2017 MLB Salary Arbitration Day
1/13 UPDATE RHSP Jake Arrieta ($15,637,500), RHRP Hector Rondon ($5.8M), and RHRP Justin Grimm ($1.825M) have agreed to 2017 contracts, but the Cubs and RHRP Pedro Strop remain far apart (per Mark Gonzalez at the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs offered $4.6M, and Strop wants $6M).
It's not unusual for the two sides to agree to just "split the difference" ($5.3M would be the mid-point) and maybe they will do that at some point prior to a hearing, but a $1.4M gap is fairly signigficant.
Remember, if it does go to a hearing, the arbitration panel cannot "split the difference." The panel must choose either the Cubs offer or Strop's figure.
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 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.
CUBS SALARY ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE POST-2016: (last updated 1-13-2017)
Jake Arrieta, RHP (signed 2017 contract 1/13)
Justin Grimm, RHP (signed 2017 contract 1/13)
Hector Rondon, RHP (signed 2017 contract 1/13)
Pedro Strop, RHP
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 12-18. 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 third Friday in January. 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.
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 40-man roster receives 100% of what remains of his salary if he is released during the regular season).
NOTE: The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) is very sensitive about salary arbitration, so if a player is victorious at an arbitration hearing and 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.
SIGNED FOR 2017 (last updated 1-13-2017):
John Lackey - $22.5M (includes $5M second-installement of signing bonus)
Jason Heyward - $21.5M
Jon Lester - $20M
Jake Arrieta - $15,637,500
Ben Zobrist - $16M
Miguel Montero - $14M
Wade Davis - $10M
Jon Jay - $8M
Anthony Rizzo - $7M
Koji Uehara - $6M
Hector Rondon - $5.8M
Brian Duensing - $2M
Justin Grimm - $1.825M
OTHER: Dexter Fowler ($5M severance) and Jason Hammel ($2M buy-out)
2017 SUB-TOTAL: $157,262,500
Pedro Strop - $5.5M? (projected)
AUTO-RENEWAL (PRE-ARBITRATION) POST-2016:
PROJECTED MAJOR LEAGUE SALARY / PROJECTED MINOR LEAGUE SPLIT
NOTE: Players highlighted in bold & underlined are likely to begin 2017 season in MLB (as things styand right now)
Albert Almora Jr - $???K / $130K
Javy Baez - $???K / $315K
Aaron Brooks - $???K / $315K
Kris Bryant - $???K / $330K
Jake Buchanan - $???K / $86,500
Jeimer Candelario - $???K / $86,500
Victor Caratini - $535K / $???K
Willson Contreras - $???K / $185K
Carl Edwards Jr - $???K / $190K
Jacob Hannemann - $535K / $???K
Kyle Hendricks - $???K / $315K
Pierce Johnson - $535K / $86,500
Tommy LaStella - $???K / $275K
Jack Leathersich - $???K / $86,500
Mike Montgomery - $???K / $315K
Felix Pena - $???K / $86,500
David Rollins - $???K / $175K
Jose Rosario - $535K / $???K
Addison Russell - $???K / $315K
Kyle Schwarber - $???K / $315K
Caleb Smith - $535K / $86,500
Matt Szczur - $???K / $315K
Duane Underwood Jr - $535K / $???
Rob Zastryzny - $???K / $86,500
ESTIMATED PROJECTED 2017 SUB-TOTAL: $6.75M (majors) and $1.5M (minors) - $8.25M
ESTIMATED PROJECTED 2017 PAYROLL: $171M?
2016 PAYROLL (PAID): $161M+
2015 PAYROLL (PAID): $142M+
And AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW, here is how things look post-2017:
NOTE: About $90M in 2017 payroll is scheduled to to come off the books in 2018 (the salaries of the eight free-agents, plus the Fowler severance and Hammel buy-out), offset by expected likely significant raises for the three players who will be first-time salary arbitration eligible (Bryant, Russell, and Hendricks).
ARTICLE XX-B MLB FREE-AGENTS POST-2017 (8):
SIGNED BEYOND 2017 (4):
Jon Lester ($22.5M in 2018-19 & $15M in 2020, plus $2.5M signing bonus each post-2018-19 & $10M post-2020, & $25M vesting option for 2021 if 200 IP in 2020 or 400 IP in 2019-20 or $25M club option for 2021 or $10M buy-out)
Jason Heyward ($21.5M in 2018, $20M each in 2019, $21M each in 2020-21, and $22M each in 2022-23, and player may opt-out of contract post-2018 or post-2019 if 550 PA in 2019, plus $20M signing bonus deferred with $5M paid each April 1st 2024-27, or starting April 1st of the next season following opt-out)
Ben Zobrist ($16M in 2018 and $12M in 2019)
Anthony Rizzo ($7M in 2018, $11M in 2019, $14.5M each in 2020-21 with $2M club option buy-out each season 2020-21, 2019-21 salaries increase by $1M if one MVP or two Top 5 MVP 2013-19, and player may void 2021 club option with Top 2 finish in MVP 2013-19 and/or subsequent trade)
2018 SUB-TOTAL: $67M
PROJECTED ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE POST-2017 (5-6-7):
Kris Bryant (“Super Two”)
Tommy LaStella (must accrue at least 70 days of MLB Service Time to be eligible)
Addison Russell (“Super Two”)
Matt Szczur (will be very close to “Super Two” cutoff point - arbitration-eligibility TBD)
ESTIMATED PROJECTED 2018 SUB-TOTAL: ???
AUTO-RENEWAL (PRE-ARBITRATION) POST-2017:
Albert Almora Jr
Carl Edwards Jr
Tommy LaStella (if not arbitration-eligible)
Matt Szczur (if not “Super Two”)
Duane Underwood Jr
ESTIMATED PROJECTED 2018 SUB-TOTAL: ???
ESTIMATED PROJECTED 2018 PAYROLL: ???
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 hour 5 min ago (view)
I believe this is the correct take. It's surprising that Len is leaving. He's good, but he had gotten a little too rationalizey over the past few years for me.
However, it seemed he was heavily invested in the Cubs. His departure feels like there is some Ricketts-ish bullshit going on behind the scenes at Marquee that Len wants no part of. Anyway, I wish him well with the other Chicago team
crunch 1 hour 41 min ago (view)
is everything the ricketts touch just falling to shit in 2021? ....well, except their heavy investments in taking over the state of Nebraska politically with one of the sons and heavy investment in supportive state legislators...
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 12 min ago (view)
This makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks Phil!
(And that HR off Hader was unforgettable)
Hagsag 5 hours 36 min ago (view)
Wrigley Rat 11 hours 3 min ago (view)
Len Kasper is leaving the Cubs for the White Sox radio booth.
Charlie 15 hours 20 min ago (view)
I would be happy to see the Cubs no longer spend DH time on Victor Caratini. Provided there's a Kyle Schwarber or better alternative, of course.
Arizona Phil 23 hours 23 min ago (view)
DJL: I don't think Ildemaro Vargas being out of minor league options is much of a concern to the Cubs because as things stand right now he projects as the team's primary utility infielder in 2021. He can play all four INF positions (1B, 2B, 3B, and SS, plus corner OF, too), and he is switch hitter with some pop, especially from the right side (remember the 9th inning HR he hit off Josh Hader in September?).
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 6 min ago (view)
I'm a little surprised Ildemaro Vargas was tendered, given that he's out of options. He has value and isn't expensive as he is pre-arb this year, but still a bit surprised. Have to think he's got an inside track to an Opening Day spot at this point
waveland 1 day 8 hours ago (view)
really appreciate the years and years of your updates
Arizona Phil 1 day 10 hours ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: Strumpf was wearing a cast on his hand in Minor League Camp before everything got shut-down in March so his not being at South Bend might have had something to do with that. I don't know why Rivas wasn't at the ATS.
bradsbeard 1 day 11 hours ago (view)
Do you have any idea why Rivas and Strumpf weren't at the alternate site in South Bend? I thought Rivas especially showed enough in ST games to be viewed as a legitimate depth option, especially with the DH.
Arizona Phil 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
Alfonso Rivas reminds me a bit of Rafael Palmeiro when Palmeiro first came up to the big leagues and was a "doubles machine" (before he started hitting home runs).
Rivas played D-1 baseball at the University of Arizona, so (just like Nico Hoerner, who also played in the PAC-12) I don't think he needs a lot of additional time at AAA before he's ready for MLB. He's a very advanced hitter, as long as you are OK with lots of doubles & lots of walks but not many HR.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
I hadn't thought of that but I really like that option
bradsbeard 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
I really hope Rivas has a chance at the LF job. Would ease some of the sting of Schwarber being cut loose.
Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
CRUNCH: I got the impression that Ross had seen enough of Schwarber in LF, so implementing the universal DH may be necessary before Schwarber returns to the Cubs in 2021. I think the Cubs would be fine with Schwarber as their main DH going forward.
BTW, I strongly suspect that the universal DH will be included in the next CBA, but whether there will be a DH in the National League in 2021 is still TBA (which is really stupid, since clubs need to know right now for sure one way or the other whether or not there will be a DH in the N. L. in 2021).
Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
Besides the guys on the 40, Cubs 2021 NRI relievers with a legit chance to win a bullpen slot in Spring Training include LHRPs Josh Osich and Rex Brothers, and RHRPs Jake Jewell, Trevor Megill, Dakota Mekkes, Michael Rucker, and Joe Wieland (presuming they are not taken in the Rule 5 Draft).
Brothers and Wieland are out of minor league options, however, so if added to the 40 they could not ride the "Chicago - Des Moines Shuttle" like the others could.