Cue pointless consternation, the Jays are going to arbitration with Marcus Stroman and Roberto Osuna!
For the second year in a row, the club will be going to arbitration with Marcus Stroman, and for the first time (in his first year of eligibility) they will be doing so with Roberto Osuna. As I mentioned in my piece earlier today about Josh Donaldson settling (which also included some thoughts on extending him and why that hasn’t happened, FYI), the arbitration process has had a tough time shaking its old reputation. Feelings did used to get hurt, especially in the era before the strike, around the time of collusion, when the players were still clawing to get proper compensation out of their clubs. Nowadays? It’s not that feelings can’t get hurt, but the players understand very well that this is a business, and some of the really contentious stuff that would be brought up in the past simply doesn’t exist anymore (perhaps because players these days are just so much more professional in their approach to their craft that teams can’t really use that stuff as ammunition).
So… it will be fine. Like, Josh Donaldson lost in arbitration to the Jays in the winter after he came over from Oakland, then was so hurt by it that he went out and won the goddamn MVP.
More than just fine, it could be a good thing. Stroman and Osuna are certainly candidates for long-term extensions, and though the Jays are a “file and trial” team (still, per Shi Davidi), with a policy of not negotiating one-year deals beyond today’s deadline, the policy allows them to still work on extension in the meantime, rather than necessarily going to a hearing. Is it possible that Stroman and Osuna might have simply allowed the Jays take care of all of today’s business first, not worrying about the hearing because extensions are in the offing? Doubtful! That wouldn’t exactly be great negotiating practice if they were. But that doesn’t mean that there might not still be something to be worked out. Those are valuable guys, still early enough into their arbitration years for a team-friendly long-term deal to be advantageous for the players as well, and people you’d like to see be Blue Jays for a long time. That, of course, doesn’t mean anything is happening in this regard, but it’d be cool if it did.
Stroman and Osuna, along with Sanchez, Travis, and Pillar, will be free agents following the 2020 season. Right now all that the 2021 Blue Jays have on their books right now is $3.929 million for Lourdes Gurriel, and a $4 million buyout of Troy Tulowitzki’s last contract option. Adding a little to that to buy out some of Stroman and Osuna’s early free agent years could certainly could be done, and extending their time here deeper into the coming Vlad and Bo era has a lot of appeal as well.
I wouldn’t hold my breath on that stuff, because there’s a lot of reasons the club would want to keep on going year to year with these guys — Osuna’s health, perhaps, or the fact that Stroman, as a Super Two, will require quite a bit to buy him out of arb years three and four, which already stand to be quite expensive). But there’s certainly a chance, assuming the Blue Jays themselves see those players as long-term pieces to be locked down.
If the club does go to arbitration with these two, it will be over a $400K difference in Stroman’s case, as he’s filed at $6.9 million, as compared to the Jays’ offer of $6.4 million (his projection was $7.2 million), whereas Osuna will be fighting for $500K, as he’s filed at $5.8 million, and the Jays have come in at $5.3 million (projection was $5.6 million).
Otherwise, the important-ish things from todays news are the actual settlements. Last night Cam informed us that “outfielder and Playoff Legend Zeke ‘Zeke’s Thunder’ Carrera agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.9 million and lefty reliever Aaron Loup agreed to a one-year deal worth $1,812,500.”
This morning it was Josh Donaldson settling for $23 million.
Then in the early afternoon, in the first two of what I expected would be a flurry of announcements (hence not writing about it until now — GAH!), we learned that Aaron Sanchez had settled for $2.7 million, and that Devon Travis had settled at $1.45 million.
Finally, just after 5 PM ET, the club officially announced deals with five players, Donaldson, Sanchez, and Travis, plus Kevin Pillar ($3.25 million) and Dominic Leone ($1.085 million).
As it stands, this means the Jays have committed $35.1975 million to these five players, after having been projected by MLBTR to only need to pay out $33,.2. Adjust your estimates of how much the club has left to spend accordingly!
Just where were the discrepancies? WHY THEY’RE RIGHT HERE IN THIS TABLE!
|Player||Projected Salary||Actual Salary||Difference|
|Aaron Loup||$1.8M||$1.8125||Same diff|
Of note here is that MLBTR, though excellent as always, was off pretty good on Donaldson and Sanchez in one direction, and on Pillar in the other. I have no idea how to account for that for two of them, but one can’t help but wonder if Sanchez (and his agent Scott Boras) getting such a higher number here than expected has something to do with the way Boras bristled about the low pay assigned Sanchez by the Jays last year, after his client had put together a magnificent season, leading the American League in ERA and being a huge reason for the Jays’ second straight run to the postseason.
Whatever the case… uh… there are some 2018 Blue Jays salary numbers. Happy Friday, everyone!