Saturday’s Say Hey, Baseball looks at the exciting world of last-minute arbitration deals, something called Project Sunshine, and the perfection of Yu Darvish’s tweets.
This is where we are, friends. The baseball news cupboard is so bare that fans have actually been yearning for the arbitration deadline, which was Friday at 1pm ET. Because at the very least, that meant that things would happen with players and contracts.
And boy, did things, uh, happen. A glut of players reached one-year deals with their teams today, but a few stuck out. Josh Donaldson avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays, with his deal setting an arbitration record. He’ll be paid $ 23 million this year, beating out Bryce Harper’s $ 21.625 million. And Kris Bryant also avoided arbitration with the Cubs, getting a record $ 10.85 million for a player in his first year of arbitration. That record had previously been $ 10 million and held by Ryan Howard, whose list of accomplisments after his first few years in the majors looks familiar: a rookie of the year award, and an NL MVP award.
Not all players reached deals with their teams before the deadline. At least 26 players are headed to salary arbitration with their team. The two teams with the most players? The Marlins and the Astros with three each. And in reality, it’s not surprising that either of these teams are at the top of this list. The Marlins want nothing more than to clear salary so Derek Jeter and the rest of the new ownership group can make piles and piles of money. And the Astros? The entire point of their rebuild was to build a championship team while spending as little money as possible. Now a panel will decide how much they should pay George Springer, Ken Giles, and Collin McHugh.
Or… something. This is the most MLB news there has been in awhile, and somehow it’s still terribly boring. We’re talking about salary arbitration like it’s the most exciting thing to happen in baseball this year. AND THAT’S BECAUSE IT IS.
- It’s been plugged once already, but I’m doing it again because everyone should read Marc Normandin’s excellent piece on how collusion in baseball affects, well, everything.
- The Royals have hired Gene Lamont in their front office, which is going to make Paul Rudd and Rob Riggle really mad.
- With Jay Bruce back on the roster, the Mets are now interested in signing Lucas Duda, so they’re obviously trying to get the old band back together
- Fish Stripes has the story on Project Sunshine, a new initiative to take down the Derek Jeter-led Marlins ownership group.
- The Yankees are still working to somehow make their team better (????), but trading David Robertson to clear up payroll would only make the team worse.
- With the Eagles and Falcons facing off in the NFL playoffs this weekend, the Phillies and Braves have made a tasty football wager involving classic foods from each city.
- Yu Darvish has been tweeting, which perhaps the best thing to happen this entire offseason. This time he refutes the latest rumor that the Yankees made him an offer, but it’s not clear if the numbers in the rumor were wrong, or if Yu just didn’t like the numbers they offered him.