Today is the deadline for teams and players to submit their arbitration figures. This is important because once figures are submitted, negotiating positions tend to harden, what with each side saying exactly what they want. As a result, there will be a lot of deals today involving arbitration-eligible players seeking to avoid submitting figures.
We’ll highlight more notable ones — like, say, Heath Bell’s — individually, but most of them will of the one-year variety, most involving minor players.
In addition to Bell, so far today we’ve seen deals for Reds reliever Billy Bray ($645K) and Nats reliever Doug Slaten ($695K). There will be a ton of ’em.
The Texas Rangers claimed first baseman Tommy Joseph off waivers from the Phillies. Philadelphia designated Joseph for assignment last week to make room for Jake Arrieta.
Joseph hit 22 home runs and knocked in 69 in 142 games last season, but he did not get on base — or hit for power, for that matter — at the clip a first baseman needs to in order to be an asset, posting a line of .240/.289/.432. He had a better 2016, so it’s not that he’s without promise, but the Phillies have obviously decided to head in a different direction.
Joseph doesn’t really have a spot in Texas either with Joey Gallo handling first base and Shin-Soo Choo at DH, but he has an option left and could serve as depth for the Rangers, plying his trade at Round Rock until he’s needed.