Garrett Jones’ hearing against the Pirates was the final one of the arbitration season and his loss means that teams defeated players in five of the seven cases that went the distance.
MLB Trade Rumors notes that the seven hearings represent just five percent of the 142 total arbitration eligible players, as settling for one-year deals and in some cases agreeing to multi-year contracts was the preferred route for both sides, as usual.
Jones lost to the Pirates, Jose Veras lost to the Brewers, John Lannan lost to the Nationals, Jeff Niemann lost to the Rays, and Brad Bergesen lost to the Orioles, all for less than $3 million. Both player victories came against the Marlins, as Anibal Sanchez and Emilio Bonifacio beat Miami for $8 million and $2.2 million respectively.
Last offseason there were only three arbitration hearings and the players won two of them.
The Nationals recalled 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto from Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday, per a team announcement. Soto is poised to become the youngest player in the league once he makes his official debut with the club, and the Nationals’ first teenager to enter the majors since Bryce Harper made his first appearance back in 2012.
Entering the 2018 season, Soto was ranked no. 2 in the Nationals’ system and 15th overall. He’s certainly lived up to the hype during his first two years of pro ball, blazing through Single-A, High-A and Double-A levels in 2018 alone. While he logged just eight games at the Double-A level prior to his promotion to the majors, he proved consistent across all three levels this spring and slashed a cumulative .362/.462/.757 with 14 home runs and a 1.218 OPS in 182 plate appearances.
It’s not entirely clear how soon or in what capacity the Nationals will utilize their youngest player, but Soto’s tear through the minors is sure to pave the road for a few opportunities on the big-league level. He’ll be available off the bench for Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers.