MLB.com put together this very cool video montage reviewing the 2015 season and setting us up for what should be a wild 2016. Young stars, veterans chasing milestones, unpredictable divisional races.
It’s so close to spring training. Let’s do this.
Drew Smyly requested $3.75 million and was offered $3.2 million from the Rays’ front office when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. That is a relatively small gap, but sometimes those small gaps are the hardest to close because neither side sees reason to budge.
Which is how we got to our first salary arbitration hearing of 2016 …
The two sides presented their cases in Phoenix, Arizona to arbitrators Elizabeth Neumeier, Andrew Strongin, and Phillip LaPorte. Teams like to avoid having to make those presentations because they can get personal and hurt feelings. That’s the nature of this system — an organization must argue why it doesn’t think one of its players deserves as much money as that player desires.
Smyly missed a large chunk of the 2015 season with a labrum tear in his left shoulder, but he posted a cool 3.11 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 77 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings (12 starts) when healthy. The 26-year-old left-hander boasts a 2.52 ERA in 114 1/3 innings since being traded from Detroit to Tampa Bay in mid-2014.
Smyly was eligible for arbitration for the second time as a Super Two.
He is under contractual control with the Rays through 2018.
Louis Coleman registered an outstanding 2.69 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 10.3 K/9 over his first 140 1/3 major league innings from 2011-2013, but it fell apart for him in 2014 and he made just four appearances at the big league level in 2015. Now, for the first time in his professional career, the right-hander is going to have to find a new team.
Coleman was designated for assignment by the Royals last Friday to clear a 40-man roster spot for new starting pitcher Ian Kennedy and on Wednesday the 29-year-old reliever officially got handed his release.
The past success should net Coleman multiple offers on the open market, but it’s a safe bet that they will all be of the non-guaranteed minor league contract variety. He can then try to win a bullpen job somewhere during spring training.
Coleman had a shiny 1.69 ERA in 64 innings last year at Triple-A Omaha.