The hearings of Archie Bradley, J.T. Realmuto and Hector Neris are still pending results.