Monday December 2nd is the final day for teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players. The Toronto Blue Jays, like every other team in baseball, face some interesting decisions in relation to Monday’s deadline.
A player with three or more years of service, but less than six years, may file for salary arbitration. In addition, a player can be classified as a “Super Two” and be eligible for arbitration with less than three years of service. A player with at least two but less than three years of Major League service shall be eligible for salary arbitration if he has accumulated at least 86 days of service during the immediately preceding season and he ranks in the top 22 percent (increased from 17 percent in previous agreements) in total service in the class of Players who have at least two but less than three years of Major League service, however accumulated, but with at least 86 days of service accumulated during the immediately preceding season.
In Colby Rasmus and Brett Cecil, the Blue Jays have a pair of players with slam-dunk cases for being tendered contracts. Both are coming off their best seasons in a Toronto uniform, and both are relatively affordable, even with major pay increases on the way.
Rasmus is entering his final year of arbitration eligibility and MLB Trade Rumors has him slated for a salary in the $6.5 million range. At that price, the Blue Jays will mail that check all year long, as he’s worth more to them on the field that the price to replace him in today’s market.
Cecil is entering his first year of eligibility and MLBtr has him slated to earn a little under $1 million this winter. That seems fairly reasonable considering the way the pitching market is evolving, even for late inning relievers. Holding on to Cecil at that rate, or using him as trade bait, makes him a shoe-in for tendering.
In Esmil Rogers and J.P. Arencibia, the Blue Jays have a couple of cases that require a bit more consideration.
Rogers isn’t going to jump much, perhaps to $1 million per MLBtr, and he offers a bit of flexibility for the Blue Jays next season. However, he wasn’t tremendously effective in 2013 and Toronto could use his roster spot for other players that no longer have options, like Jeremy Jeffress, Dustin McGowan, or Todd Redmond, all of whom could provide the same flexibility.
Arencibia is the biggest question mark of them all. Alex Anthopoulos has made no secret of wanting to upgrade behind the plate after Arencibia had a historically bad season at the dish. He’s also made it known that he doesn’t see Arencibia in a back-up role. At a projected salary just below $3 million, Arencibia would be an expensive piece sitting at Triple-A Buffalo (see Ricky Romero) and doesn’t appear to have much trade value.
So Blue Jays fans, which players do you think we be handed the ever-popular non-tender prior to Monday’s deadline?