Yesterday and today the site has been overrun with posts about arbitration-eligible players and teams avoiding hearings with one-year contracts, which has led to an incredible number of comments basically complaining about the money players are paid.
That’s not an uncommon sentiment expressed in the comments section here year-round, but it’s particularly prevalent today as the usual complaining about overpaid athletes combines with some confusing aspects of the arbitration process.
I’m certainly not going to disagree with the notion that, say, Juan Carlos Oviedo getting $6 million seems like an awful lot for a non-elite reliever, but it’s also important to remember how the economics of baseball tend to work. There are some exceptions, of course, but in general team payrolls are directly related to team revenues, so if you think players are paid too much you’re basically saying that owners should pocket more.
And does anyone really want to make that argument?
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.
Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.
The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.
Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.
The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.