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Photo Credit: © Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

MLBTR projects salaries for the Blue Jays’ three arbitration-eligible players

The Blue Jays have three players eligible for arbitration this year.

Teoscar Hernandez, coming off of a breakout performance, will be arb-eligible for the first time in his career, Ross Stripling, who the team acquired mid-season from Los Angeles, will be arb-eligible for the second time in his career, and veteran Travis Shaw is set for one more round of arbitration before his Major League control years are finished.

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This year’s arbitration awards are obviously much more difficult to difficult tp project as the 2020 season was only 60 games long due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, MLB Trade Rumours has come up with three different methods of making projections…

This winter, those involved in the process do not know how arbitration will account for the 60-game season, nor is there an agreement in place between MLB and the MLBPA on how to address it.  Many cases may end up getting resolved in a hearing room.  To reflect that uncertainty, we’re providing three projections for each player:

  • Method 1: Applies model directly with actual statistics from this 60-game season.
  • Method 2: Extrapolates all counting stats to would-be 162-game totals. One home run becomes 2.7 home runs.
  • Method 3: For non-first-time eligibles, finds the raise they’d get in a 162 game season, then gives them 37% of that raise.

Anyways, here’s what MLBTR has projected for Hernandez, Stripling, and Shaw…

  • Teoscar Hernandez – $2.7MM / $5.3MM / $2.7MM
  • Travis Shaw – $4.2MM / $5.4MM / $4.5MM
  • Ross Stripling – $2.5MM / $3.7MM / $2.7MM

I would guess that Method 2 is probably closest to how the arbitration process will work this year given that’s how the league ultimately chose to operate when it came to service time in 2020. If you were on a roster for 30 days, which was about 50 percent of the season, you got the service time equal to if you had been on a roster for 81 days in a normal season.

The Hernandez case is interesting because he’s under control for three more seasons and the Blue Jays should be thinking about whether or not they want to ink him to a long-term deal. Obviously, his 60-game breakout isn’t a huge sample size but Hernandez has been hitting very well dating back to his stint in Triple-A back in May of 2019. A contract that eats his three arb years and a few free-agent years might be the way to go.

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With the other two, I would guess that Ross Stripling gets qualified while Travis Shaw is more likely to be let go.

The Jays paid a high price to acquire Stripling from the Dodgers, sending prospect Kendall Williams the other way. We learned just how expensive it is to acquire depth starting pitching it is last off-season when the team paid $24 million for Tanner Roark, so Stripling’s arbitration projection is peanuts compared to that.

Shaw had a pretty ugly season for the Blue Jays, slashing a .239/.306/.411 line, so the team could look for an upgrade at the position in free agency rather than immediately deciding to being Shaw back. Even if they cut him loose before arbitration he could get brought back on another cheap one-year deal.

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