Today, the first wave of projected salaries for the Mariners 10 arbitration-eligible players was released on MLB Trade Rumors. What do they see these 10 players getting this off-season?
But before we begin, I highly recommend you head over to mlbtraderumors.com and look at the list yourself. There are a lot of useful exercises for Mariners fans to go through in regards to who may unexpectedly become a free agent. But that’s another article for another day.
Instead, let’s focus on the Mariners list, which is 10 names deep. Remember, any player with more than 3 years of MLB service time can file for arbitration. Players in years 4-6 of their career submit a request for their salaries in the upcoming season. The team submits their proposal and if the two sides find common ground, the 2020 salary becomes locked in.
However, if the two sides can’t find a middle ground, the case goes to arbitration where an independent third party will either side with the player or team. This method, known as “file and trial”, is not the most productive method and can lead to hurt feelings on the players’ side, potentially burning their bridge with said play beyond repair.
The difference in the two sides’ proposals are often less than $1 million, so teams should try and find a way to make things work and avoid arbitration if possible. It’s just good business. But let’s take a look at the 10 names eligible for arbitration and what MLBTR projects they will earn in 2020.
- Domingo Santana– $4.4 million(Arb2)
- Tim Beckham– $3 million (Arb3)
- Mitch Haniger– $3 million (Arb 1)
- Omar Narvaez– $2.9 million (1)
- Mallex Smith– $2.7 million(1)
- Ryon Healy– $2.5 million(1)
- Anthony Bass– $1.7 million (2)
- Keon Broxton– $1.3 million(1)
- Matt Wisler– $1 million(1)
- Sam Tuivailala– $900,000 (1)
All in all, the lot of these 10 players are projected to cost the Mariners $23.4 million. Seattle already has $83 million on the books for players with guaranteed contracts and salaries they are eating from trades, so they aren’t hurting for cash flow.
However, it is easy to look at this list and immediately eliminate a few names. The Mariners are highly unlikely to be willing to pay Beckham $3 million or Ryon Healy $2.5 million. Both Keon Broxton and Anthony Bass are question marks as well.
Non-tendering contracts on those 4 players save $8.5 million and also doesn’t eliminate the possibility they sign cheaper deals. For example, non-tendering Ryon Healy and signing him back on a minor league deal could be in play for the Mariners.
Whether the Mariners get aggressive on extension or trade talks will also play a factor in their final payroll. Remember, these numbers are just projections, but MLBTR has a solid track record of at least being in the ballpark. But for now, these are the numbers we are working with.