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.
Matt Harvey‘s season was mostly a loss due to extended time on the disabled list. He’s been given a chance, however, to end the season strong and make a case for himself in the Mets’ future plans. Unfortunately, he has been unable to make that case. He was shelled again last night, and his late season opportunity has been a disaster.
Last night Harvey gave up seven runs on 12 hits and struck out only two batters in four innings against a Marlins team that, until facing him anyway, had been reeling. It was his fourth start since going on the shelf in mid-June and in those four starts he’s allowed 21 runs, all earned, on 32 hits in 14.2 innings, for an ERA of 13.19. In that time he’s struck out only eight batters while walking seven. His average fastball velocity, while ticking up slightly in each of his past four starts, is still below 95. Back when he was an ace he was consistently above that. His command has been terrible.
Injury is clearly the culprit. He had Tommy John surgery just as he was reaching his maximum level of dominance in 2013. While he came back strong in 2015, he was used pretty heavily for a guy with a brand new ligament. Last year he was felled by thoracic outlet syndrome and this year a stress injury to his shoulder. Any one of those ailments have ended pitchers’ careers and even among those who bounce back from them, many are diminished. To go through all three and remain dominant is practically unheard of.
Yet this is where Matt Harvey is. He’s 28. He’s still arbitration eligible, for a team that is, to put it politely, sensitive to large financial outlays. While his 4-5 start opportunity to end the year may very well have been seen as a chance to shop Harvey to another team, his trade value is at an all-time low. It would not be shocking if, on the basis of his recent ineffectiveness, the Mets considered non-tendering him this offseason, making him a free agent.
Someone would probably take a chance on him because famous names who once showed tremendous promise are often given multiple chances in the big leagues (See, Willis, Dontrelle). But at the moment, there is nothing in Harvey’s game to suggest that he is capable of taking advantage of such a chance. All one can hope is that an offseason of rest and conditioning will allow Harvey to reclaim at least a portion of his old form.
Mets starter Noah Syndergaard has been on the disabled list for most of the season so it’s not like “sticking to baseball” is an option for him. The man has a lot of time on his hands. And, given that he’s from Texas, he is obviously paying attention to the flooding and destruction brought by Hurricane Harvey and its fellow storms in recent weeks.
Last night the self-described “Texan Republican” voiced concern over something a lot of Republicans don’t tend to talk about much openly: climate change and the Paris Agreement:
The existence of Karma and its alleged effects are above my pay grade, but the other part he’s talking about is the Trump Administration’s decision, announced at the beginning of June, to pull out of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement on climate change mitigation. Withdrawal from it was something Trump campaigned on in 2016 on the basis that “The Paris accord will undermine the economy,” and “put us at a permanent disadvantage.” The effective date for withdrawal is 2020, which Syndergaard presumably knows, thus the reference to Karma.
Trump and Syndergaard are certainly entitled to their views on all of that. It’s worth noting that climate experts and notable think tanks like the Brookings Institution strongly disagree with Trump’s position with respect to tradeoffs and impacts, both economic and environmental. At the same time it’s difficult to find much strong sentiment in favor of pulling out of the Paris Agreement outside of conservative political outlets, who tend to find themselves in the distinct minority when it comes to climate change policy.
I’m not sure what a poll of baseball players would reveal about their collective views on the matter, but we now have at least one datapoint.