Friday marks another deadline in MLB’s annual offseason dance known as arbitration. It’s easy to let these monthly milestones make your eyes glaze over, but Friday at 1 p.m. ET offers some interesting insight: It’s the deadline for teams to exchange salary figures with arbitration-eligible players.
It more or less is when the sides establish the dollar figures they think the players in question are worth in the coming year (all the players are under control of their respective teams for at least the 2018 season).
Negotiating can continue ahead of arbitration hearings next month.
Case in point: Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon’s 2018 salary was projected to be among the top projected arbitration-eligible players. But he won’t need to submit a salary figure because, according to FanRag Sports, he and the team settled on a one-year, $14 million deal Friday morning, thus avoiding the process.
charlie blackmon, rockies agree at $14M, avoiding arbitration
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 12, 2018
But for those who don’t reach a deal between now and the hearings, an arbitrator will listen in each case to the team’s argument for its dollar figure and the player’s argument (via his representatives) and then pick one or the other of the salary figures submitted Friday.
Under the potentially bruising system, there’s no meeting in the middle. It’s one figure or the other. That’s why Friday is noteworthy.
With that in mind, and ahead of the deadline, MLB Trade Rumors has projected the salaries of every arbitration-eligible player for the 2018 season.
Here are the site’s top 10 projected one-year salaries:
Player, position, team, projection
Josh Donaldson, 3B, Blue Jays, $20.7M
Jose Abreu, 1B, White Sox, $17.9M
Manny Machado, 3B, Orioles, $17.3M
Dallas Keuchel, SP, Astros, $12.6M
Zach Britton, RP, Orioles, $12.2M
Anthony Rendon, 3B, Nationals, $11.5M
Marcell Ozuna, OF, Cardinals, $10.9M
Jacob deGrom, SP, Mets, $9.2M
Drew Pomeranz, SP, Red Sox, $9.1M
Didi Gregorius, SS, Yankees, $9M