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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  • he played 2nd (not that well) when he first came up when maddon wasn't busy trying to make lineup space for jonathan herrera.

    it's one of those things where baez is more talented, but that talent allows him to play 2nd as well as SS while russell excells at SS compared to his play at 2nd.

    that said, if they decide baez is in a groove they might shift russell to 2nd anyway... *shrug*

    crunch 17 min 41 sec ago view
  • n.hoerner took one off the wrist and was removed from the smokies game.  boo.

    also, cory abbott had another good outing.

    crunch 33 min 29 sec ago view
  • I was thinking the same thing.  Has Addy taken any reps at 2nd? 

    Sonicwind75 35 min 3 sec ago view
  • No way in hell should they move Baez off of shortstop when Russell in back.

    Hagsag 48 min 54 sec ago view
  • rizzo did a good baseball thing.  hopefully more of that will follow.  HR #195 career.

    maeda kinda sucks tonight.  he picked a great night for it.

    crunch 1 hour 10 min ago view
  • Thanks PHIL!

    A killer ASS.

    Jake Stinnett on the Cubs radar anymore?

    The E-Man 1 hour 31 min ago view
  • crowd is heavily sparce for a LAD/CHC night game except for the bleachers...even if it is a cold april night.

    crunch 1 hour 56 min ago view
  • David Bote to the Paternity Leave List and LHP Randy Rosario is recalled from Iowa, so the Cubs will apparently go with a nine-man bullpen and a three-man bench while Bote is absent. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 19 min ago view
  • Crying poor is more acceptable than honesty, if honesty would note a "gentleman's agreement" between the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, and Red Sox to not go over the spending limits.

    In the highly unlikely case that's in play.

    tim815 8 hours 51 min ago view
  • I agree that for only 3 games, taking into consideration option years and 40-man roster makes complete sense.  Guess I'm still a little peeved about the Ricketts crying poor when they more than likely have a lamp not being used that costs more than $25k. 

    Sonicwind75 9 hours 45 min ago view
  • VA PHIL: It's not better to be a cheetah if you end up with a suspension that keeps you off the savannah for 80 games.  

    Arizona Phil 11 hours 30 min ago view
  • Rob Richardson 11 hours 59 min ago view
  • As long as you're one of the faster gazelles, it's probably ok!

    Charlie 12 hours 8 min ago view
  • "Best comp is a juvenile Thomson's Gazelle on the African savannah."

    It's better to be the cheetah in that scenario.

    VirginiaPhil 12 hours 28 min ago view
  • Thanks, Phil.

    K Dub 16 hours 37 min ago view
  • Hey Phil, I saw where the Cubs recently traded for some additional international pool money. Have they made any recent signings of note?

    azbobbop 23 hours 9 min ago view