Players go 6-for-14 in arbitration hearings

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Players and their respective teams went to 14 arbitration hearings leading up to spring training, the most 2001. There were only three hearings last season and none the year prior.

Players won six cases and lost eight, following the trend that hearings have slightly favored teams historically. The six players who won:

  • Pedro Alvarez, Pirates: $5.75 million (team filed for $5.25 million)
  • Jerry Blevins, Nationals: $2.4 million (team filed for $2.2 million)
  • Mike Minor, Braves: $5.6 million (team filed for $5.1 million)
  • Mark Trumbo, Diamondbacks: $6.9 million (team filed for $5.3 million)
  • Danny Valencia, Blue Jays: $1.675 million (team filed for $1.25 million)
  • Vance Worley, Pirates: $2.45 million (team filed for $2 million)

The eight who lost their cases:

  • Alejandro De Aza, Orioles: $5 million (player filed for $5.65 million)
  • Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays: $4.3 million (player filed for $5.75 million)
  • Mat Latos, Marlins: $9.4 million (player filed for $10.4 million)
  • Jarrod Parker, Athletics: $850,000 (player filed for $1.7 million)
  • David Phelps, Marlins: $1.4 million (player filed for $1.875 million)
  • Wilin Rosario, Rockies: $2.8 million (player filed for $3.3 million)
  • Neil Walker, Pirates: $8.0 million (player filed for $9.0 million)
  • Tom Wilhelmsen, Mariners: $1.4 million (player filed for $2.2 million)

As Jon Heyman of CBS Sports notes, it seems that the cases tended to favor players coming off of disappointing or injury-shortened seasons (e.g. Minor and Trumbo) while productive, established players (e.g. Donaldson and Latos) tended to lose.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.