The MLB Salary Arbitration Process Begins Today

1/11 UPDATE

All seven of the Cubs who were eligible for salary arbitration signed 2019 contracts today:

Kris Bryant - $12.9M 
Kyle Hendricks - $7.405M 
Javier Baez - $5.2M  
Addison Russell - $3.4M plus $600K roster bonus (see NOTE below)
Kyle Schwarber - $3.39M 
Mike Montgomery - $2.44M 
Carl Edwards - $1.5M ("Super Two") 
NOTE: Addison Russell will forfeit salary (about $18,280 per day) for however many days of the 2019 MLB regular season he spends on the Cubs MLB Restricted List while serving the remaining 29 games of his 40-game MLB-MLBPA JDV suspension. If there are no rain-outs, Russell will be eligible to be reinstated to the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) and MLB Active List (25-man roster) on Thursday May 2nd (which is an off-day) and his first game back would be Friday May 3rd vs STL at Wrigley Field, meaning he would forfeit at least 35 days' pay (or about $640K). Prior to being reinstated, Russell can spend up to twelve days (unpaid - BUT - he will receive MLB meal money and other benefits) on a minor league conditioning assignment (probably at AAA Iowa beginning on 4/20), and he will be able to participate in Spring Training (but cannot play in MLB Cactus League games) and Extended Spring Training (without pay) prior to starting his minor league conditioning assignment. The $600K roster bonus will effectively allow Russell to make back most of the salary he will forfeit while suspended, and it is based upon days spent on the Cubs MLB Reserve List or 60-day DL ($100K if at least 30 days, another $100K if at least 60 days, another $100K if at least 90 days, another $100K if at least 120 days, and the remaining $200K if at least 150 days). Since the 2019 MLB regular season is 186 days in length and there is no way the Cubs can play their first 29 scheduled games in fewer than 35 days, Russell will have to be reinstated from the Restricted List as soon as he is eligible to be reinstated in order to earn the final $200K and get the entire $600K.  

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1/8 ORIGINAL POST

The MLB salary arbitration process begins today, with the MLBPA delivering requests for salary arbitration to the MLB Labor Relations Department, and then the MLB LRD forwards the requests received from the MLBPA to the individual clubs. The MLBPA (representing the players requesting salary arbitration) and the MLB LRD (representing the clubs who have received the requests) will exchange salary figures on Friday, and then the MLBPA and the MLB LRD will schedule arbitratiion hearings to be held during the first three weeks of February. 

MLB SALARY ARBITRATION

An unsigned player under club control who has accrued at least three but less than six years of MLB Service Time is automatically eligible for salary arbitration.

Also, any unsigned player with at least two years but less than three years of MLB Service Time who accrued at least 86 days of MLB Service Time during the previous season can qualify for salary arbitration as a so-called "Super Two" if the player is among the top 22% in MLB Service Time of players in that group.
NOTE: The "Super Two" cut-off for 2019 (post-2018) is 2+134 MLB Service Time. 

CUBS SALARY ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE PLAYERS: (last updated 11-30-2018)
Javier Baez, INF
Kris Bryant, INF
Carl Edwards Jr, RHP ("Super Two")
Kyle Hendricks, RHP 
Mike Montgomery, LHP
Addison Russell, INF
Kyle Schwarber, OF

If a club and a player eligible for salary arbitration cannot agree on a contract, the player can request the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to file for salary arbitration. The MLBPA is responsible for delivering all requests for salary arbitration to the MLB Labor Relations Department (MLB LRD) on the Tuesday immediately prior to the Friday that falls during the week January 10-16. Once salary arbitration has been requested, the player submits his desired salary to the MLBPA, the club submits its salary offer to the MLB LRD, and the MLBPA and MLB LRD exchange the two figures on the Friday that falls during the week January 10-16. The MLBPA and MLB LRD then schedule a hearing with a three-person arbitration panel. Hearings are held on various dates during the first three weeks of February.

The club's offer must be at least the MLB minimum salary, and, in most cases, must be at least 80% of the player's previous year's salary and at least 70% of the player's salary from two seasons back. However, if the player received a raise in excess of 50% by a salary arbitration panel the previous season, a 20% maximum salary reduction from the previous season and a 30% maximum salary reduction from two seasons back does not apply, and the club only has to offer at least the MLB minimum salary.

After arbitration has been requested, the player and the club can continue to negotiate back & forth, and the player can withdraw from the process any time up until the hearing. And in fact this frequently happens, as the player and the club will often agree to just "split the difference" (something the panel cannot do).

If the matter does go to a hearing, the arbitration panel must choose either the club's offer or the player's figure, and win or lose, the player is awarded a standard one-year MLB contract with no "minor league split" salary or incentive/performance bonuses. Also, the contract is not guaranteed, so if the player is released during Spring Training, the club would only owe the player 30 days or 45 days salary as termination pay, depending on when the player is released. (A player on an MLB Reserve List signed to a non-guaranteed contract who is released more than 15 days prior to Opening Day receives 30 days salary as termination pay, a player on an MLB Reserve List signed to a non-guaranteed contract who is released 15 or fewer days prior to Opening Day receives 45 days salary as termination pay, and a player on an MLB Reserve List who is released during the MLB regular season receives 100% of his salary as termination pay). 
NOTE: The MLBPA is very sensitive about salary arbitration, so if a player is awarded a contract by an arbitration panel and then is subsequently released by his club prior to or during Spring Training, the MLBPA will almost always file a grievance on behalf of the player, claiming the player was released for economic reasons only (which is not permitted), and asking that the released player receive 100% of his salary as termination pay. In that situation, a club would have to show (by submitting official Spring Training game stats) that the released player was out-performed in Spring Training games by another player (or players) competing for that roster spot.

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  • Tom is a Ted Cruz look alike.

    Hagsag 4 min 18 sec ago view
  • Bob Nightengale‏ @BNightengale

    Cubs owner Tom Ricketts on why the Cubs didn't spend more money this offseason on the free-agent market: "Pretty easy. We don’t have any more.''

    ---

    hahahaha...no.

    that said, it's a strong team...can't complain too much, though they're playing very loose and fast with the patchwork pen "fixes."

    crunch 34 min 20 sec ago view
  • let's hope it goes better than the 5th or 6th time someone has "fixed" jason heyward's swing.

    crunch 37 min 4 sec ago view
  • Interesting, this appears to the year of mechanical fixes in the staff, Quintana's toe point and new confidence in his changeup, Hamel's fixes, Chatwood's double pump, wondering if other fixes are in store from the new pitching regime. 

    Bob N. 1 hour 1 min ago view
  • That I am sure is an under statement.

    Hagsag 3 hours 52 min ago view
  • I've never really thought about Theo's politics. But I assume it's not the politics of Joe Ricketts.

    Charlie 4 hours 2 min ago view
  • I only spend baseball money on MLB.tv and tickets when the Cubs come to town (away games). So, like you, there's very little way for me to cut back on spending without just changing team loyalty. I'm still irked.

    Baseball is such a silly thing to care about, though. And they keep presenting ethical roadblocks to that whimsy.

    Charlie 4 hours 2 min ago view
  • m.moosetacos returns to the brewers for 1/10m

    crunch 21 hours 49 min ago view
  • I saw in Bleacher Report that Miguel Amaya is in camp. Picture of him with the Red Baron.

    Hagsag 23 hours 52 min ago view
  • Charlie, Crunch; yep...gotta wonder how much Theo chafes working for these folks...

    Mike Wellman 1 day 3 hours ago view
  • "Montgomery has been limited to long toss early in camp due to shoulder stiffness. Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said the southpaw could resume throwing bullpens in two or three days."

    also, j.tazawa isn't expected until monday because of visa issues...

    crunch 1 day 16 hours ago view
  • add the leaked joe ricketts racist-and-xenophobic-beyond-all-hell emails to the mix and you got a hell of an off-season.  it's bigger news than the 100 nickle and dime contracts they added, anyway.

    many (most) people will overlook this, but a chunk of the ricketts family not only talks the talk of their socially immoral beliefs (imo), they put money and labor behind pushing it...and it didn't just start this offseason.

    crunch 1 day 21 hours ago view
  • With Russell's press conference and the Cubs deal with Sinclair both coming near the end of a very slow offseason, I'm having a very hard time getting excited for spring training. Curious what other's think about these issues going forward? I really would like none of my money going to Sinclari. Russell's continued non-admission of specific acts is par for the course but still undercuts his statements about being accountable. Do you all find this issues obstacles to enjoying baseball, too?

    Charlie 1 day 22 hours ago view
  • Brailyn Marquez and Yovanny Cruz were the two best Cubs pitching prospects at Extended Spring Training last year. Cruz throws a mid-90's two-seamer and a hard-slider and probably projects as a reliever at the higher levels, unless he can find a reliable off-speed pitch. 

    Arizona Phil 2 days 6 hours ago view
  • erich081: Dakota Mekkes is in a similar position as James Norwood this time last year, meaning he is Rule 5 Draft eligible after the season so adding him to the 40 could happen at any time, especially if the Cubs need a bullpen arm and Mekkes is pitching well at AAA Iowa.  

    Arizona Phil 2 days 7 hours ago view
  • PHIL: What’s your impressions of Yovanny Cruz? I’ve read his breaking ball is devastating. Also, is Luke Reynolds out your way? Do you think he has the goods to be a successful MLB player?

    The E-Man 2 days 16 hours ago view