Ah, arbitration. Every player’s favorite part of the offseason, where the agents spend hours trying to build a case for why you deserve a substantial raise from the previous year’s salary only for the employer to enter the room and trample over those arguments like a toddler that sees their sibling building a Lego tower.
We hear all the time about hurt feelings and anger if a player and team go to a settlement hearing to determine the salary, about how “eyes were opened” by the process, even though they must have heard through the grapevine what it is like. There are the “file and trial” teams that simply give you what they’re willing to pay and if you don’t like it, see you in the board room! There are settlements galore where a team is looking for a little more certainty before the real spending begins. And there are the players who are left on the outside looking in after their team decides they’d rather not have you on the roster at all.
Thankfully, there are resources available to us to help determine what amount of money each player should be worth come arbitration time. Thanks to the invaluable resource of Matt Swartz, there are projections for each of the arbitration eligible Phillies this offseason.
From the MLB Trade Rumors website, here is what the Phillies are projected to have to pay should they choose to keep each player:
- Jeff Hoffman: $2.1MM
- Ranger Suarez: $4.7MM
- Gregory Soto: $4.9MM
- Jake Cave: $1.4MM
- Edmundo Sosa: $1.7MM
- Dylan Covey: $1MM
- Garrett Stubbs: $900K
- Alec Bohm: $4.3MM
Nontender candidates: Cave, Covey, Stubbs
Extension candidates: Bohm, Suarez
Hey look. A pretty straightforward case of players who will be tendered a contract and those who likely won’t be.
None of these players are projected to earn such a large amount of money versus the potential production they’d give that they wouldn’t be tendered a contract. Do you want to quibble with the amounts that have been projected? Be my guest; I’m not economically savvy enough with baseball numbers to argue one way or another. One might say the team could give contracts to each one of these players and probably be happy.
Common sense dictates that’s likely not true. There are some 40-man roster decisions coming that might force the team to trim some of the fat from this. Are you, like me, enamored by what Carlos de la Cruz can offer the team? Then you’ll probably have to wave goodbye to Jake Cave (wow, didn’t know one could pack a bag for another person so quickly). Don’t feel like Dylan Covey is worth a cool mil’? I won’t argue. The others on that list, though, should probably all be brought back around that price. None of it will break the bank for a team as awash in cash as the Phillies are.
The decisions forced by arbitration are always interesting. While the Phillies don’t have anyone all that intriguing like Juan Soto and his projected $30 million price tag, there is an air of mystery around at least a few of the players this offseason. It promises to fascinate....well, someone.