Arbitration deadline day! So many figures, so many signings. Please to enjoy some thoughts and feelings on a few that caught my eye.
Giancarlo Stanton – One Year, $6.5 million
Let it never be said that the arbitration process, if we consider it a sentient being, doesn’t love power. It LIVES for power. It is a power hungry maniac never to be sated.
Giancarlo Stanton is about as powerful as baseball players come. Every home run he hits puts him into elite company, as only eight players in baseball hit more homers in their first three season. Eight. Ever.
Among the players looking up at Giancarlo Stanton’s early prowess is Miguel Cabrera, who earned a $7 million arbitration reward in his first trip through the process. He promptly signed an enormous extension after the Marlins traded him to Detroit.
Is a trade in Giancarlo’s future? The Marlins aren’t in the habit of making people rich…though they often pick one player and build around him. The Marlins inked Hanley Ramirez to a six-year deal before their former shortstop reached arbitration, interesting that the Fish and Stanton didn’t get a deal done.
If Miami doubts they can get Stanton’s name on a long extension, consider the trade done and we’re just killing time until the press release. The Marlins cannot afford to let a talent like Stanton’s walk for nothing.
Jordan Zimmermann – Two Years, $24 million ($7.5MM in 2014, $16.5MM in 2015)
Jordan Zimmermann (or his agent) is a wise man. Jordan Zimmerman signed away his final two years of arbitration, taking slightly less in 2014 in exchange for slightly more in 2015. Jordan Zimmerman will earn more in his final arb season than Max Scherzer will in his, and Scherzer just won the Cy Young award.
Zimmermann and the Nationals looked to find common ground on a long-term deal but according to the Nats righty they “were quite a ways off” in terms of a dollar figure.
Count Zimmermann among the many pitchers waiting to see how the Tanaka Negotiations shake down before hitting the market or taking a hometown discount.
Jordan Zimmermann is, quietly, an excellent pitcher coming off a tremendous year (3.25 ERA over 213+ innings). There is a lot to like about his game and the Nationals quite rightly want to get him locked up long term.
With his financial present secured, Zimmermann can look to the future. Another great season and his eyes look toward free agency in the catbird seat. If he struggles, he has one more season to rebuild his value.
Not a bad position for him to be in. Not bad to know you’re getting a $9 million bonus no matter what happens, either. A nice gig if you can find it.
Ian Desmond – Two Years, $16 million
($6.5MM in 2014, $11MM in 2015)
Ian Desmond wants to change your mind. Ian Desmond used 2013 to prove his 2012 season was no fluke. After a career year in 2012, when the Nats shortstop hit 25 home runs and posted 5 Wins Above Replacement through a new approach and his solid defense, it looked like it could be a magical year where everything came together.
But then 2013 happened. Sure, his numbers weren’t quite the same but he still hit 20 homers, put up a .280/.331/.453 line and played everyday at shortstop, good for another 5 WAR year.
The Nats deserve credit for sticking with Desmond after two rough years at the plate and now have the enviable position of considering a long-term deal with the 28-year old.
Though this deal carries the Nats shortstop all the way to free agency, Desmond is an ideal candidate to lock up now. Set to earn $6.5MM in 2014 and $11MM in 2015, the Nats have the time to work out a longer deal that benefits both sides both in the present and the future.
It’s a good position to be in – knowing you have financial security to bring you to free agency as well as presenting a nice window to negotiate a longer deal should one arise. Pretty good for the player and good for the club, too. Having to pay these guys isn’t a bad thing in the least. Better than searching for them, I think they’d agree.
Chris Davis – One Year, $10.35 million
Remember that thing about the arbitration process loving power and power hitters? Well let me introduce the new hearthrob of the arb set – Chris Davis.
Chris Davis hit 53 home runs last year. Chris Davis! 53! He has 86 over the last two season – more than all players who failed to win Triple Crowns over that time.
For his power exploits (let us not forget his 42 doubles in 2013 – making him one of just three players ever to hit 50 bombs and 40 doubles), Chris Davis earned a $7 million raise. That’s a lot of money. Money we could say Chris Davis already earned, as his 53 home run season came while earning a “mere” $3.3 million.
If he keeps hitting like he has, Davis is going to make a whole lot of money is his career. A true power hitter in today’s game (one who makes it look so, so easy to boot) can all but write his own ticket.