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Phillies 2020 arb-eligible agreement round-up

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Recapping pacts for Morgan, Velasquez, and others

Philadelphia Phillies v Miami Marlins Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Updated and finalized: 1/10/2020, 8:40 p.m. ET

A happy Arbitration Avoidance Day to you and yours. Thank you for choosing to celebrate this hallowed holiday with us here at TGP.

Friday was the deadline for teams and their arbitration-eligible players — those with between roughly three and five years of MLB experience who don’t have a long-term deal — to reach an agreement on new salaries, or else exchange asking prices and schedule a date to meet with an arbitrator next month. The Phillies entered the day with six unsigned arb-eligibles. Their seventh, Andrew Knapp, had previously agreed to a one-year, $710 thousand deal for 2020 back in December, so he’s not listed below.

This is a big offseason step, and helps bring payroll numbers into clearer focus. A lot of time this winter has been spent estimating team payrolls (which will never truly end for us fans), but now we can speak more definitively about the Phils’ position vis-a-vis the Competitive Balance Tax thresholds and its effects on their strategy not just for this July, but for seasons to come.

Here’s a brief recap of the day’s deals, as well as some notable signings from the rest of the league. Included for reference are the player’s salary from last season, as well as MLBTradeRumors’ estimates and my predictions from last week.


Signed

Adam Morgan (1 year, $1.575 million)

2019 Salary: $1.1 million
MLBTR Estimate: $1.6 million
TGP Prediction: $1.8 million for 2020

Morgan enters the year as the de facto No. 2 bullpen lefty after Alvarez. He has plenty of competition hot on his heels between Ranger Suarez, Cole Irvin, and prospect types like Kyle Dohy, JoJo Romero, and Tyler Gilbert.

Vince Velasquez (1 year, $3.6 million)

2019 Salary: $2.249 million
MLBTR Estimate: $3.9 million
TGP Prediction: $3.75 million for 2020

Right in the neighborhood of Cincinnati’s Michael Lorenzen — whose 2019 we all hope Vinny will emulate — Vinny gets just above $3.5M in his second year of eligibility. He enters camp in competition for the fifth starter’s spot, certain to be one of Spring Training’s most scrutinized position battles.

Jose Alvarez (1 year, $2.95 million)

2019 Salary: $1.925 million
MLBTR Estimate: $3 million
TGP Prediction: $3.1 million for 2020

Alvarez is locked in, and is projected to be the team’s top left-handed relief option to start the season.

Zach Eflin (1 year, $2.625 million)

2019 Salary: $590 thousand
MLBTR Estimate: $3 million
Prediction: $2.75 million for 2020

The Phillies have secured their fourth starter’s salary for 2020.

Unsigned

J.T. Realmuto

2019 Salary: $5.9 million
MLBTR Estimate: $10.3 million
Prediction: $10 million for 2020

The Phillies did not reach an agreement with J.T. The sides have exchanged figures.

Hector Neris

2019 Salary: $1.8 million
MLBTR Estimate: $4.7 million
TGP Prediction: $4.5 million for 2020; part of a two-year deal (through 2021, maybe with an option for ‘22) for $11.5 million

The Phillies did not reach an agreement with Hector. The sides have exchanged figures.

Note: Just as a reminder, not reaching an agreement today does not guarantee an arbitration hearing will actually take place. The two sides can still come to an agreement on a deal (of any length) between now and the date their hearing gets scheduled for.