From the Associated Press, via NBCSports.com:
Washington reliever Drew Storen, who failed to hold a ninth-inning lead against St. Louis in Game 5 of the NL division series, is among six extra players eligible for salary arbitration this winter under baseball’s new labor contract.
San Diego shortstop Everth Cabrera, New York Mets catcher Josh Thole, Tampa Bay outfielder Sam Fuld, Colorado outfielder Tyler Colvin and third baseman Chris Johnson also are eligible because of the new deal, Major League Baseball and the players’ union agreed Tuesday.
Most players make close to the major league minimum for their first three years of service time and then become eligible for salary arbitration, but the Super Two rule allows some to cash in early. Storen and the other five now have partial say in their salaries for 2013. Storen should be able to top $1 million.
Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro would have been a Super Two, but he signed a big extension in August.
Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”
Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”
Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.