As we inch closer and closer to all of the fun that comes with the Major League Baseball offseason, MLB Trade Rumors has released their annual Projected Arbitration Salaries list. For some, this may not mean much, but for baseball afficionados, this is one of the more highly anticipated pieces in early-offseason coverage.
What is arbitration and how does it work? The easiest way to describe the process is that players who have three or more years of big league service time but less than six years get to negotiate their contracts for the upcoming seasons. Players and clubs will use comparable players who signed contracts in recent years and it can result in said player either receiving a pay raise or a pay cut.
If the two sides do not come to a formal agreement, the case will be presented to a panel of arbitrators whose job is to side with either the player or the organization. The arbitrators do not pick a figure between the two proposed salaries, they will either side with the player and his representatives or the team.
Salaries are not always negotiated in single-year form. For instance, Bo Bichette agreed to a multi-year contract this past offseason that essentially bought out the remaining arbitration years tied to his name. Now, he does not need to go through this yearly process and has a set salary. Technically, this is not a traditional "contract extension", as the deal did not add any years to his deal, it just established what he'll be making so he does not have to worry about yearly arb battles.
There are also cases where teams do not wish to offer a contract to players who are arbitration eligible. If a club decides not to offer a contract, the player will be "non-tendered", which results in them becoming a free agent at the deadline.
Here is a list of Blue Jays players who are up for arbitration this offseason, and what MLBTR predicts they will land:
- Cavan Biggio, $3.7M
- Génesis Cabrera, $1.4M
- Adam Cimber, $3.2M
- Santiago Espinal, $2.5M
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr., $20.4M
- Danny Jansen, $5.2M
- Alejandro Kirk, $2.6M
- Tim Mayza, $3.3M
- Nate Pearson, $800K
- Trevor Richards, $2.4M
- Jordan Romano, $7.7M
- Erik Swanson, $2.7M
- Daulton Varsho, $5.5M
Let's break down the list and determine which players are locks to come back and who could be non-tender candidates.