Tom Wilhelmsen Putting Up A Last Stand With Seattle?
By Dan Hughes
The Seattle Mariners have come to terms with all of their arbitration-eligible players, with the exception of one. Tom Wilhelmsen is the only holdover from a group of five that included Dustin Ackley and Austin Jackson.
The sticking point is always money, but I believe that Wilhelmsen will either lose this battle by taking something closer to the Mariners offer, or he’ll be traded.
According to a tweet by Kiley McDaniel at Fangraphs, the Mariners offer stands at $1.4 million while Tom is asking for $2.2 million.
Considering that bullpen mate Charlie Furbush – who has slightly more service time (3.121 to 3.091 years) – recently settled on $1.3 million.
Furbush has a 4.22 ERA in 197 games with the Mariners. Wilhelmsen has a 2.91 ERA in 214 games with the M’s.
In 2014, Wilhelmsen posted a career-best 3-2 record with a career-best 2.27 ERA with 72 K’s in 57 games. He clearly deserves a higher mark than Furbush got. But with the depth Seattle enjoys in terms of arms, Wilhelmsen is expendable and does not have to budge on the price.
If it does go before the arbitrator, it’s possible that The Bartender could get close to $2 million. But the negative feelings with the club would linger over him through the season and I don’t think either side wants that.
Ultimately, I think a deal gets worked out for $1.65 million, but it would not surprise me if Jack Zduriencik dangles the reliever in trade talks in order to acquire another bat for depth on the bench/in the minors.