It’s often assumed that teams try to avoid going through with arbitration hearings because they involve saying negative things about a player in front of that player, but Alejandro De Aza says it wasn’t so bad.
De Aza lost his hearing with the Orioles last week and here’s what he told Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun about the experience:
Honestly, I thought it was going to be worse. It was something that they needed to do. It happened, and now [I have] a fresh mind going into spring training. … I know this is a business and it is what it is. At the beginning of the season, they said I was going to be in arbitration. Win or lose, life goes on. Everything is going to be the same.
Of course, it helps that even in losing the hearing De Aza was awarded a $5 million salary for 2015 and based on those quotes he seems to have a pretty good attitude about things in general.
The Washington Nationals, fresh off signing Stephen Strasburg to a $245 million deal, are now turning their attention to their third base hole. Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that they have made inquiries to the Chicago Cubs about trading for Kris Bryant.
Emphasis on the word “inquiry” because it’d be premature for the Cubs to trade Bryant at the moment, even if they are reported to be considering the possibility.
Bryant and the Cubs are awaiting word from an arbitrator about Bryant’s years-old service time grievance. If Bryant wins, he becomes a free agent after the 2020 season. If the Cubs win they control him for two more years. The team may or may not choose to trade him in either case as they are reportedly trying to cut payroll, but the price for him will vary pretty significantly depending on whether or not the acquiring club will receive one or two years of control over the former MVP.
For Washington, this would be a means of replacing free agent third baseman Anthony Rendon. Or, perhaps, the inquiries are a means of creating a tad more leverage for the Nats as they talk to Rendon’s agent about re-signing him.
Which, in the past, the Nats said they could not do if they also re-signed Strasburg, though I suspect that’s just posturing too. They may not want to spend big money to keep their World Series core together, but they can afford it. They’re going to see, I suspect, an eight-figure uptick in revenue by virtue of being the defending World Series champs. They are poised to receive a significant payout as a result of recent rulings in their own multi-year dispute with the Orioles and the MASN network. They are, of course, owned by billionaire real estate moguls. All of that taken together means that, if they choose to, they can bring back Rendon. Assuming he chooses to come back too.
But, if that doesn’t happen, they appear to be giving themselves options at the hot corner.