What is this whole arbitration thing with baseball players, and what kind of salaries are players looking at on those one-year deals for the 2020 MLB season? Ray will also give some thoughts about Clayton Kershaw. After another down playoff effort, has his story been written, that he’s great in the regular season but a choke artist in the playoffs?
WHAT IS SALARY ARBITRATION?
Simply put, the player wants to be paid A and the team wants him to earn B. If no decision can be made, no agreement, the player/team submit their salary requests to a third-party panel of arbitrators (the time to submit is mid-January). The player/team can continue to discuss all the way up until the ruling, even going as far as to sign a multi-year deal with the club. Once the ruling is made, the decision is final.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
The team has control of the player for three years (generally), but the player can also be granted Super 2 status and gain early entry into the arbitration system a bit early. After that period of team control, the player is eligible for arbitration for the player until he reaches his six years of Major League service time (at that point the player is eligible to become a free agent). Note, that teams can slow the service clock down to the point that they can actually control a player, and delay his free agency, for seven years (this is why teams hold a player in the minors for a couple of weeks in April his rookie season so that when he’s completed his sixth season he hasn’t actually reached six years of service time – hence a seventh year of team control through the arbitration process).
WHO ARE SOME INTERESTIN PLAYERS TO LOOK AT IN 2020?
- ALL GUESSES ON SALARY COME FROM MLB TRADE RUMORS.
Note that the salary is based upon service time and performance, so you will see some “great” players who have a lower number than a “worse” player.
Javier Baez ($9.3M) – One of the better offensive players in the infield in baseball the past two years.
Trevor Bauer ($18.6M) – Has said, many times, that all he will do the rest of his career is to sign one-year deals.
Josh Bell ($5.9M) – An uneven season, but he will get MVP votes and is a bargain for the Pirates.
Jose Berrios ($5.4M) – Two hundred innings and 195 strikeouts make him well worth the projected price.
Andrew Benintendi ($4.9M) – Has a lot to prove next year, but still is an all-star caliber talent.
Mookie Betts ($27.7M) – Setting records on the field and through the arbitration process (the record for an arbitration player settlement is $26 million by Nolan Arenado last year).
Matthew Boyd ($6.4M) – All those strikeouts and homers. An interesting package of positive and negative.
Byron Buxton ($2.9M) – Hope springs eternal.
Mike Clevinger ($4.5M) – One of the better values on this list as a dominant, shut the opponent down arm.
Willson Contreras ($4.5M) – Has been a dynamite performer with the bat for the Cubs.
Carlos Correa ($7.4M) – Could win the MVP if he could stay healthy. Staying on the field though is a huge if at the moment.
Edwin Diaz ($7M) / Seth Lugo ($1.9M) – So goes the process where the better pitcher gets paid much, much less.
Tyler Glasnow ($1.9M) – Can he stay on the bump? If so, stardom awaits.
Aaron Judge ($6.4M) – Injury hampered his ’19, but he will still be a massive financial bargain in ’20.
Francisco Lindor ($16.7M) – A legitimate all-around star with a luminous personality.
Trey Mancini ($5.7M) – Orioles will gladly pay him this amount coming after a breakout season.
Manuel Margot ($2.1M) – Has gone 10/15 in 2-of-3 years while playing solid defense.
Nomar Mazara ($5.7M) – Solid is, as solid does. Still waiting for that next gear that everyone has repeatedly told me he has.
David Peralta ($8.8M) – A fine hitter who owns a career .290 average.
Carlos Rodon ($4.5M) – The last time he threw 125 innings was 2016.
Danny Santana ($3.9M) – Went from nowhere to nearly 30/20.
Corey Seager ($7.1M) – Wasn’t great in his return from surgeries, but he went .272-19-87-82 and is just 25 years old.
George Springer ($21.4M) – Gonna get paid this season as one of those players under team control for a seventh season.
Mark Treinen ($7.8M) – One of the five best relievers in baseball in ’18, he was downright poor in ’19.
Trea Turner ($7.5M) – A dynamic talent who could nab a long-term deal (at least the team would like to sign him to one).
Gio Urshela ($2.2M) – One of the breakout stars of ’19 will get a rather low salary next year.
Mike Zunino ($4.9) – It ain’t bad work if you can get it.
A CAREER TARNISHED?
“I might not get over it,” he said. “I don’t know.”
Clayton Kershaw is headed to the Hall of Fame.
Clayton Kershaw has failed to bring his regular season magic to the playoffs.
Kershaw has won an MVP.
Kershaw has three Cy Young Awards.
Kershaw has won five ERA Titles.
His 157 ERA+ is the second best all-time, and the best ever for a starting pitcher.
He is a stupendous hurler.
Wednesday night, in Game 5, he got an out and then allowed back-to-back homers to Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto.
With those two pitches he might have tarnished his reputation beyond repair.
The outing furthers a narrative that he’s a choke artist. It’s not an accurate position, or fair, but it’s the opinion held by millions of fans. Sure, his numbers are pedestrian in the playoffs – he’s 9-11 with a 4.43 ERA – but he also has a 1.11 WHIP and a 9.7 K/9 rate, so the narrative that he stinks in the playoffs just isn’t accurate. He’s been so-so, when greatness was expected, and that is his curse.
There’s no reason to feel sorry for the guy, fame/fortune and all, but I kinda still do.
Ray Flowers can be heard Monday-Thursday 8-10 PM EDT, and Friday’s from 10-12 PM EST and Sunday’s at 9-11 pm EST on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). Follow Ray’s work on Twitter (@baseballguys) and be sure to listen to his podcast work too.