The amount of payroll available for the Toronto Blue Jays to spend in 2018 just went up by $500K at the expense of one of their best young players, thanks to MLB’s fucked up economic system, and one of the key levers that keeps players from getting paid the full value of what they’re worth early on in their careers.
Roberto Osuna has lost his arbitration case:
Roberto Osuna loses arbitration case at $5.3 million. Adeiny Hechavarria wins at $5.9 million
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 3, 2018
Hey, but don’t worry, he’ll make all that back and then some once he hits free agency — which is where players totally get paid, amiright? And where the league definitely won’t penalize Osuna because they’re concerned about his arm health by the time he gets there, three seasons of 65-75 appearances each from now. Y’know, assuming that these next three years see him pitch as well as he has to this point in his career, and reach free agency fully healthy as he is today.
He’ll be fine! And in the meantime, the Jays just added back half a Mat Latos worth of money to work with this winter. Everybody wins! *COUUUUUUGH*
Osuna had been seeking $5.8 million in salary from the club, a figure that would have left him just short of Jonathan Papelbon’s 2009 record for a first-time eligible reliever ($6.25 million), and puts in jeopardy his chance to break Papelbon’s record of $9.35 million for a second-time eligible reliever, which — barring an extension (or a trade?) — the Jays and Osuna will likely be fighting over a year for now.
I know, I know, it’s hard to get too upset about anybody having to only make $5.3 million in a year, but when the extra $500K he was shooting for now gets to go back to Rogers, that makes it at least a little bit easier. And then when you consider that, if you go by Fangraphs’ $/WAR calculation, Osuna has provided $48.8 million in value in his MLB career, but that by the end of 2018 (at which point that number will be even higher) he’ll have made just $8.376 million? Yeah, that’s some bullshit. But then again, what can we do? Cheer on the players union in the next round of CBA talks, I guess. And in the meantime ust hope that the Jays actually take that money and do something useful with it. It’s not like there aren’t a bajillion free agents still out there to be signed, so I suppose it’s possible.
Today’s news means that Marcus Stroman is the only arbitration eligible Blue Jays player whose 2018 salary we do not yet know. Could an extension be the cause for the delay in our hearing that? Maybe that’s possible, too! But I probably wouldn’t hold my breath. Stroman filed at $6.9 million (nice) while the Jays have countered with an offer of $6.5 million. The club won the arbitration case between the two sides last winter.