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Old 08-07-2009, 03:08 PM   #1
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Default The Great Arbitration Thread of 2009-2010

We're basically past the trade deadline, as I doubt any of our arbitration players go during the waiver period, so we pretty much know what we have going into next year. At this point, stats are pretty locked in and it'll take a really abysmal/amazing performance to get them drastically off their season averages and seriously effect an expected arbitration total.


Arbitration estimates for the 2010 season
Dan Uggla - $7.75 million
Jorge Cantu - $6 million
Josh Johnson - $5.8 million / but I project a 4-5 year contract at at least $11 mil per season
Ricky Nolasco - $4.25 million
Cody Ross - $4.2 million
Jeremy Hermida - $3 million
Leo Nunez - $2 million
Matt Lindstrom - $1.65 million
Alfredo Amezaga - $1.4 million
Anibal Sanchez - $1.2 million
Scott Proctor - $1.2 million RELEASED
Ronny Paulino - $880,000 thousand
Reynel Pinto - $850,000 thousand
Expected Club Controlled Figures (tendering 2-3 year players slightly higher)
Andrew Miller - $2 million (not arbitration, see post # 17)
John Baker - $415,000
Emilio Bonifacio - $415,000
Brett Carroll - $415,00
Chris Volstad - $415,000
Dan Meyer - $415,000
Rick Vanden Hurk - $415,000
Brian Sanchez - $415,000
Burke Badenhop - $415,000
Sean West - $405,000
Gaby Sanchez - $405,000
Cameron Maybin - $405,000
Other Rookies with relatively no experience - $405,000
Players Under Contract
Hanley Ramirez - $7,000,000
Wes Helms - $950,000
Club Options
Ross Gload - $2,600,000 (no buyout)
Free Agents
Nick Johnson
Kiko Calero
Luis Ayala
Brendan Donnelly

Jorge Cantu (Current 5th year salary - $3.5 million)

2008 - 155 G, 628 AB, 92 R, 28 HR, 95 RBI, .277/.327/.481 (.808)
2009 - 98 G, 389 AB, 40 R, 11 HR, 60 RBI, .282/.345/.445 (.785) (Aug. 6)
Reasonable Expectation Season Line - 152 G, 600 AB, 70 R, 18 HR, 90 RBI, .280/.340/.460 (.800)


Joe Crede (5th year salary $4.94 M, 6th year $5.1 M). Came off injury from 07-08 so he got a nominal upgrade. He had a .828 OPS in year 4, which warranted him getting up to the $5 million range in year 5.

Casey Blake (5th year $3.75, 6th year $6.1). Blake had a .777 OPS in year 5, which lead to that salary in year 6. Cantu is going to match Blake’s year in a worst case scenario, probably get over it. This

Chad Tracy is making $5.75 this year (including buyout). He just sucks.

Bill Hall is going to make $6.8. But he also has the added positional flexibility, making him a ‘maybe’ comp, but we don’t have much to look for.

Longoria is going to make $6 million, in year 6. Wow. Zimmerman $8.9. Wright $10.

Some 1B for food for though. A. Gonzalez $5.5, Laroche and Overbay each $7, Pena $8. Youk $9. Morneau $10.6. Just not good comps here.

Alright, so that’s a good baseline. Crede did nothing in 2007, and got over $5. Blake did OK, and got over $6. Blake also had a $2.25M jump which is 60% of his previous contract value. The Tracy comp sucks for the Marlins. Cantu has to go above him based on his last two year, and immediate year, performance. So does he get to Blake? Depending on where his season line this year ends will dictate that question. The combination of not always at 3B may slot him a little higher as it seems 1B make more than 3B (or maybe they are just better, which is likely), but Cantu’s horrific defense could be a tie breaker and slot it down.

Low - $5.75. He gets Tracy’d.
Medium - $6.25. Over Blake. He is statistically better than him with more HR/RBI, and his lack of playing time in 2007 and defense don’t really hurt him.
High - $7. Atkins. He really, really, pounds the ball the last 50 games and gets to the .830 OPS/28 HR/100RBI level, and doesn’t commit to many of the mystical “errors.”
Josh Johnson (Current 4th year salary - $1.4 million)
2008 - 87.1 IP, 7-1, CG, 3.61 era, 77 K, 1.35 whip
2009 - 148 IP, 10-2, 2 CG, 2.98 era, 123 K, 1.11 whip (as of Aug 6th)
Reasonable Expectation Season Line - 220 IP, 15-4, 3.25 era, 185k, 1.15 whip

We have such an amazing comp it’s not even funny. I know I have done this before, but just for keeping it in one spot.

Zack Greinke
2007 - 122 IP, 7-7, 3.69 era, 106 K, 1.30 whip < - Half year because of injury, just like JJ
2008 - 202.1 IP, 13-10, 3.47 era, 183 K, 1.28 whip < - $1.4 million year 4. Same as JJ

Post 2008, Greinke signed a 4/$38 extension, $3.75-$7.25-$13.50-$13.5 (signed after year 4)

So where do we begin. Greinke is spot on from years 3/4. This is the slot, we just have to value how much more is JJ than Greinke. JJ has an enormous “loss” advantage, a bit of whip, and probably a quarter to a half run less era. He also made the all-star team in 2009. JJ is clearly going to be slotted above Greinke off performance, and because of inflation.

Contract Comparisons - Player Stats for Year 4 / Contract Value Year 5
Adam Wainwright - 158.1 IP, 12-7, 2.79 era, 1.28 whip, 140 K / $4.65 million (signed after year 2)
Matt Cain - 148 IP, 12-3, 2.25 era, 1.16 whip, 117 K / $4.25 million (signed after year 1)
Jon Lester - Currently in year 3 / $5.75 million (signed after year 2)
James Shields - Currently in year 3 / $4.25 million (signed after year 1)

Cole Hamels (a Super2), signed a contract for years 3-4-5 for $4.35, $6.65, and $.9.5 million. The $9.5 is technically his year 5 salary so that isn’t comparable to JJ, but that $6.65 certainly marks the HIGH. Hamels was coming off a 227 IP, 14-10, 3.09 era, 1.08 whip, 196 K season. That is certainly very comparable to what Johnson is doing right now. Hamels signed the deal after year 2.

Other notable pitchers hitting arbitration year 5, year 4 salary noted - Felix Hernandez ($3.8), Justin Verlander ($3.6)

So the question now is, what’s JJ’s arbitration status for next year. What is JJ’s longterm contract status for next year. Each I think have very, very, different, responses.


At this point, it is clear Johnson is going to murder people all year. When I did this before, I was assuming a back to earth period where JJ’s era would shoot back to “good not amazing” levels of 3.6-3.8, the whip climbs over 1.20, etc. But JJ has decided he’s going to be a legitimate # 1 SP. Great, awesome. Despite the fact his Year3 innings are low and Greinke is such an amazing comp for all the reasons where we’d hope he’d only slot above him maybe a million bucks to the “Wainwright” level of compensation, we have the new Lester and Hamels contracts to deal with. JJ has to go above Lester in arbitration. He’s simply better than him and the Marlins are going to get slammed if they try and argue a low 3 era / 1.15 whip / 180 K JJ, is lower than a (projecting) 3.75 / 1.30 / 200 K Lester. There’s just no way an arbitration panel is going to buy that, even if you want to argue AL/NL, etc. Additionally, Lester is a bad comp for JJ because the 5th year contract price is LOWER than what the ‘free market’ would give because the Red Sox bought this year 3 years in advance. Jon Lester arguing a contract in three years is a higher value than him signing one right now. So suffice to say, if the Marlins are insane and don’t offer JJ a 4-5 year deal (see below), they are going to get slammed. I don’t know if JJ can get up to Hamels, who has been healthy and won the World Series, but it’s going to be. An additional problem would be if King Felix or Verlander randomly have their arbitration hearing before Johnson’s, or sign new deals. They would each get to Hamels levels easily. Making the case even harder for the Marlins.

So the Arbitration Projection.

Low - $4.75 million. Wainwrightish, and JJ is hurt by his lack of innings in 2008.
Medium - $5.8 million. Lesterish, and JJ because the top non-Super2 slot for 5th year players. (not including Verlander or Felix really jumping here, which is possible)
High - $6.75. Hamelsish, and JJ becomes the new slot because he is that awesome and general inflation

I think the Marlins strategy would be a low 5 and arguing everyone but Hamels. I think if JJ trys to go huge with Hamels, he’ll get shot down for the lack of innings in year 3. Those innings won’t have a major effect on his figure, but they are still there to tip the scale. If the Marlins try to lowball this, like they did with Uggla last year, they are going to lose. But, I think discussing arbitration strategy is foolish. JJ needs the contract. And he needs it now.


So you don’t have to scroll up, Greinke signed a 4/$38 extension, $3.75-$7.25-$13.50-$13.5 (4/$38). Lester is making (years 5-8, including option) $5.75-$7.6-$11.6, $13 (4/$37). So we have a nice baseline for top young starters here. One, who has the same innings pitched track JJ does, and the other bought out years in advance. JJ has to be slotted above this. Forgot Wainwright, who is $4.6-$6.5-$9-$12 (4/$32). Nice deal for the Cards.

So after the blah blah back and forth with JJ wanting a $70 million deal and the Marlins wanting to give him $38.01 million, I think this is reasonable.

2010 - $5.5 million
2011 - $7.75 million
2012 - $14 million
2013 - $14.25 million
2014 - $14.5 million club option / $1.5 buyout
4/$43 or 5/$56

That seems about right. JJ will either be 29 or 30 at the end of this deal, meaning he is due another huge payday in his career. Which is very important and why he’d never sign a 7 year deal. Not that we would want to either, but just saying.

Overall. I find it imperative we sign JJ to a 4-5 year contract similar to the above. Not just because arbitration is scary, but because we don’t have to sign anyone else, and JJ is simply a cornerstone player you build around. Also from JJ’s perspective, he still is coming off the major arm surgery. Banking $5-6 million in arbitration would be nice, but that’s not “settle down forever” money. Getting a $40-50 million dollar contract is “locked up for life.” The time is now for both parties for the deal. Make it happen.

Last edited by lou; 10-10-2009 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Doublepost Merged
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