With the non-tender deadline set for tonight at 8pm ET, expect to see quite a few players avoid arbitration today — specifically those who stood out as possible non-tender candidates. You can check out the full list of projected arbitration salaries from MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz here, and we’ll run down the list of players to duck arbitration in this post…
- Infielder Ehire Adrianza gets $600K in the majors and $300K in the minors with the Giants, per another Heyman tweet. He had projected for only the league minimum after receiving action in just forty major league contests.
- Lefty Paco Rodriguez avoided arbitration with the Braves for $637,500, Heyman tweets. It seems likely he’d have been non-tendered had he not taken that contract, per David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via Twitter), which helps explain why he took less than his projected $900K.
- The Brewers have agreed to a contract with second baseman Scooter Gennett for 2017, per Heyman (via Twitter). He receives $2.525MM, a fair sight shy of his projection of $3.0MM. Given his limited ability to face left-handed pitching, Gennett may not have fared better on the open market.
- Righty Cory Gearrin will be paid $1.05MM by the Giants, Heyman tweets. That’s right in line with his $1.1MM projected arb value.
- Infielder Brett Lawrie will earn $3.5MM next year for the White Sox, per Heyman (on Twitter). That’s well shy of MLBTR’s $5.1MM projection — which was predicated upon Lawrie’s $4.125MM salary from a season ago. It’s highly unusual for players to receive pay cuts in arbitration, least of all when they are coming off of seasons in which they play a reasonable amount (384 plate appearances, in his case) and put up non-trivial numbers at the plate (a roughly league-average .248/.310/.413 batting line with a dozen home runs). But in some cases, players feel they’re better off taking the money on the table, and the opportunity at hand, rather than testing the market. It’s certainly possible that was the case here.
- The Twins have agreed to a $2.6MM price tag with infielder Eduardo Escobar, according to Heyman (via Twitter). He had projected at $2.9MM in his second season of eligibility. The 27-year-old had posted two consecutive seasons of above-average production, but limped to a .236/.280/.338 slash over 377 plate appearances last year.
- Lefty Jake McGee picks up a $5.9MM salary from the Rockies, also via Heyman (on Twitter). That’s just shy of his $6.1MM projection. Though the high price tag (driven by prior years’ save tallies) had made McGee at least a hypothetical non-tender candidate, it’s not surprising to see him return. Colorado will hope that he can restore some velocity and improve upon the 4.73 ERA and 7.5 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9 that he posted in his first year with the Rox.
- The Braves agreed to a $800K figure with catcher Anthony Recker, Heyman tweets. The veteran receiver had projected at $1MM, but will settle for less to take his place in a still-uncertain catching mix. Atlanta also recently acquired and tendered Tuffy Gosewisch, and also has Tyler Flowers under contract. Recker hit a surprising .278/.394/.433 last year, albeit over just 112 plate appearances. While he lands a bit shy of his projected number, Recker won’t have to settle for a split arrangement; instead, he’ll receive a full big league deal.
- White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia received a $3MM deal from the club, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter). A Super Two player last winter, Garcia turned in another subpar year at the plate and in the field, but managed to hold onto his roster spot in Chicago. The 25-year-old was projected at $3.4MM.
- The Athletics have avoided arbitration with first baseman Yonder Alonso by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $4MM, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). Alonso looked like a non-tender candidate after an underwhelming season at the plate that saw him bat .253/.316/.367 with seven homers and 34 doubles across 532 plate appearances. Once one of the game’s top all-around prospects, Alonso has never materialized into the offensive force he was supposed to become and is a lifetime .269/.334/.387 hitter.
- Lefty Wade LeBlanc and the Pirates have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $800K, according to FanRag’s Jon Heyman (on Twitter). Leblanc will make $750K in 2017, and his contract contains an option for the 2018 season that is valued at $1.25MM and comes with a $50K buyout. The veteran southpaw logged a 4.50 ERA in 50 innings for the Mariners last year before being traded to the Buccos, where he allowed one run in 12 innings of work with a 10-to-2 K/BB ratio. The 62 innings Leblanc logged last year were the most he’s pitched in a big league season since 2012. He’s controllable through the 2019 season and would be arbitration-eligible once more if the Pirates exercise their 2018 option on him.
- The Mets and catcher Rene Rivera agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.75MM, Heyman tweets. The 33-year-old signed a minor league deal with the Mets last summer and eventually found his way onto the big league roster due to a combination of injuries and struggles from backstops Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki. While Rivera didn’t hit much — .222/.291/.341 in 207 plate appearances — he’s a strong defensive backstop and gives the Mets a glove-first option to back up either d’Arnaud or Plawecki (presumably the former, who has been the team’s starter when healthy in recent years).
- Outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis and the Brewers settled on a split contract that pays the veteran $900K in the Majors and $257K in the minors (Heyman again, on Twitter). The 29-year-old picked up 392 plate appearances in 125 games with Milwaukee, batting just .209 but logging a .324 OBP and slugging .385. The 13 homers Nieuwenhuis hit were far and away a career-best — he entered the year with just 17 home runs in 693 PAs — and he contributed solid defense across all three outfield spots.