The Marlins won their arbitration hearing against catcher Jacob Stallings, as first reported by the Associated Press. That sets his 2022 salary at the $2.45MM figure submitted by the team rather than at the $3.1MM that Stallings and his representatives.
Acquired in an offseason trade that sent righty Zach Thompson and prospects Kyle Nicolas and Connor Scott to the Pirates, Stallings has had a rough start to his Marlins tenure. The 2021 Gold Glover has always been known more for his defensive prowess than his bat, but this year’s .204/.276/.268 showing through 174 trips to the plate has nevertheless been a disappointment. Over his final three seasons with the Bucs, Stallings posted a .251/.331/.374 batting line that clocked in about about 9-10% worse than the league-average hitter (by measure of wRC+ and OPS+) but was slightly better than that of the average catcher.
More concerning for the Fish, however, is the downturn in Stallings’ vaunted defensive skills. This year’s 17% caught-stealing rate is the worst of his big league career, and Stallings has also turned in below-average marks in pitch framing — an area where he’s previously ranked among the game’s very best. Stallings has been a bit better at the dish since a brutal start to the year, hitting .223/.303/.300 over his past 100 trips to the plate, but even that’s a notable departure from his typical output in Pittsburgh.
Of course, Stallings’ struggles to this point weren’t a factor in his arbitration hearing. Arbitration hearings, even those taking place during the ongoing season due to this winter’s lockout, are determined based solely on prior performance. Hearings such as this would’ve typically taken place in February, after all.
With Stallings’ 2022 salary now set, that’ll be the baseline for subsequent arbitration raises moving forward. This is his second trip through arbitration as a Super Two player, and he’ll remain under Marlins control through the 2024 season. That leaves two more trips through the arb process, though Stallings will likely need to improve his play on both sides of the ball if he’s to remain a prominent part of the team’s plans.
Wrapping up Stallings’ case finally brings the Marlins’ arbitration dealings to a close. Miami avoided a hearing with everyone other than Stallings and righty Pablo Lopez, both of whom the team defeated in arb hearings. The Fish also notably sidestepped a hearing with southpaw Richard Bleier when they agreed to a two-year deal in late March.
At this point, Braves lefty Max Fried and Yankees slugger Aaron Judge are the only two players in Major League Baseball with yet-to-be-resolved arbitration cases. Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports that Fried’s hearing took place yesterday, so a ruling could be made as soon as today. Judge’s hearing is set for Friday, per Heyman.
What were players paid to this point if they’re arb eligible?
They were paid at the team-submitted rate while the cases remained unresolved. Those who won hearings or settled somewhere between the two figures were credited with retroactive pay to reflect the difference and then paid at the new rate moving forward.
Amazing, thanks for that clarification!
I saw an ESPN article on this. It’s whatever the team argues, then they make up the difference later if the player wins.
Or just look at what Steve said. He says it so much smarter.
He has been TERRIBLE all year. Forget the raise…I question whether he even belongs on the roster at this point.
This year’s performance *should* have zero bearing on players’ arbitration cases.
More than a few guys just can’t hit as well in Miami.
Stallings was brought in for his glove, not his bat. He belongs on our roster…period. The guys who are here to hit have been failing the team, but still not as bad as the bullpen.
Let me rephrase….he’s been TERRIBLE all year both offensively and defensively. Lowest caught stealing percentage in the league and his pitch framing and other defensive skills have disappeared. The guy has a negative WAR for the season and that’s what really matters. Oh and your boy Alfaro has a positive WAR of 1 at the moment. So no…he does not belong on the roster. Not when the majority of their losses have been by one run. This guy’s performance statistically has been even worse than Alfaro’s when he was here, and everyone wanted to send that guy off. They need to let someone else play behind the dish. But yes, their bullpen also stinks
Defensive metrics are the most unreliable measure of defense there is. Just the fact that Alfaro can post a better metric than Stallings confirms this because Alfaro is still a mess behind the plate. But of course, I’m judging this based on the eyeball test I developed from actually having played ball. Even the guys that develop metrics and the formulas behind them admit that its unreliable and a WIP.
We wanted Alfaro out of here because he simply can’t catch. Any one watching him play behind the plate, if they know what they are LOOKING at can see that Alfaro has not played the field like a starting MLB catcher. Stallings is a legit defensive catcher.
Well, I’m gonna trust actual statistical numbers rather than your eyeballs. The dude factually sucks. And every metric whether it be defensive, offensive and every other type there is says he sucks. My eyeballs watching him also say he sucks.
Yeah, but if your eyeballs tell you that Alfaro is a better defender than Stallings, you either need very strong glasses or you just don’t know baseball. Alfaro absolutely sucks on defense. He’s a DH in waiting if he ever develops a consistent enough bat.
i agree the guy can’t catch, but right now his offensive value alone is worth more than both Stalling’s defensive and offensive output combined. They should let the other kid play. He’s been hitting and playing better defense so far. Unlikely to continue what he’s doing, but if he hits 260. with 10-15 homers then he’s a massive upgrade.
Fortes is nice, but he needs work on his defense. He’s shown since they brought him up last year that he has a bat, but the glove needs work. He may be the starter in the next couple of years, but he needs to keep hitting and needs to improve his defense. Interestingly, Stallings was also brought in to mentor guys like Fortes.
As for taking the offensive whole while ignoring the defensive flaws, I’ve always been of the philosophy that catcher is not one of those positions that you sacrifice defense for offense…especially with a young and talented pitching staff like the Marlins have. Pitchers need confidence in their catcher, and young pitchers need a veteran to guide them. Our pitchers were never comfortable with Alfaro. This year, they’ve not been fully comfortable with Fortes. They’ve had marginal comfort with Patrick Henry, who is all defense and zero offense (which is why he was sent down). Most of the pitchers have been comfortable with Stallings. Perhaps if things progress with both Fortes’ defense and Henry’s offense to MLB caliber, they may be the combo with Fortes starting and Henry as the backup. We’ll see. They can also go outside of the organization at some point.
How does Miami argue a case when he was with Pittsburgh last season? Do the Pirates send over their case? Do the Marlins starr fresh from available data?
Arbitration is largely based on comparisons to past players (particularly those at the same position) in the same service bracket and with similar statistical profiles. Teams make cases against players new to the team (i.e. acquired via trade or waivers) every year.
Marlins Humiliate and utterly defeat Jacob Stallings and his puny representatives
Love it….You even crushed the representatives! Lol.
Mike Piazza Pie
Marlins: Haha we beat you and you’re not as good as you thought you were. Now go win us some games, champ.
Do the Marlin Fans Care? I notice a lot of empty seats!
Someone needs to ask him.
I don’t care.
Stallings DEFEATED AND CRUSHED
I sincerely hope Judge does not take the arb hearing personally, as he says he won’t. It destroyed Betances. I know he says, “It’s all business,” but when your organization stacks all your weaknesses, I’m not sure one can stay in an impersonal mindset.
I think the Yankees should compromise and pay the man $2MM, but that’s easy for me to say because it ain’t my money. It’s a nasty business…
Betances is a wuss. I remember that guy crying about what was said about him. Also it’s called arbitration for a reason. The team isn’t going in there praising the players.
Yeah, no doubt, but it’s very paradoxical that the organization hammers its star player, particularly during an MVP-level season, to save a few million dollars they typically write-off during a season anyway. It’s about the future processes, I get it. That is not a criticism of the organization, just an observation of the process.
But, the Yankees are notoriously harsh in their arb hearings. Time will tell – hopefully Judge has thicker skin than Betances.
You are right about teams trying to save some money in the arbitration process. I never understood why teams worry about money during the process then go and toss it around like it’s nothing during free agency or whenever. A few million to them is like a few hundred to us. Then you have the ramifications of it all…..bad blood for no good reason.
I don’t understand why a player would want to attend an arbitration hearing. Send his reps to state his case and avoid hearing the badmouthing. I can’t imagine the player personally argues his merits to the arbitrator.
They may have offered to meet in the middle but Judge may have said no. That happens often too as the player wants to bet on himself.
Arbitration seems as rigged as the non-sport arbitration…
I always have trouble recalling player wins over teams.
Dansby Swanson, Andrew Benintendi and Adam Frazier all won hearings this year, but the 2022 batch of hearings has skewed heavily in favor of teams. It’s usually split a bit more evenly.
Three of eight players (Ji-Man Choi, Jack Flaherty, Mike Soroka) won their hearings in 2021.
Players went 5-for-12 in 2020, 6-for-10 in 2019 and 12-for-22 in 2018.
awesome, Steve, ty for the insight.
Thank you, Steve!
i dig the new avatar picture.
Thanks for clearing up my anecdotal evidence with data. When assort like BA: Feel players hitting HOF success : )
Real talk, I wish all disagreements met at middle, Steve.
Have a great day or evening! Thanks again.
He’s terrible… gold glove only really worth $2 mil
He was really good last year. Stallings was the best defensive catcher last year, but he wasn’t all that bad of a hitter. 92 OPS+, .335 OBP, but really came up clutch. He had a .321 batting average and .900 OPS in high-leverage situations. I can see why the Marlins were interested, but yeah. Not very good this year. He sat on the fringe of good enough to be a quality starter, and really good 2nd catcher.
The Bucs chose wisely to move him after his year last season.
Mendoza Line 215
Go-And I think that it would be wise for the Bucs to get him back for next year and have him and R Pérez instead of the two AAA catchers that they have now.
They could send one of the minor leaguers that they got for him plus another average A player and see if the Marlins would go for it.
The fact the Yankees are himming and hawing over this cash is absurd.
Sure….take Judge to arbitration. Point out his weaknesses. Should be an interesting off season for Judge’s mega deal. Whoever it may be from.
They’re not hemming and hawing over the actual money. They obviously know that Judge at $21MM is a steal. Virtually any one-year deal for Judge is a bargain. They offered him $9MM more than his submitted figure, per year, over a seven-year term during extension talks.
The hearing is about future precedent. Any settlement is fair game to be used as a future data point for the Yankees and all 29 other teams in future arbitration settings. Judge, in particular, is a landmark case who’ll be used as a data point for future arbitration talks with star-caliber players.
If every team gave in and just conceded a few million extra to their star players (or even a hundred thousand for solid regulars), future precedent would be sent through the roof and arbitration salaries would explode.
Not defending or criticizing them for that stance, to be clear. That’s how all 30 teams approach arbitration. It’s just how the system has come to function from the team vantage point.
I talked to several GMs/assistant GMs/front office execs and wrote about this a few years back, if you’re curious to read more on the matter:
Steve, do you think thank it would make any difference in negotiations after this season if the Yanks had just caved to his figure submitted a month ago? In my opinion, I don’t think that would help resign Judge if another contending team offered more than the Yanks during FA and Judge was purely interested in the amount of the contracts offered.
I don’t. They already offered Judge more than $200MM. He bet on himself — wisely so, it appears — and is going to go to the team that pays him at a rate commensurate with the absolute top of the market.
If the Yankees offer him $36MM (or $36.5MM) annually over the next 7-8 years, he’s not going to begrudgingly turn them down for going to a hearing. Similarly, if they’d just given him the $4MM (or compromised at, say, $20MM) but held their offer in the $30-32MM range annually, he wouldn’t take that over other, more substantial offers, out of appreciation.
Judge is going to cash in at a record or near-record level in some capacity this winter. This arb hearing has little bearing on that, one way or another.
Thanks for the input. I never understood the fan sentiment and to some extent the media sentiment that if Team A would have paid a good bit mofre more than league minimum during the Pre Arb years and paid what Player B wanted in Arbitration then Team A would have a much better chance in signing Player B to an extension or in FA. To me the reality is Player B and his agent would thank Team A for their generosity and still signed for the max contract offered elsewhere and would not consider way less to stay to show gratitude for monies already paid.
The wild thing is that arbitration doesn’t allow for the panel to split the difference.
hawing over this cash is absurd.
Almost everyone argues over money. On one car I bought, we were haggling over floor mats. On my current house, we haggled over light fixtures. On another house, the deal was sealed when the owner threw in all the furniture (fairly new) for free.
Trying to get the best deal is the way the world works.
I find it funny that his “framing” has gone downward, not just from a positive to less positive, but to being a negative. Just shows how ridiculous framing is. Do you really think Stallings suddenly forgot his years of experience and no longer remembers how to catch? Maybe its a different rotation of umpires than he had been getting. Much more likely.
Depends on the pitchers throwing as well. Depends on their control and how close they have the ball end up when he catches it to the zone when it crossed the plate. If he or any catcher is set up in one spot but the pitch goes to a far different spot than he set up for then framing is out the window. Have not seen any Fish games this year so no idea what the problem is.
Most catchers framing declines quickly as they age.
Not going to matter soon anyway if Robo Ump starts calling the pitchers. Thinking that hitters in the Show are not going to enjoy Robo much when they face a guy that can throw breaking balls that really break. Now a lot of umps will call the pitch a ball but it ticks the zone as it breaks. Robo will call those pitches strikes because all it has to do is kiss the zone somewhere.
Good. These players think they’re worth more than they are.
Yeah, the owner can keep that 600k to lower your ticket prices…or not.
Good. Scrub players should not be paid much, if anything.
Such a silly comment. He had a solid season last year, and the arbitration system works to compensate him appropriately. They didn’t have to offer him a contract.
It sounds like you’re suggesting the MLB minimum should be close to zero dollars, since the last few players on any roster are close to “scrub players.”
Quote: Such a silly comment..
– Only in your mind.
Quote: He had a solid season last year, and the arbitration system works to compensate him appropriately.
– He has mostly been a scrub is whole career. He’s currently sitting at a negative WAR for the year. Considering his last year’s outlier numbers of a 3 WAR, He’s really only been an average catcher his whole career, which is nothing worth paying for.
Quote: They didn’t have to offer him a contract.
– Of course. However, this is the problem with MLB. They have far too many teams which requires a watering down of talent. So, we end up with below average players representing the so-called best of the best.
Quote: It sounds like you’re suggesting the MLB minimum should be close to zero dollars, since the last few players on any roster are close to “scrub players.”
– Most MLB players are scrubs and not worth the money they’re paid. As I stated above, there are far too many teams out there which are bringing up AAA & AAAA level players to play at the MLB level. I’d like to see a contraction of teams to ensure the sport has the top players playing the game.
Jacob Stallings has been a solid major league catcher, and very under the radar. I won’t reiterate what was in the article anyone to read. I don’t always trust framing metrics, but the guy is legit. Not sure why the numbers are off so far.
Last year, he played the most games of his career. Before that, he’s hadn’t played more than 71 and he’s already past his prime years of playing. I don’t see him getting better in the future.
Wow, Pirates actually won a trade.
In the past decade they won or tied just about all their trades. I will give you the archer trade even though it was more of a failure of player development than a bad trade. So who besides that what else do you got? Don’t give me Cole. I would definitely take 5 years of Musgrove vs 2 of Cole. Again failed player development. New pitching coach instantly improved Musgrove.
Musgrove actually improved with the Bucs. He was traded because he is a FA after this season and if he was pitching like he is now with the Bucs, they never would have been able to compete for extending/signing him. Doubt he really considered extending with Buds or the Pads as he will be turning 30 in December and this will be his best chance to cash in. Pirates got Bednar, Endy Rodriguez and 3 other prospects for Musgrove.
Mendoza Line 215
Dream and Go- Another non Bucco fan who just remembers the Archer trade and thinks it to be representative.
Actually,even it may have not been so terrible if Archer enjoyed good health while he was a Pirate.
You Can Put It In The Books
MarlinsFanBase had Stallings as the best catcher in the NL going into the season. Wouldn’t shut up about it. Funny, where is she now?
Uh, I never placed him as the best catcher. I actually called out Pirates fans when they were claiming that we’d have to give them like 3 of our top 5 prospects. I mocked them after we got Stallings for a return that fell in line with what I argued against them.
If you’re going to squawk, at least get your facts straight…or if facts get in the way of your daily troll around the neighborhood, at least get within the ballpark of sounding close to factual.
Now go play with your Brandon Nimmo action figures…with the bat fastened to his shoulders.
You Can Put It In The Books
No ma’am, that’s a lie. At least stand behind your boisterous proclamations.