The Marlins have won their arbitration hearing against right-hander Pablo Lopez, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports (via Twitter). Lopez had been seeking a $3MM salary in his first year of arbitration eligibility, but the arbiter ruled in favor of the $2.45MM salary figure submitted by the club.
One of the many intriguing young arms in Miami’s organization, Lopez could be in the midst of a breakout season, with an outstanding 1.57 ERA, 27% strikeout rate, and 6.2% walk rate over his first 46 innings of the 2022 campaign. Statcast and fielding-independent metrics are also loving his work, though after shoulder problems limited Lopez in both 2019 and 2021, the biggest question down the stretch could be whether or not Lopez can last something close to a full season of work.
It could be that Lopez’s limited track record hampered his arbitration case, as he tossed only 102 2/3 innings last year due to a rotator cuff strain that sidelined him for virtually the entire second half. Needless to say, he’ll be lined up for a big raise in his second arb year if he stays healthy and effective. Since there is still some question about how much the Marlins are able or willing to spend on payroll, it’s possible that Lopez’s rising price tag might make him more of a trade chip, yet Miami didn’t have any interest in moving Lopez last winter despite plenty of interest from opposing teams.
With Lopez’s case completed, the Marlins are still slated for a hearing with Jacob Stallings unless they can reach an agreement to avoid arbitration. You can monitor all of the completed and still-pending arb situations around baseball via MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker.