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Wednesday, October 09, 2019

MLB Trade Rumors: Projected 2020 Arbitration Salaries

Red Sox (12)
Jackie Bradley Jr. – $11MM
.  .  .
Mookie Betts – $27.7MM
Yankees (12)
James Paxton – $12.9MM
.  .  .
Gary Sanchez – $5.6MM
Aaron Judge – $6.4MM

I think that’s low for Aaron Judge. I suspect the formula dings Judge more for his injury time than the actual process will, and fails to consider his enormous popularity. Betts may be a bit low, too. I’ve seen $30M estimates elsewhere.

The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 09, 2019 at 07:11 PM | 5 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: arbitration, money, salary arbitration

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: October 09, 2019 at 08:18 PM (#5888510)
I expect Mookie to be about $25 ($27.5 obviously pretty close to $25 so not really a disagreement). Harper signed for $21, Trout got $20, Machado just $16, Arenado is getting $26 as a super-super-2 (15 days away from FA entering the season). And of course none of those guys (exc Trout who is clearly better) significantly topped $30 in FA. The last year of arb is not supposed to match free-market value, an award of $30 would peg his FA value at about $38. I seriously doubt an arb panel would do that. (Note, all bets off if Mookie signs an extension.)

Judge will be interesting. Machado got $5 4 years ago with about the same service time, more durability, same WAR. On the other hand, Bryant blew it out of the water with less service time, more durability, 1 more WAR ... and a RoY and MVP (Judge has RoY and 2nd-place MVP). Yeah, probably closer to Bryant.

It's a really long list but ones I noticed maybe worth commenting on off the top of my head:

Profar $5.8 -- he'll be lucky if he's tendered, no way he gets a substantial raise

Russell $5.1 -- he'll be non-tendered for sure, but again no way he gets a substantial raise. He went from just $3.2 to $3.4 after 2018's debacle and he was simply a bad baseball player this year

Schwarber $8 -- a bit too high, this is more than double. He finished strong but still just an average OF, not a big leap forward this year.

Bellinger $11.6 -- this sounds right. Basically the same case as Bryant a couple of years ago and this would eke past Bryant's record (I think it's still the record)

Edwin Diaz $7 -- hoo boy is this a tough call. I suspect he won't get quite that much but the Mets have a tough tender decision here. Do they believe the guy he was (he still had the incredible K rate) or the HR-happy guy of 2019? As to the arb -- if he'd repeated his history, he'd be looking at $9+ easily (arb loves closers) but this was such a disaster that even the arb might whack him back to around $3 ... then they can give him a massive raise next year if he returns to form (not that arbs are supposed to, should or necessarily do think that way, but it seems to work out that way pretty often).

Yate $6.5 -- opposite of Diaz, this looks well low to me. It is more than a doubling of his 2019 salary but he just led the league in saves with 15 K/9, a K/BB over 7 and an ERA of 1.19. Then again, I suppose Blake Treinen 2018-19 is an obvious comp and he got $6.4 but that was a tripling of his previous salary.

Maikel Franco $6.7 -- it's around here you figure these were just spit out by some computer and not seriously reviewed by a human. Prime non-tender candidate. Obviously if he did make it to arb, they couldn't cut him substantially below his $5.2 from 2019 but what justification would there be for giving him a $1.5 M raise?
   2. JJ1986 Posted: October 09, 2019 at 10:33 PM (#5888565)
I'd be stunned if Diaz gets non-tendered. The Mets gave up a lot to get him and won't want to end up with nothing to show for Kelenic.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:12 AM (#5888620)
Sure but if the option is paying him $7 M ... Plus you can always non-tender then re-sign. Haven't noticed anybody doing that recently but unless they've changed the rules, it can be done and use to be done fairly frequently. Anyway, as I said, it's a question of which Diaz do they think they have going forward. If they think he'll bounce back decently, they might as well run the risk of paying him $7 M even if he pitches like a guy who'd normally get $2-3 M in arbitration then re-assess next year. If they think he'll be the guy giving up 1 HR every 4 innings, they don't want him at any price.
   4. Swoboda is freedom Posted: October 10, 2019 at 10:22 AM (#5888784)
Mets (9)

Joe Panik – $5.1MM
Noah Syndergaard – $9.9MM
Michael Conforto – $9.2MM
Edwin Diaz – $7.0MM

There is no way Panik gets that much and they Mets won't tender. That seems high for Syndergaard. He was pretty mediocre this year.

There is no way Diaz gets that much. He was below replacement level. Hopefully he bounces back some.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: October 10, 2019 at 08:23 PM (#5889141)
There is no way Panik gets that much

Another case suggesting these are just computer-generated and nobody sufficiently reviewed them. And even so this is a clear over-estimate. It would seem the model doesn't take sufficient account of an individual player's history. In 2018, Panik was paid $3.45 M which was reasonable given his history to that point. 2018 went so badly, he only got a raise to $3.8 M about the absolute minimum. This year was at least as bad, why would a guy who only got a $350 K raise last year get a $1.3 M raise this year? The exact opposite, he has further established himself as not very good and was released.

This years's WAR (or whatever you might want to use), the last 3 years WAR, this year's salary, last year's salary (or the raise) and arbitration year ought to give you an outstanding estimate of the next year's arb award. Maybe add an interaction of arb year and this year's salary.

Further agree that Noah is probably a bit high -- I'll guesstimate $8.5-9. He went from $3 to $6 based on 150 excellent innings last year. The main argument for him this year is the 198 IP and a FIP better than his ERA but it's still hard to argue that's better than his 2018 and deserves an even bigger raise. I suspect $3/6/9 is still a pretty standard arb pattern for a guy "doing a good job." $9.2 might be a bit high for Conforto too -- he had a nice year but this is more than double what he made ... but not much more and he did have a better year.

For the handful of cases that make it to arb, it will be interesting to see if the arbitrator makes any noticeable adjustment for the ball. I assume there will be lots of guys who just set career highs in HRs, just hit the 6th most HR by a 2B in the last decade (no matter that 4 of the 5 higher totals came this year too), etc. I assume teams will be discounting power numbers this year in their offers so maybe we'll see more cases going to arb.

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