League Wide Arbitration Numbers

Mike Zarrilli

How Heyward, Freeman and Kimbrel stack up against the rest of the league.

Below is a collection of players who will be heading into arbitration with their respective teams across the entire league. You can also look at the chart below here, which highlights Heyward, Freeman and Kimbrel. All values are listed in millions and the % difference is taken from the midpoint of the player and team.

Player Team Player $ Team $ Diff % Diff
Logan Morrison Mariners $2.500 $1.100 $1.400 77.78%
Daniel Descalso Cardinals $1.650 $0.930 $0.720 55.81%
Brandon Belt Giants $3.600 $2.050 $1.550 54.87%
Ben Revere Phillies $2.425 $1.400 $1.025 53.59%
Mark Trumbo Dbacks $5.850 $3.400 $2.450 52.97%
Josh Reddick Athletics $3.250 $2.000 $1.250 47.62%
Justin Smoak Mariners $3.250 $2.025 $1.225 46.45%
Mitch Moreland Rangers $3.250 $2.025 $1.225 46.45%
Justin Maxwell Royals $1.700 $1.075 $0.625 45.05%
Darwin Barney Cubs $2.800 $1.800 $1.000 43.48%
AJ Ellis Dodgers $4.600 $3.000 $1.600 42.11%
Justin Ruggiano Cubs $2.450 $1.600 $0.850 41.98%
Antonio Bastardo Phillies $2.500 $1.675 $0.825 39.52%
Vinnie Pestano Indians $1.450 $0.975 $0.475 39.18%
Doug Fister Nationals $8.500 $5.750 $2.750 38.60%
Justin Masterson Indians $11.800 $8.050 $3.750 37.78%
David Freese Angels $6.000 $4.100 $1.900 37.62%
Kenley Jansen Dodgers $5.050 $3.500 $1.550 36.26%
Tyler Clippard Nationals $6.350 $4.450 $1.900 35.19%
Alex Avila Tigers $5.350 $3.750 $1.600 35.16%
Jeff Samardzija Cubs $6.200 $4.400 $1.800 33.96%
Michael Brantley Indians $3.800 $2.700 $1.100 33.85%
Lucas Duda Mets $1.900 $1.350 $0.550 33.85%
Andrew Miller Red Sox $2.150 $1.550 $0.600 32.43%
Craig Kimbrel Braves $9.000 $6.550 $2.450 31.51%
Joaquin Arias Giants $1.500 $1.100 $0.400 30.77%
Matt Weiters Orioles $8.750 $6.500 $2.250 29.51%
Homer Bailey Reds $11.600 $8.700 $2.900 28.57%
Aaron Crow Royals $1.700 $1.280 $0.420 28.19%
Freddie Freeman Braves $5.750 $4.500 $1.250 24.39%
Greg Holland Royals $5.200 $4.100 $1.100 23.66%
Kevin Jepsen Angels $1.625 $1.300 $0.325 22.22%
Josh Tomlin Indians $0.975 $0.800 $0.175 19.72%
Travis Wood Cubs $4.250 $3.500 $0.750 19.35%
Gerardo Parra Dbacks $5.200 $4.300 $0.900 18.95%
Aroldis Chapman Reds $5.400 $4.600 $0.800 16.00%
Jason Heyward Braves $5.500 $5.200 $0.300 5.61%
Andrew Cashner Padres $2.400 $2.275 $0.125 5.35%
Total $167.225 $119.360 $47.865 33.40%

*All numbers from MLBTR

As you can see, Heyward and the team had the second lowest difference among the 38 players who exchanged numbers. This was similar to Prado last season before he was traded to Arizona. As Wren said, it's not personal and strictly business, but it's only human nature for many fans to think this strengthens the case that Heyward will eventually hit free agency in two years. Overall, I would avoid reading too much into it.

Kimbrel and Freeman are also below the league average % difference. As mentioned on yesterday's thread, I don't find it surprising that Kimbrel and the team couldn't agree on a figure considering there's never really been anything like him. I do find it interesting that the club filed right above what Jonathan Papelbon made in his first year of arbitration, $6.25MM. I think the team can make a solid case that they have offered the largest amount ever for a reliever/closer, plus some. It wouldn't surprise me if the Braves were to win this one.

It is also interesting to see the discrepancy between Freeman and Brandon Belt. This could just be a product of Belt being a Super Two player, meaning he gets a fourth year of arbitration, so his initial year might be discounted. However, arbitration is a relatively "old school" process, so this is where Freeman hitting over .300, jacking 20+ HR's and driving in 100+ runs comes back to bite the team. Belt was basically a win below Freeman last season, but didn't have near the same traditional numbers as Freeman. If Belt's number is taken in the hearing, it will match what Eric Hosmer settled for, who he has clearly outperformed according to more advanced stats and models.

As a side note, that is why I always felt Freeman was a good choice to extend because he was going to burn the team more in arbitration compared to Heyward or Simmons. Both their defensive value, and base running value in regards to Heyward, may be under appreciated in the arbitration process, which has historically valued AVG/HR/RBI.

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