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.

Bryce Harper played some third base in an intrasquad game

Bryce Harper third base
Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.

Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.

Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”

Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.

Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.