PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge and five players from the World Series champion Atlanta Braves are among 31 players headed toward salary arbitration hearings that will occur during the regular season after they failed to reach contracts and exchanged figures with their teams.
Judge can become a free agent after the World Series, and the outfielder and the team say they want to discuss a long-term deal to keep him in the Bronx. Judge has asked New York for $21 million, while the Yankees have offered $17 million, up from $10,175,000 last year.
Meanwhile, Atlanta general manager Alex Anthopoulos could wind up with potentially awkward hearings against third baseman Austin Riley, shortstop Dansby Swanson, outfielder Adam Duvall and pitchers Max Fried and Luke Jackson. Anthopoulos told The Athletic that Atlanta’s clubhouse was “rattled” when popular slugger Freddie Freeman left for the Los Angeles Dodgers as a free agent after Anthopoulos traded for Matt Olson from Oakland.
Riley has asked for $4.2 million and been offered $3.95 million, while Swanson wants $10 million vs. the team’s offer of $9.2 million. Duvall asked for $10,275,000 vs. $9,275,000, Fried $6.85 million vs. $6.6 million, and Jackson $4 million vs. $3.6 million.
White Sox ace Lucas Giolito asked for $7.5 million but was offered $7.3 million, and Cubs catcher Willson Contreras wants $10.25 million against an offer of $9 million. St. Louis has two key players still without deals in Harrison Bader ($4.8 million vs. $3.8 million) and Tyler O'Neill ($4.15 million vs. $3.4 million).
Arbitration-eligible players who didn’t reach agreement with their teams are set to have their cases heard by three-person panels over video conference after opening day, a scheduling oddity necessitated by baseball’s 99-day lockout that pushed back the start of spring training and the regular season.
The deadline to swap arbitration numbers was delayed from mid-January. No dates have been set for hearings, which usually occur in February. Teams and players can continue to negotiate and may agree on a deal at any time.
If teams and players don’t agree to a salary before Opening Day, the player will be paid at the rate proposed by the club and salary would be adjusted retroactively, if necessary.
Batting champion Trea Turner and the Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to a one-year, $21 million deal. Acquired last July from Washington, Turner hit .328 with 28 homers and 32 stolen bases last season. He’s set to become a free agent after this season.
Juan Soto, Turner’s ex-teammate who is still with Washington, agreed to a one-year, $17.1 million deal – an $8.6 million raise. The 23-year-old Soto hit .313 with 29 homers and a .999 OPS last year.
The Blue Jays signed new third baseman Matt Chapman to a two-year, $25 million deal, six days after getting him in a trade with Oakland. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. got $7.9 million in his first season of arbitration eligibility.
Among other notable one-year deals signed: NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes ($6.5 million), Boston star Rafael Devers ($11.2 million), Milwaukee closer Josh Hader ($11 million), New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso ($7.4 million), Cleveland ace Shane Bieber at $6 million and Cincinnati trade target Luis Castillo ($7.35 million),
Some other players who did not strike a deal before the deadline: Baltimore’s John Means and Trey Mancini; Cincinnati’s Lucas Sims; Colorado’s Kyle Freeland; Detroit’s Spencer Turnbull; Kansas City’s Andrew Benintendi and Nicky Lopez; Miami’s Jesus Aguilar, Pablo Lopez, Jacob Stallings and Joey Wendle; Milwaukee’s Adrian Houser; the Mets’ Chris Bassitt; Minnesota’s Luis Arraez and Gary Sanchez; Philadelphia’s Zach Eflin; Pittsburgh’s Bryan Reynolds and Kevin Newman; Seattle’s Adam Frazier, Mitch Haniger and Jesse Winker; Washington’s Victor Robles.