The Toronto Blue Jays and Marcus Stroman had their arbitration hearing on Friday, and the results of will be announced sometime next week.
With the arbitration deadline looming on February 17th, the Blue Jays and Marcus Stroman had to sit down and work things out sooner than later. For those that missed it, Stroman filed for 3.4 million, and the Blue Jays countered with 3.1 million.
In 2016, Stroman earned just 525,900, so regardless of how the situation plays out he’ll be receiving a hefty raise. One that he’s also earned as well, as he surpassed the 200 innings pitched mark last season, and was a significant part of the rotation, even in a somewhat disappointing campaign for the young hurler.
Thursday night gave us a clue that the arbitration hearing might be soon, as Tampa Bay Rays’ pitcher, Chris Archer, tweeted this little hint for us.
And as we now know, Stroman was a part of the group to have their meetings on Friday, as was his friend, Mr. Archer. The decisions will not be issued until all first-time eligible starting pitchers have all had their cases dealt with. Other starters in addition to Stroman include Archer, Colin McHugh of the Astros, Taijuan Walker of the Diamondbacks and more. The cases for Jake Odorizzi or the Rays, and Michael Wacha of the Cardinals aren’t scheduled until next week, so Stroman and the Jays will have to wait on an answer.
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In Stroman’s case, he finished the 2016 season with a record of 9-10, 204 innings pitched, a 4.37 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. He struggled through much of the first half, before pitching much more like the budding star the Blue Jays had hoped for. He was 7-4 in the first half, but had a 4.89 ERA, while he was 2-6 with a 3.68 ERA after the All-Star break. Obviously we should ignore the record, as the ERA tells us a pretty clear tale of when he was performing at a higher level.
While it may seem strange for the two sides to go to arbitration over $300,000, there were likely a lot of variables to how things ultimately settled. There’s a good chance both sides already moved a bit toward a compromise, and an eventually a line was going to be drawn in the sand.
For those thinking that the Blue Jays were “cheap” for arguing over a minimal amount, keep in mind that this is just the first of Stroman’s arbitration hearings. The previous season’s salary is important in establishing each raise, and what might have been just 300k now, could have turned into an extra 700k next offseason, a million after that, etc. It’s not as straight forward as it seems.
Either way, Stroman will join the Blue Jays rotation again in 2017, and look at re-establish himself as one of the more exciting young arms in baseball. Whether it’s at 3.4 or 3.1 million, the Blue Jays will surely get a bargain for his services.