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Players, teams rush to avoid arbitration

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As mentioned in yesterday’s post, Friday marked the deadline for players and teams to come to an agreement to avoid arbitration. A player is eligible for arbitration if he has between three and six years of service time. In some cases, players with between two and three years of service time also become eligible for arbitration, known as “super two” players. If an agreement is not reached, both the player and his team submit a salary to an independent arbitrator and make a case for making more money or paying the player less. Either the player’s submitted figure or the team’s is selected; there is no middle ground. Whether or not players go to an arbitration hearing with their teams, they almost always get raises year over year even if they performed poorly.

There was a flurry of action on Friday in which players and their teams reached agreements to avoid going to an arbitration hearing. Here’s that list, which is still incomplete.

Angels

Astros

Athletics

Blue Jays

Braves

Brewers

Cardinals

Cubs

Note: Bryant’s $10.85 million salary is a record for a player eligible for arbitration for the first time. Former Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard previously held the record, earning $10 million in his first year of arbitration eligibility going into the 2008 season.

Diamondbacks

Dodgers

Giants

Indians

Mariners

Marlins

Mets

Nationals

Orioles

Padres

Phillies

Pirates

Rangers

  • IF/OF Jurickson Profar: $1.05 million (second of four years)
  • P Jake Diekman: $2.7125 million (third of three years)
  • P Keone Kela: $1.2 million (first of four years)

Rays

Red Sox

Reds

Rockies

Royals

Tigers

  • P Alex Wilson: $1.925 million (second of three years)
  • P Shane Greene: $1.95 million (first of three years)
  • 3B Nick Castellanos: $6.05 million (second of three years)

Twins

White Sox

Yankees

If a player is not listed, it doesn’t necessarily mean he and his team haven’t reached an agreement — it could just be that the information hasn’t been made public yet. If indeed a player and his team weren’t able to come to terms, then the two sides will hash things out in an arbitration hearing next month.

As of right now, the known players who did not come to an agreement with their teams…

  • Astros: OF George Springer, P Ken Giles, P Collin McHugh
    • Springer filed for $10.5 million, Astros for $8.5 million
    • Giles filed for $4.6  million, Astros for $4.2 million
    • McHugh filed for $5 million, Astros for $4.55 million
  • Athletics: P Kendall Graveman
    • Graveman filed for $2.6 million, Athletics for $2.36 million
  • Blue Jays: P Marcus Stroman, P Roberto Osuna
    • Stroman filed for $6.9 million, Blue Jays for $6.5 million
    • Osuna filed for $5.8 million, Blue Jays for $5.3 million
  • Braves: P Mike Foltynewicz
    • Foltynewicz filed for $2.3 million, Braves for $2.2 million
  • Cubs: P Justin Grimm
    • Grimm filed for $2.475 million, Cubs for $2.2 million
  • Diamondbacks: P Shelby Miller
    • Miller filed for $4.9 million, Diamondbacks for $4.7 million
  • Indians: P Trevor Bauer
    • Bauer filed for $6.525 million, Indians for $5.3 million
  • Marlins: C J.T. Realmuto, 1B Justin Bour
    • Realmuto filed for $3.5 million, Marlins for $2.9 million
    • Bour filed for $3.4 million, Marlins for $3 million
  • Mets: P Zack Wheeler
    • Wheeler filed for $1.9 million, Mets for $1.5 million
  • Orioles: P Kevin Gausman, 2B Jonathan Schoop
    • Gausman filed for $6.225 million, Orioles for $5.3 million
    • Schoop filed for $9 million, Orioles for $7.5 million
  • Pirates: P Felipe Rivero
    • Rivero filed for $2.9 million, Pirates for $2.4 million
  • Rays: P Jake Odorizzi, SS Adeiny Hechavarria
    • Odorizzi filed for $6.3 million, Rays for $6.05 million
    • Hechavarria filed for $5.9 million, Rays for $5.35 million
  • Red Sox: OF Mookie Betts
    • Betts filed for $10.5 million, Red Sox for $7.5 million
  • Reds: 2B Scooter Gennett, 3B Eugenio Suarez
    • Gennett filed for $5.7 million, Reds for $5.1 million
    • Suarez filed for $4.2 million, Reds for $3.75 million
  • Royals: P Brandon Maurer
    • Maurer filed for $3.95 million, Royals for $2.95 million
  • Tigers: SS Jose Iglesias
    • Iglesias filed for $6.8 million, Tigers for $5.6 million
  • Twins: P Kyle Gibson
    • Gibson filed for $4.55 million, Twins for $4.2 million
  • White Sox: OF Avisail Garcia, 2B Yolmer Sanchez
    • Garcia filed for $6.7 million, White Sox for $5.85 million
    • Sanchez filed for $2.35 million, White Sox for $2.1 million

Noah Syndergaard on Mets extending Jacob deGrom: ‘Pay the man already.’

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March has marked contract extension season across Major League Baseball. Just in the last week, we have seen Justin Verlander, Chris Sale, Brandon Lowe, Alex Bregman, Ryan Pressly, Mike Trout, Eloy Jiménez, Blake Snell, and Paul Goldschmidt sign extensions. Nolan Arenado, Luis Severino, and Aaron Nola also notably signed extensions during the offseason.

One name strikingly absent from that list: Mets ace Jacob deGrom. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner is coming off of a season in which he posted a 1.70 ERA with 269 strikeouts and 46 walks across 217 innings. It’s the lowest ERA by a qualified starter since Zack Greinke‘s 1.66 in 2015. Prior to Greinke, no pitcher had posted an ERA of 1.70 or lower since Greg Maddux in 1994-95 (1.56, 1.63).

deGrom is earning $17 million this season and will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration eligibility going into the 2020 season. He will turn 31 years old in June, but is an obvious extension candidate for the Mets, who have built arguably their most competitive team since 2015, when the club lost the World Series in five games to the Royals. Thus far, though, the Mets and deGrom haven’t been able to get anywhere in extension talks.

deGrom’s rotation mate Noah Syndergaard is watching. Per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, Syndergaard said, “I think Jake’s the best pitcher in baseball right now. I think he deserves whatever amount he’s worth. I want them to keep him happy so when it does come time for him to reach free agency, he stays on our side pitching for the Mets. I just think they should quit all the fuss and pay the man already.”

Syndergaard added that the recent extension trend around baseball — and deGrom’s lack of an extension to date — sends a message. He said, “I think so, yes, because of what you see in what’s going on in baseball right now. If there wasn’t a trend of other guys getting contract extensions, then I don’t know what the circumstance would be. But you see Chris Sale, Verlander getting extensions. I think it’s time Jacob gets one too.”

Part of the equation behind the recent rash of extensions is the stagnation of free agency. Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel — two of baseball’s better pitchers — have gone through almost an entire spring training without being signed. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado didn’t find new homes until late February. Free agents in their 30’s are largely being underpaid or otherwise forgotten about. Extensions represent financial security for young and old players alike. Syndergaard himself can become a free agent after the 2021 season, so if deGrom’s prospects improve, then so too will his, at least without knowing the details of the next collective bargaining agreement which will be put into place ahead of the 2022 season.