The deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players is tomorrow. While tomorrow will surely see a frenzy of deals and non-tenders, some agreements have already started to trickle out today.
For many players, there’s little pressure to agree to terms this week. The deadline for exchanging figures isn’t until January 13, with the hearings taking place in March. However, players that are borderline non-tender candidates might get a low-ball offer at this time, with the team hoping that the looming possibility of a non-tender compels the player to accept. As such, deals at this part of the baseball calendar have a higher likelihood of coming in under projections.
One new wrinkle from the new collective bargaining agreement is that all of these deals will be guaranteed. Previously, teams could cut a player during Spring Training and only pay a portion of the agreed-upon figure. However, the new CBA stipulates that any player who settles on a salary without going to a hearing will be subject to full termination pay, even if released prior to the beginning of the season.
MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected salaries for each team’s arbitration-eligible players last month but, as mentioned, it’s not uncommon for the deals agreed to at this time to come in below projections. This post may be updated later as more agreements come in…
- The Cardinals announced that they have a one-year deal in place with right-hander Chris Stratton. The club didn’t disclose the terms but Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that it’s for $2.8MM. Stratton spent the past few years with the Pirates but came over to St. Louis at the deadline as part of the Jose Quintana deal. He had much better results after the jersey switch, as his ERA was 5.09 before but 2.78 after.
- The Giants and left-hander Scott Alexander have agreed to a one-year deal worth about $1.2MM, per @drew_smitty. (The New York Post’s Jon Heyman, more specifically, pegs the exact number as $1.15MM.) The southpaw has appeared in each of the past eight seasons, largely providing effective work but also frequently hitting the injured list. He signed a minor league deal with the Giants in May and got selected in August. He made 17 appearances down the stretch and posted a miniscule 1.04 ERA, impressive enough to convince the Giants to keep him around.
- The Reds and right-hander Buck Farmer have agreed on a salary of $1.75MM, per Heyman. Having signed a minor league deal in the offseason, Farmer made the Opening Day roster but was DFA’d in May and re-signed. He got back onto the roster in July and finished strong. At the end of the year, he had 47 innings with a 3.83 ERA.