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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  • Eric S 1 hour 18 min ago (view)

    Not a hill I’m going to die on for sure, but compare the 2019 defense vs 2016, I believe Cubs are bottom half on defense.  Also, last info I saw on the topic, Cubs lead the majors in outs recorded on the basepaths.  At six games over .500, Four teams in the NL have better records than the Cubs, who are now tied with the Phillies and just a game ahead of the Brewers. I think it was Bill Parcells who said you are what your record says you are - have to agree here too. 

     

  • CubbyBlue 1 hour 52 min ago (view)

    I've lost the joy of making this Cub fan blow himself up.

    If I had continiued today, Dan would have dragged himself back into frame as a bloodied Leonardo DiCaprio and said, "I ain't afraid to die any more. I done it already."

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 21 min ago (view)

    I wonder if Joe will talk about how he feels re: next years contract to media today?

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 22 min ago (view)

    I don’t think Kintzler threw a single pitch where a Pirate swung and missed. All swings led to foul balls or that walk off hit. It was obvious he had nothing. The guy hadn’t pitched in over a week, so I can’t really blame him.

     

  • Jackstraw 6 hours 19 min ago (view)

    Cubs at home = Roadrunner

    Cubs on road = Wile E. Coyote

     

  • crunch 13 hours 12 min ago (view)

    23 years old and carving up the hopes and dreams of the very young kids he was pitching against...

    hard to take a 23 year old in DSL too seriously, but his numbers were filthy.  0.87 era, 0.48 whip, 11.6 k/9

     

  • Arizona Phil 13 hours 27 min ago (view)

    RHRP Marcos Encarnacion (DSL Cubs #2 closer) busted for PED (the ever-popular stanozolol), gets 72-game suspension that will carry through the 2020 season (he will be 25 in November 2020). Encarnacion formerly pitched in the Reds organization and was signed as a 23-year old second-contract FA by the Cubs in June. 

     

  • crunch 13 hours 54 min ago (view)

    truth.

     

  • Charlie 14 hours 1 min ago (view)

    By the end of this road trip, Bill might really have seen some things. No shortage of stuff to discuss in therapy.

     

  • crunch 14 hours 7 min ago (view)

    obligatory farnsworth flashback video...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZbG5MPsfYM

    some nice bonus "pissed off sarge" gary matthews in there, too...and dusty baker handling shit.  say what one wants about his lineup construction, dusty put up with some insane baseball attitudes with players he managed.  i still can't believe a clubhouse with jeff kent and barry bonds didn't result in attempted murder at the very least.

     

  • Charlie 14 hours 18 min ago (view)

    I think they are better than slightly above average in every area but the bullpen. Fangraphs WAR numbers suggest they are top 4 offense in the NL, top 5 rotation in NL, and bottom 5 bullpen in the NL. But that still suggests they should be right where they are, struggling to stay in the back of the pack of contenders for the postseason. So, that's probably close to what you are saying, but we could maybe attribute it mostly to one flaw--the bullpen.

     

  • Eric S 14 hours 26 min ago (view)

    Brandon Morrow says hello too re the front office’s best laid plans

     

  • Charlie 14 hours 35 min ago (view)

    Started to feel like I was watching Kyle Farnsworth and just knowing that he didn't have a way of getting the batter out.

    For those looking to identify the particular nightmare I was reliving: https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/sports/2004...

     

  • Charlie 14 hours 40 min ago (view)

    Kyle Ryan and Brandon Kintzler handling a 1-run lead in a 9th inning following a sweep to the Phillies. This is not the bullpen the front office has been trying to assemble. The closer, the setup man/backup closer (Strop), the future closer (Edwards), and the replacement closer (Kimbrel) have all fallen through in one way or another. If they can make the playoffs, I suppose we expect Kimbrel and Cishek as reinforcements? It's still going to be rough with Strop underperforming.

     

  • crunch 15 hours 9 min ago (view)

    this has been a particularly rough set of losses...ow.

     

  • Eric S 15 hours 10 min ago (view)

    The thing is, this Cub team has so many flaws you really can’t take the inevitable  meltdowns too harshly. The Cubs are a slightly above average team - that’s all