Happy First Day of Arbitration Hearings!
I composed a 25-man roster of players who started today arbitration-eligible and without their 2007 salary set in stone. I threw this list together on the quick so apologies for any omissions. Here’s the MLB link to an article explaining the arbitration process (including a Q and A). Honestly, this roster could contend with most MLB teams. The outfield group isn’t the strongest but the infielders and starting pitchers look quite good.
2007 Arbitration All-Stars
C: Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins. The 2006 AL Batting Champion (.347 average). He made $400,000 in 2006. The Twins offered $3.3 mil, $1.2 mil less than Mauer’s request of $4.5 mil.
1B: Justin Morneau – Minnesota Twins. The 2006 AL MVP (.321, 34 HR, 130 RBI. He made $385,000. The Twins are offering $4.4 mil. Morneau is asking for $5 mil.
2B: Freddy Sanchez – Pittsburgh Pirates. He played 23 games at second base in 2006. The 2006 NL Batting Champion (.344 average). Pittsburgh offered $2.15 mil. Sanchez is looking for $3.1 mil.
SS: Bill Hall, Milwaukee Brewers. Hall is being moved to the outfield in 2007. In 2006, he provided a lot of pop at shortstop with 35 home runs and 85 RBI. Hall wants $4.125 mil. The Brewers are offering $3 mil.
3B: Miguel Cabrera – Florida Marlins. Cabrera finished second in the NL batting race at .339 along with 26 home runs, 114 RBI and scored 112 runs. He made $472,000 in 2006. In 2007, he will break the bank. He’s looking for $7.4 million. Florida is offering $6.7 million
OF: Reed Johnson – Toronto Blue Jays. Solid leadoff guy for the Jays. He finished with a .319 batting average and scored 86 runs. Johnson is asking for $3.6 mil. The Jays are offering $2.5 mil.
OF: Austin Kearns – Washington Nationals. In 2006, Kearns hit 24 home runs, drove in 86 runs and scored 86 runs as a Red/National. He wants $4.25 mil. The Nationals are offering $3.65 mil.
OF: Eric Byrnes – Arizona Diamondbacks. The man with the mlblogs website named after him wants $5 mil, the Dbacks are offering $4.25 mil. Byrnes finished with 26 home runs, 25 stolen bases, 79 RBI and scored 82 runs for Arizona in 2006.
DH: Michael Cuddyer – Minnesota Twins. Cuddyer had a career year in 2006 with 24 home runs, 109 RBI and 102 runs scored. Cuddyer wants $4.25 mil. The Twins are offering $3 mil.
Corey Patterson-OF-Baltimore Orioles. He batted. 276 with 16 home runs and stole 45 bases for the O’s. Patterson hopes to get a $4.6 mil payday for 2007. Baltimore’s request was $4 mil.
Adam LaRoche- 1B-Pittsburgh Pirates. The new Pirate, LaRoche batted .285 with 30 home runs and 90 RBI for his former team, Atlanta in 2006. LaRoche wants $3.7 mil, the Bucs are offering $2.8 mil.
Brian Roberts – 2B- Baltimore Orioles. He scored 85 runs and stole 36 bases while batting .285 in 2006. O’s are offering $3.8 mil. Roberts wants $4.6 mil.
Johnny Estrada – C- Milwaukee Brewers. Batted .302 with 71 RBI last year for Arizona, Estrada is asking for $3.9 mil. The Brew Crew is offering $3 mil.
SP: Carlos Zambrano – Chicago Cubs. In 2006, Zambrano went 16-7 with 3.41 ERA, struck out 210 but walked 115. Zambrano is hoping to hit paydirt with an arbitration-record $15.5 mil in 2007. Chicago’s offer is $11.025 million.
SP: Aaron Harang – Cincinnati Reds. The only Red in the arbitration game this year, Harang is asking for $5.5 mil. The Reds are offering $4.25. Last year, Harang put forth is best pro year going 16-11 with a 3.76 ERA, striking out 216 and walking 56.
SP: Erik Bedard – Baltimore Orioles. Bedard is asking for $4 mil, the O’s are offering $2.7 mil. Bedard, a 15-game winner in 2006, finished with a 3.76 ERA and 171 strikeouts.
SP: Brett Myers – Philadelphia Phillies. Myers went 12-7 with a 3.91 ERA, 189 K’s and 63 BB. He’s looking to make $5.9 mil for 2007. The Phils are offering $5 mil.
SP: Claudio Vargas – Milwaukee Brewers. Vargas went 12-10 with a 4.83 ERA in 2006. The Brewers are offering $2.15 mil, $700,000 less than Vargas’ request ($2.85 mil).
SP: John Patterson Washington Nationals. Patterson didn’t pitch much for the 2006 Nationals with elbow and forearm injuries. He went 1-2 with 4.43 ERA in 40 2/3 innings of work. Patterson is hoping that his 2005 season (9-7, 3.13 ERA, 185 Ks) will be enough to get him a bump in pay to $1.85 mil. The Nationals are countering with $850,000.
RP: Todd Wellemeyer – Kansas City Royals. Hey, you need long reliever. Wellemeyer is one. In 2006, He appeared in 46 games going 1-4 with a 4.14 ERA in 78 innings. Wellemeyer wants $740,000 this year. The Royals are offering $565,000.
RP: Kevin Gregg – Florida Marlins. A middle reliever, Gregg struck out 71 in 78 1/3 innings for Anaheim last year. He went 3-4 with a 4.14 ERA and appeared in 32 games. He wants $700,000. The Marlins want to give him $575,000
RP Oscar Villareal – Atlanta Braves. He went 9-1 with a 3.61 ERA in 55 innings of work for Atlanta. Villareal is asking for $1.3 mil, the Braves are offering $860,000. Solid middle reliever.
RP: Geoff Geary – Philadelphia Phillies. Another nice year from a middle reliever. Geary went 7-1 with a .2.96 ERA last year for the Phils. He wants $925,000. The Phils are offering $750,000.
RP: Juan Rincon – Minnesota Twins. The primary set up man for closer Joe Nathan, Rincon went 3-1 with a 2.91 ERA striking out 65 in 75 games last year for the Twins. He’s asking for $2.4 mil. Minnesota is offering $1.6 mil.
CL: Chad Cordero – Washington Nationals. The Chief. The man of flat-brimmed cap fame. Cordero is asking for $4.15 mil, the Nats are offering $3.65 mil. Last year, the Nationals closer saved 29 games finishing with a 7-4 mark and appeared in 68 games.
I was very sorry to hear about Buck O’Neil’s passing Friday night. The man was a true ambassador of the game. I’m disappointed he didn’t live to see the day where his name would join those in the Baseball Hall of Fame. I could not imagine the world through his eyes, what he saw and who he played with and the stories. Buck seemed to have lived a very full life. I think the baseball community should be very grateful to have had such a person in the game. I hope Major League Baseball honors his memory with a moment of silence before tomorrow’s games.