There was a flurry of arbitration-related news today as players and teams scurried to reach agreements prior to the noon central deadline earlier. 39 players did not reach an agreement with their respective teams, and as such, they have exchanged salary figures with their clubs. Of note, Braves closer Craig Kimbrel filed for $9 million, which is a lot of money for a closer in his first year of arbitration eligibility. The Braves filed for $6.55 million while most experts projected Kimbrel to get around $7 million.
Here’s the full list of players, broken down by team:
- David Freese (3B) filed for $6M, team filed for $4.1M (source)
- Kevin Jepsen (RP) filed for $1.625M, team filed for $1.3M (source)
- Josh Reddick (OF) filed for $3.25M, team filed for $2M (source)
- Craig Kimbrel (RP) filed for $9M, team filed for $6.55M (source)
- Freddie Freeman (1B) filed for $5.75M, team filed for $4.5M (source)
- Jason Heyward (RF) filed for $5.5M, team filed for $5.2M (source)
- Daniel Descalso (IF) filed for $1.65M, team filed for $930,000 (source)
- Darwin Barney (2B) filed for $2.8M, team filed for $1.8M
- Jeff Samardzija (SP) filed for $6.2M, team filed for $4.4M
- Justin Ruggiano (CF) filed for $2.45M, team filed for $1.6M
- Travis Wood (SP) filed for $4.25M, team filed for $3.5M (source for all four)
- Gerardo Parra (OF) filed for $5.2M, team filed for $4.3M (source)
- Mark Trumbo (LF) filed for $5.85M, team filed for $3.4M (source)
- A.J. Ellis (C) filed for $4.6M, team filed for $3M (source)
- Kenley Jansen (RP) filed for $5.05M, team filed for $3.5M (source)
- Brandon Belt (1B) filed for $3.6M, team filed for $2.05M (source)
- Joaquin Arias (IF) filed for $1.5M, team filed for $1.1M (source)
- Josh Tomlin (SP) filed for $975,000, team filed for $800,000
- Justin Masterson (SP) filed for $11.8M, team filed for $8.05M
- Michael Brantley (LF) filed for $3.8M, team filed for $2.7M
- Vinnie Pestano (RP) filed for $1.45M, team filed for $975,000 (source for all four)
- Justin Smoak (1B) filed for $3.25M, team filed for $2.025M
- Logan Morrison (RF) filed for $2.5M, team filed for $1.1M (source for both)
- Dillon Gee (SP) filed for $4.05M, team filed for $3.2M (source)
- Lucas Duda (1B/LF) filed for $1.9M, team filed for $1.35M (source)
- Doug Fister (SP) filed for $8.5M, team filed for $5.75M (source)
- Tyler Clippard (RP) filed for $6.35M, team filed for $4.45M (source)
- Matt Wieters (C) filed for $8.75M, team filed for $6.5M (source)
- Andrew Cashner (SP) filed for $2.4M, team filed for $2.275M (source)
- Ben Revere (CF) filed for $2.425M, team filed for $1.4M (source)
- Antonio Bastardo (RP) filed for $2.5M, team filed for $1.675M (source)
- Mitch Moreland (1B/DH) filed for $3.25M, team filed for $2.025M (source)
Red Sox (1)
- Andrew Miller (RP) filed for $2.15M, team filed for $1.55M (source)
- Aroldis Chapman (RP) filed for $5.4M, team filed for $4.6M (source)
- Homer Bailey (SP) filed for $11.6M, team filed for $8.7M (source)
- Aaron Crow (RP) filed for $1.7M, team filed for $1.28M (source)
- Greg Holland (RP) filed for $5.2M, team filed for $4.1M (source)
- Justin Maxwell (OF) filed for $1.7M, team filed for $1.075M (source)
- Alex Avila (C) filed for $5.35M, team filed for $3.75M (source)
Players and teams can still reach agreements to avoid arbitration between now and when hearings start on February 1st. However, some teams simply don’t negotiate once the filing deadline passes. The Braves are one of them, as David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. GM Frank Wren said, “We have an organization philosophy of the filing date is our last date to negotiate prior to a hearing. We’re done.”
Last year, exactly zero cases went to arbitration for the first time in baseball history.
The Brewers’ rebuild continues, as the club announced on Twitter the trade of outfielder Khris Davis to the Athletics in exchange for catcher Jacob Nottingham and pitcher Bubba Derby. MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports that the A’s have designated pitcher Sean Nolin for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster for Davis.
Davis, 28, was the Brewers’ most valuable remaining trade chip. He blasted 27 home runs while hitting .247/.323/.505 in 440 plate appearances this past season in Milwaukee. Adding to his value, Davis won’t become eligible for arbitration until after the 2016 season and can’t become a free agent until after the 2019 season. In Oakland, Davis will give the Athletics more reliability as Coco Crisp was injured for most of last season and is now 36 years old. Though he doesn’t have much of a career platoon split, Davis split time in left field with the left-handed-hitting Gerardo Parra last season. It’s unclear if the A’s will utilize him in a platoon as well.
With Davis out of the picture, Domingo Santana is a leading candidate to start in left field for the Brewers, GM David Stearns said, per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Nottingham, 20, started the 2015 season in the Astros’ system but went to the Athletics in the Scott Kazmir deal. He hit an aggregate .316/.372/.505 at Single-A, showing plenty of promise early in his professional career. With catcher Jonathan Lucroy on his way out of Milwaukee, the Brewers are hoping Nottingham can be their next permanent backstop.
Derby, 21, made his professional debut last season after the Athletics drafted him in the sixth round. Across 37 1/3 innings, he yielded seven runs (five earned) on 24 hits and 10 walks with 47 strikeouts. He’s obviously a few years away from the majors, but the Brewers are looking for high upside.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Yankees and closer Aroldis Chapman have avoided arbitration, settling on an $11.325 million salary for the 2016 season. It is the lefty’s third and final year of arbitration eligibility.
Chapman had filed for $13 million while the Yankees countered at $9 million, so he gets slightly more than the midpoint between the two submitted figures.
With the Reds this past season, Chapman posted a 1.63 ERA with 33 saves and a 116/33 K/BB ratio over 66 1/3 innings. The Reds have opted to rebuild, so they traded him to the Yankees this offseason in exchange for four minor leaguers. Chapman, who turns 28 at the end of February, will make for a fearsome 1-2-3 punch in the back of the Yankees’ bullpen along with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances.
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that right-hander Tommy Hunter has agreed to a one-year, $2 million contract with the Indians. It’s a major-league deal, so Hunter gets a spot on the 40-man roster and will be in the Opening Day bullpen if he’s fully recovered from core muscle surgery.
Hunter split last season between the Orioles and Cubs, totaling 60 innings with a 4.18 ERA and 47/14 K/BB ratio. He had a sub-3.00 ERA in both 2013 and 2014, and has generally been a setup-caliber reliever since shifting to the bullpen full time.
He has good control and a mid-90s fastball, but Hunter has never missed many bats despite the big-time velocity and often struggles to keep the ball in the ballpark. He’ll likely fill a middle relief role in Cleveland initially.
You knew someone would be dumb enough to do this eventually, you just didn’t know who. Now we do: MLB just announced that reliever Jenrry Mejia has been permanently suspended after testing positive for Boldenone. That was his third positive test and under the Joint Drug Agreement that means his career is more or less over.
Mejia’s three strikes came in pretty rapid succession. On April 11, 2015 it was announced that Mejía had been suspended for 80 games after testing positive for use of stanozolol. On July 28, 2015 it was announced that Mejia had failed a test for Stanozolol again and Boldenone to boot, giving him a 162-game suspension, which he’d still be serving at the beggining of the season. Now this third test.
Mejia has played five seasons in the big. He started with so much promise, looking like a great prospect coming up. His performance only matched the promise in fits and starts, however, resulting in a 9-14 record with a 3.68 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 162/76 in 183.1 innings, all with the Mets.
Per the rules of the Joint Drug Agreement, Mejia can apply for reinstatement after being banned for two years. But it would obviously require him to spend two years doing a lot of smart things he hasn’t been doing in the past year. And it would also represent a near-unprecedented comeback. It could happen, I suppose, but it’s a far safer bet that his career is over.