Starting tonight, teams will decide whether or not to tender arbitration offers to their free agents. A non-tender means that a guy can walk without draft pick compensation. In the past there wasn’t a lot of risk to offering guys arbitration because most of them wanted to test the market. It’s a lot tougher out there for a free agent these days, however, so a lot of dudes may very well accept a team’s offer, putting the team on the hook for millions to a guy they’d just as soon see walk away. In other words, it’s the only place in baseball where gambling is still allowed.
Today Tim Dierkes at MLB Trade Rumors predicts, player by player, who he thinks will and wont get arb offers. I think he’s right on most of them, and to the extent I disagree, they are mere quibbles, based more on what I think teams should do as opposed to what they will do. For example, he has the Giants offering Bengie Molina arbitration. They might just do that. But based on how many catchers have signed so far, I can’t help but think that Molina may just take the damn offer and stick the Giants with him.
Likewise Orlando Hudson, to whom Tim has the Dodgers not making an offer. His season may have ended poorly, but he’s valuable, right? I have to think that the Dodgers believe that someone will want him, thus rendering an offer a relatively low-risk proposition.
Anyway, check out Tim’s list. It’s a nice time-killer on a slow news day.
Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.
Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.
J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.
Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. robbed Orioles first baseman Chris Davis of his 25th home run on Tuesday evening, leaping at the fence in center field to make the catch and keep the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Davis swung at the first pitch he saw from Drew Pomeranz, a slider that crossed the middle of the plate.
This game has potential playoff implications, as the first-place Red Sox hold a three-game lead over the Yankees in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Orioles are still in the AL Wild Card race, trailing the Twins by 5.5 games for the second Wild Card slot.