With the deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players looming tonight at 8pm ET — the MLBPA and MLB jointly agreed to move the deadline up a couple days due to the looming expiration of the collective bargaining agreement — we’ll likely see a slew of arbitration-eligible players signing one-year deals.
It’s commonplace for a large batch of players to sign deals in the hours leading up to the tender deadline. “Pre-tender” deals of this nature often fall shy of projections due to the fact that teams use the looming threat of a non-tender to enhance their leverage. Arbitration contracts at this juncture are often take-it-or-leave-it propositions, with the “leave it” end of that arrangement resulting in the player being cut loose. Given the widely expected lockout, there could be more incentive than usual for borderline non-tender candidates to take those offers rather than being cast out into free agency just hours before a transaction freeze is implemented.
As a reminder, arbitration contracts are not fully guaranteed. In a typical year, a team can cut a player on an arb contract at any point before the halfway point in Spring Training and only be responsible for 30 days’ termination pay (about one-sixth of the contract). Releasing a player in the second half of Spring Training bumps the termination pay to 45 days of his prorated salary.
MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected salaries for each team’s arbitration-eligible players last month, although for many of the players listed below, this isn’t so much avoiding arbitration as it is avoiding a non-tender. Here’s a look at today’s agreements…
- The Yankees have agreed to deals with infielder Gio Urshela and right-hander Domingo German, reports Mark Feinsand of MLB.com (Twitter links). Urshela will make $6.55MM, while German has agreed to a $1.75MM deal. Urshela has two seasons of control remaining; German is controllable for three years. Urshela is coming off a .267/.301/.419 showing while playing third base and shortstop. German tossed 98 1/3 innings of 4.58 ERA ball.
- The Twins have signed three arbitration-eligible pitchers, per reports from Feinsand and Darren Wolfson of SKOR North (on Twitter). Right-hander Jharel Cotton signed for $700K, reliever Caleb Thielbar lands $1.3MM and reliever Tyler Duffey signs for $3.8MM. Thielbar and Duffey were both productive members of the Minnesota relief corps in 2021. Cotton was recently claimed off waivers from the Rangers.
- The Giants have agreed to terms with outfielder Austin Slater on a $1.85MM deal, reports Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic (Twitter link). The 28-year-old (29 next month) appeared at all three spots on the grass while hitting .241/.320/.423 over 306 plate appearances in 2021.
- Reliever Emilio Pagan and the Padres have agreed on a $2.3MM deal, reports Rosenthal (on Twitter). The 30-year-old worked 63 1/3 innings of 4.83 ERA/3.93 SIERA ball this past season.
- The Diamondbacks agreed to a $2MM deal with left-hander Caleb Smith, reports Zach Buchanan of the Athletic (via Twitter). The 30-year-old posted a 4.83 ERA/4.68 SIERA across 113 2/3 innings in a swing capacity in 2021.
- First baseman Rowdy Tellez agreed to a $1.94MM deal with the Brewers, tweets Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Acquired in a midseason trade with Toronto, Tellez impressed with a .272/.333/.481 batting line and seven homers in 174 plate appearances. He’s controlled through 2024.
- The Yankees and lefty Lucas Luetge agreed to a $905K salary for the 2022 season, per Rosenthal. The 34-year-old returned to the Majors for the first time since 2015 and shined with a 2.74 ERA in 72 1/3 innings of relief. New York can control him through the 2024 season.
- The Orioles signed lefty Paul Fry to an $850K deal for the 2022 season, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Fry looked like he’d be an in-demand trade candidate well into the summer, but the O’s hung onto him and watched his results crumble after the deadline passed. He finished with a 6.08 ERA on the season but pitched effectively through July. Between thats strong start, a big 28% strikeout rate and an affordable salary, it’s only sensible for Baltimore to hang onto him.
- Pirates shortstop Kevin Newman agreed to terms with the team on a 2022 contract, tweets Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He’ll be paid $1.95MM, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic adds. A Gold Glove finalist in 2021, Newman hit just .226/.265/.309 but was one of the best defensive players at any position. He’s controlled another three seasons.
- The Rays and Ji-Man Choi agreed to a $3.2MM salary for the 2022 campaign, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The 30-year-old swatted 11 homers in 305 plate appearances and offset a low batting average with a huge 14.8% walk rate. Overall, Choi hit .229/.348/.411. He’s controllable through 2023.
- The Rockies agreed to a one-year, $1.025MM deal with righty Tyler Kinley, tweets Thomas Harding of MLB.com. The 30-year-old has a 4.88 ERA in 94 innings over the past two seasons, including a 4.73 mark in 70 1/3 frames this past season. Kinley’s big swinging-strike rates and 96 mph fastball velocity suggest he could improve upon this year’s 23.1% strikeout rate.
- The Orioles are in agreement on a $1.5MM deal with starter Jorge Lopez. The 28-year-old is coming off a tough showing, having worked to a 6.07 ERA over 121 2/3 innings. Lopez induced a fair amount of ground-balls and ate up plenty of innings, though, and he’ll now get another chance to compete for a spot in a wide-open Baltimore rotation. He remains controllable through 2024.
- The Mariners have agreed on a $1.025MM deal with reliever Casey Sadler, per Murray. The 31-year-old led all pitchers (minimum 40 innings) with a 0.67 ERA over 40 1/3 frames this past season. Along the way, he racked up ground-balls on a massive 62.9% of balls in play against him. He’s controllable through 2024.
- The Brewers announced they’ve come to terms with reliever Jandel Gustave. The hard-throwing righty worked 18 1/3 innings of 3.44 ERA/4.35 SIERA ball across 14 appearances this past season. He remains controllable through 2024. Gustave’s deal is a split contract that pays him $675K while he’s in the majors, according to Robert Murray of FanSided (on Twitter).
- The Diamondbacks have agreed to a $1.25MM deal with reliever Noe Ramirez, reports Zach Buchanan of the Athletic (Twitter link). The 31-year-old (32 next month) is entering his penultimate season of club control. The vertex righty had a quietly solid season in the desert, working to an even 3.00 ERA across 36 innings, albeit with less impressive strikeout and walk numbers.
- The Padres have come to terms with relievers Austin Adams and Tim Hill, reports Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic (Twitter link). Adams will make $925K; Hill is in line for a $1.325MM salary. Both pitchers have an additional two seasons of arbitration control remaining. Adams overcame a staggering amount of hits-by-pitch and walks to post a 4.10 ERA over 52 2/3 innings, striking out 31.5% of opponents. Hill racked up grounders at a 60.6% clip en route to a 3.62 ERA.
- The Giants have reached a $1.725MM deal with reliever Jarlin Garcia, per Rosenthal. The southpaw pitched to a sterling 2.62 ERA over 68 2/3 frames in 2021 with solid strikeout and walk numbers. He’s controllable through 2023.
- The A’s and righty Deolis Guerra agreed to a one-year deal worth $815K, tweets Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Guerra, 32, posted a 4.11 ERA in a career-high 65 2/3 innings with the A’s in 2021. He’ll give them an affordable arm for the coming season but doesn’t come with a lengthy track record of big league success.
- The Rockies and Daniel Bard came to terms on a $4.4MM salary for the 2022 campaign, tweets Rosenthal. Bard’s Rockies resurgence after seven years away from the Majors was a remarkable story. The team opted not to trade him at the deadline, and he struggled immensely with a 6.65 ERA thereafter (ballooning his season-long ERA to 5.21). The Rockies view Bard as an important piece in 2022, however, evidenced both by the lack of trade and the $4.4MM commitment despite a shaky finish.
- Right-hander Ryan Brasier agreed to a $1.4MM salary with the Red Sox for the upcoming season, tweets Robert Murray of FanSided. The 2021 season was a nightmare for Brasier, who suffered a broken finger in Spring Training, strained a calf muscle while rehabbing that injury and then was hospitalized after being struck in the head by a comeback liner while working back from the calf issue. The 34-year-old made it back to the mound in September and pitched to a 1.50 ERA in 12 frames.
- Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander has agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.15MM, tweets Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. The 27-year-old was a bright spot in the 2020 Baltimore lineup but saw his OBP dip back under .300 in a down year at the plate in 2021. Santander still popped 18 homers and 24 doubles. He’s controllable for another three years, and the O’s will hope for a rebound from this year’s .241/.286/.433 slash.
- The Braves signed outfielder Guillermo Heredia to a one-year deal worth $1MM, tweets Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Heredia, 32 in January, played a larger role than expected in 2021 given the general tumult in the Atlanta outfield. His .220/.311/.354 batting line isn’t much to look at, but he was a solid hand against lefties (.258/.330/.427) and is a capable defender at all three outfield slots.
- The Brewers announced that infielder/outfielder Jace Peterson signed a one-year contract. The 31-year-old was arbitration-eligible for the final time after hitting .247/.348/.368 through 302 plate appearances. Peterson split his time between second base, third base, first base and the outfield with Milwaukee in 2021, and that versatility likely tickets him for a utility role again in 2022.
- Phillies reliever Seranthony Dominguez signed a one-year deal worth $725K today, tweets Rosenthal. That represents a rare pay cut in arbitration — albeit only by $3,000 — which is understandable after Dominguez missed nearly the entire season while recovering from 2020 Tommy John surgery. He made it back to the mound for one inning in the season’s final game, and Dominguez should be counted on to play a large role in the relief corps next season. In 83 2/3 MLB innings, Dominguez has a 3.23 ERA and a huge 30.3% strikeout rate against a 9.9% walk rate. He saved 16 games for the Phils as a rookie in 2018.
- Right-hander John Brebbia and the Giants agreed to a one-year deal worth $837,500, Rosenthal tweets. The 31-year-old signed an $800K deal with San Francisco last winter after being non-tendered by St. Louis on the heels of Tommy John surgery. Brebbia returned to throw 18 1/3 innings in 2021 but was tattooed for a 5.89 ERA in that brief time. That said, his 22-to-4 K/BB ratio was excellent, and Brebbia held a 3.14 ERA and 3.39 FIP through 175 career innings in three seasons with the Cards. Given that track record and strong K-BB%, it’s not surprising that the Giants would want to take another look.
- Zach Buchanan of The Athletic tweets that the Diamondbacks avoided arbitration with reliever J.B. Wendelken, signing him to a one-year deal worth $835K. The 28-year-old Wendelken was somewhat surprisingly designated for assignment in Oakland this summer despite a solid track record, and the D-backs pounced on him with the top waiver priority in the game. Wendelken posted a 4.33 ERA in 43 2/3 innings this season but carries a more impressive 3.05 ERA and 3.42 FIP with a 24% strikeout rate and 9.5% walk rate over his past 118 big league frames.
The plastic swords return.
The Mets "Missed WAR"
Yep. The scary thing is right now either Heredia or Pache are penciled in as the Braves starting CF. I guess it would be Duvall in right and Ozuna in left. I really wonder if they are going to let Ozuna play. They really need outfielders and the first 20-games of Ozuna’s season won’t cost anything. They have to pay him the rest anyway. They basically have to play Ozuna unless they find a team willing to trade for him. I don’t mind Heredia as a 4th outfielder but I really don’t want him as a starter. He looked good at the beginning but was pretty awful after that. It would be nice to pick up someone like Castellanos and just move Ozuna to DH when Acuna comes back. I just don’t see the Braves spending that kind of money on anyone other than Freeman though.
@Mets do you understand what “retroactive” means? His suspension has been served.
Ozuna can and likely will play day 1.
He’s served his suspension but hasn’t been docked 20 games pay, thus “first 20 games for free” maybe you don’t understand what punishment Ozuna got?
“ They really need outfielders and the first 20-games of Ozuna’s season won’t cost anything.”
He just said that Ozuna will be playing unpaid the first twenty games, not that he won’t be playing.
He was paid during leave irrc thus I assume they will take back 20 games worth of pay or your way works too where the first 20 games of 2022 are “free”
Always love it when someone gets exceptionally snarky and steps on their own johnson
Ozuna can eat crap. Really hoping they just release him and be done with it. Let that cesspool Houston sign him.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
@braves and chargers. I agree. I don’t want to hear about this for the next 3 years and honestly don’t know how he got off so light with multiple law enforcement eye witnesses. He’s lucky he didn’t get shot.I was one of the fans calling to resign him but the Braves don’t need that baggage.
@FredMcGriff I don’t understand the punishment either. Manfred is a disgrace and Marcell should 100% be locked up and have his contract voided. I too wanted him resigned and was a big fan when it was announced but I hope he never plays again. I’m keeping my fingers crossed he’s cut and the Braves just keep riding this good wave but I’m preparing for the bullcrap “he did these sensitivity classes and is very sorry” line
@B&C: I was thinking the same thing. They’ve shown in the past that they don’t mind trading for or playing scuzbuckets.
Just release him and eat all that salary? That’s absurd. Dude served his sentence. Move along.
@Chief absolutely release him and eat the salary. You can cheer for the wife beater all you want, but I want him gone.
Good for most of the Brave fans not afraid to point out right from wrong, even if on their own team.
Too bad Astro fans never learned that…
It has been stated that the initial reports of what happened were false, and it was apparently just an aggressive, loudly yelling and cussing game of tug-of-war with a cell phone..
Thats why his suspension was so low, and thats why he was only sentenced to take anger management classes..
I’d be the first one to say the heck with him, let him rot if he hit a woman, but from my understanding that didn’t happen here..
“but from my understanding that didn’t happen here..”
They lowered the charges from a felony to two misdemeanors after seeing the police’s bodycam footage. There could be something to that. Sometimes, when you don’t know all the details, you have to trust that other people, with more insight into the incident, are doing the right thing.
Yet, you are probably in love with Bobby Cox who was charged with the same offense and Cox’s wife had the serious bruises on the face and neck.
The Braves aren’t going to just “cut” someone that is owed over 50 million, because of a misdemeanor charge.
Lastly, it is re-signed, not resigned.
@Pepesfrias Nice assumption but nope not a fan of Bobby Cox, for obvious reasons.
Yeah it would be absolutely fantastic to have faith that this really isn’t that bad and that it was a misunderstanding but who in their right mind can honestly have faith and trust in both the American judicial system, and a major sport not trying to downplay the severity of a heinous, high profile incident? Color me jaded but I’d think they’d release as much possible evidence that nothing happened, instead of just barely announcing a nothing punishment right at the time when there’s a significant amount of other baseball news.
They’ll trade Ozuna to one of these three teams…
I think Ozuna is basically untradeable. Maybe in a bad contract for bad contract swap where the acquiring team just cuts bait with him? If the Braves took on Corbin from the Nats or Bumgarner from Zona in exchange, plus sent prospects with Ozuna? I don’t know, unless the Braves want Hosmer at DH it’s hard to see how they trade Ozuna.
I agree that Ozuna is un-tradable, I can’t see a team wanting to deal with that. That being said do the Braves try and play him despite backlash or release him and eat a ton of salary? Ugh.
If Julio Urias can play without backlash, Ozuna can too. No one talks about what happened with Chapman anymore.
Yes they will. His suspension was retroactive, meaning it was already technically served during the 2021 season while he was on administrative leave. He is free to play and will get paid as long as he doesn’t get suspended again.
But can you hit the curveball to right, with power?
I think Ozuna can play better defensively than Castellanos.
You can probably play better defensively than Castellanos tbh… I’m sure he’s calling the union reps saying “how’s that DH in the NL thing coming along???” On the DAILY. Opens up 16 new job opportunities for him.
I checked out him and Kris Bryant, and their career numbers were oddly similar offensively, but at least Bryant is fine in LF. Castellanos was better last year at the plate though, while Bryant had Castellanos’ 2021 offense back in 2016 or 2017. End of the day I’d say their contracts will be similar if the DH is in the NL, as Castellanos is absolutely a DH>RF/LF/1B…I remember he came up as a 3B(so did Bryant I guess, and they’re both considered LF/1B guys these days). Oh well…hoping this lockout is over in a few weeks as opposed to a few months.
It’d be disappointed to have Opening Day in June…plus I have no idea what that means for Seiya Suzuki’s posting. Rumor is his 30 days just froze, so he has 20 days after the new CBA, but if this thing drags out, he might just play another season in Japan as opposed to sitting in limbo. I’d prefer Suzuki over Bryant and Castellanos. His career stats aren’t that far off from Ichiro’s. Ichiro had a slightly better average, while Seiya had better power, but both played the same number of seasons for the NPL, and had their last season at age 27. Seiya’s a righty and came up as a SS/3B, and but he’s been a Gold Glover in RF, and will probably get a 4yr/$45m compared to Bryant/Castellanos, who I imagine will go for $100m+. I think 6yrs/$144m would make sense, about $24m a year for a 3-5 WAR guy. Pricey, but it’s less than what a lot of other guys with similar potential are getting, and they’re both pretty much guaranteed at least 25+HR and a .260BA regardless of where they play.
Alrighty I’m done
A’s too cheap to keep even Wendleken? Imagine inheriting the Gap fortune but being this miserly.
Bah. No loss. Walks too many batters.
Good glue guy, AGAIN sign Freeman AA!!
admittedly it is not a lot of $, but why would the Gs resign Brebbia after the season he had when they have so man arms already in the pen and more ready to make the jump from AA and AAA next year?
You can never have too many arms. And he was good before the surgery, so maybe he can return to form.
Brebbia didn’t do bad at all. He had a 3.14 ERA with a 22/4 ratio. That’s probably worth more than the contract he got
Because it’s slightly above league average pay for a arm that has as recently as 2020 been a above average arm? Seems like a simple choice in this day in age of teams using 40 pitchers.
re Brebbia: low risk + good potential reward = smart move
And the bonus is, if it does work out well, he’s also controlled for 2023.
Take a look at Brebbia’s stats before the Tommy John surgery. Then tell me why the Giants should give up on him so fast.
spot on blown saves leader
He is not a Closer. Don’t cherry pick his stats. He has 3 in his entire career.
All female baseball fans should feel disregarded. Manfred you are a gutless, spineless turd.
All *baseball fans* should feel disrespected. Domestic violence happens to everyone at a pretty similar rate. Plus people should care about things that don’t affect their “group” anyways.
Absolute agreement on Manfred being spineless.
spineless? you act like Ozuna has some leverage over him.
In 2016 the Braves traded Olivera to the Padres for Matt Kemp and cash, as a salary dump for the Padres. They cut him when his suspension was over. Maybe the Braves could trade Ozuna to someone as part of a similar salary dump.
Ozuna is 100x the player Olivera was. Olivera was a bum on AND off the field. OZuna is an All Star level talent on the field. No one is trading for him just to cut him.
5 years ago is an eternity at the rate things have been moving.
It’s hard for teams to justify acquiring someone after an incident like that. The backlash is real.
I can’t see the Braves putting Ozuna in their lineup. Zero tolerance for his behavior. I don’t understand why he wasn’t suspended permanently.
Lawsuit and/or grievance.
Supposedly, and this is why the body cam footage was sealed, Marcells wife went after him with a knife and he used his cast to subdue her in self defense. Dunno if true or not.
That might explain why his charges were reduced to misdemeanors, maybe.
I would hope the fact that the suspension was only 20 games would mean there’s something the public doesn’t know and was left out of the initial police report.
If that’s the case, I still have mixed feelings about Ozuna playing, but I could understand the Braves/MLB giving him a second chance. If and only if he’s genuinely working to be a better person.
At the same time, Manfred has given me no reason to trust his judgement on suspensions.
Yea I mean it makes sense that there could be things we don’t know. His wife going after him with a knife isn’t a surprising thing, that relationship they have is so toxic and weird
If I’m Ozuna’s wife I might be fine with him bringing home my 50% of that $50 mill left on his contract.
His wife attacked him before and was arrested, so it would make sense. The media leaving out pertinent facts to spread their narrative also sounds very believable
No one knows his side of the story but he did say the real story would set him free and pretty much it has been right about all of it except his is in a toxic marriage but many people are, he is not alone. Hope he and his wife get support and figure it out.
It’s good to see that we don’t live in America and instead have the judge, jury, and executioners right here on this website.
The American government decided that this man was not dangerous enough to lock up. He deserves the chance to work regardless of past indiscretions.
If you don’t like him, then don’t cheer for him. But the man deserves a chance to work.
The fact that you trust the government in these , or any matters, is more frightening.
The reason he was not working is there are certain crimes ( such as those who abuse someone weaker ( ladies, children and animals for example) are not popular with the general public and in clubhouses ( think Trevor Bauer)).
Consensual rough sex is domestic violence?
Choking is not consenting. See how popular this clown in in the Dodgers Clubhouse?
Rape is not consensual buddy
Choking can be consented to. It’s not my thing, but the 50 Shades of Grey books sold 150M copies. A lot of this revolves around expectations and degree, but the amount of women that occasionally like to be spanked is pretty large.
Joe gets it
Bad contracts: Heyward, Corbin, Bumgarner.
The Braves should trade him to the Mets for Bobby Bonilla, lol. Seriously though, everyone is saying trade him, but I’m thinking that Ozuna’s contract is basically untradeable due to his baggage. Having said that, I don’t know exactly how much time or money is left on his deal, but if Atlanta does look to trade him, they’ll more than likely have to simply trade bad contracts & hope that a change of scenery helps whoever they get.
Signed thru 2024, 4 yrs/$65M (21-24) & team option
Good for heredia
Daniel Bard $4.4m? I’m glad for him but really?
I can’t believe he pitched last year. It’s pretty wild with 7 years off.
where is perry minasian? sleeping?
Freeman to Seattle
Dusty Baker's tooth pick.
I have no idea why people are so against Marcell but will praise bartolo, chapman, urias, and osuna. At least be consistent. There is more to the story and the violence is far from one sided. Both him and his wife are guilty. But he did his time and the whole story isn’t out there. Maybe we should here the guy out before condemning him.
Or Bobby Cox for the same offense.
Kevin Newman deserves a raise after having that silky smooth OPS+BA of .800. That’s a beautiful triple slash.
On the upside, he usually grounds out to 2nd on 1-2 pitches so he moves the game along. Pretty sure he had the lowest k rate in the league last year.
Haha can’t fault him for valuing the time of the fans.
Ghost of ben
Beans the idiot troll
Sadler back as a Mariner! Well done. Love him
Don’t always understand the Rays logic. They don’t like spending money yet keep around Choi who’s really not very good and pay major league deals for washed up pitchers like Wacha and Archer. Easier said than done, but if they’d just not waste that money and kept Morton around, things could have been much different.
Austin Adams gets a 10k bonus each time he nails a batter – he’ll be making Scherzer coin.
Newman is just a place holder and fairly cheap at that price, no reason not to bring him back for now.
Hoping S Dominguez bounces back fully from Tommy John surgery as the Phillies bullpen could use all the help it can get.
6.55 mil for Urshela? Why?
Not trying to fan flames of panic here, wtf is Cashman and Hal Pal’s plan as great options are disappearing by the min. Options that will not cost any prospects – maybe draft compensation, who cares. Are we in win now mode or what? The Yanks are worth 5.3 billion – spend some freakin money already on a SS. Grab Story, sign Rizzo if you wiff on Olsen which is likely to happen. Sign Carlos Rodon…do something for f sakes! Yes, the sky is falling – rant over lol