The Padres have avoided arbitration with southpaw Robbie Erlin by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $1.45MM, tweets ESPN’s Jeff Passan. That marks an $800K raise from last season’s $650K salary and checks in a fair bit north of Erlin’s projected $1.1MM salary (per MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz). Erlin is repped by Sosnick, Cobbe & Karon.
The 28-year-old Erlin was arbitration-eligible for a second time this winter and will go through the process once more next winter before becoming a free agent upon completion of the 2020 season. Erlin missed most of the 2016 season and the entire 2017 season due to Tommy John surgery (hence the modest $650K salary in his first trip through the arb process), but he rebounded with a solid effort on the mound in 2018. The left-hander tossed 109 innings for the Friars and logged a 4.21 ERA, though his sterling 88-to-12 K/BB ratio and solid 46.7 percent ground-ball rate led fielding-independent metrics to view his work much more favorably (3.31 FIP, 3.41 xFIP, 3.52 SIERA).
Erlin made 27 relief appearances and a dozen starts for the Padres last season, including a run of 10 starts to finish out his season. The Padres were cautious with those starts, never allowing him to reach 100 pitches and only allowing him to top five innings on one occasion, but he’ll likely open the season in the San Diego rotation with fewer restrictions now that he’s further removed from surgery.
The Padres have now avoided arbitration with Erlin, righty Bryan Mitchell and infielder Greg Garcia, leaving right-hander Kirby Yates, outfielder Travis Jankowski and catcher Austin Hedges as their three remaining cases to be resolved. With the deadline to exchange arbitration figures looming on Friday, there figures to be a veritable avalanche of settlements on Friday (in addition to a few early deals today and tomorrow). Readers can keep up with all of the filings and settlements using MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker.