Sunday, January 27, 2013

J-Mac, Mike Leake Arb Twins & Other Stuff

Two pitchers you usually don't associate together, J-Mac and the Reds Mike Leake, are virtually clones in the arbitration wars. Both have about the same service time (3.08-3.00 years), close salary requests ($3.4M-$3.5M), and exactly the same team counter offers ($2.65M). It's no surprise that their career lines are pretty similar, too. McDonald is 30-28/4.10 in 482-2/3 IP (4.23 FIP) while Leake is 28-22/4.23 with 485 IP (4.43 FIP).

They're represented by different agents - McDonald is a client of the Hendricks Brothers, while Leake's man is Dan Horwits of the Beverly Hills Sports Council. It just goes to show the formula approach to salaries; agents and teams crunch the same numbers. The only factors up for debate are comparable contracts and perceived market value. That's why so many contracts end up settled in-house rather than being decided by the hearing judges.

MLB Trade Rumors has an arb tracker for the 28 players who are on the road for a hearing

  • Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs thinks Rod Barajas' historically lousy year at tossing out base stealers was even lousier than the stats show (though he doesn't entirely blame Hot Rod).
  • Got an ear worm from the player's songs? The Pirates have them and the stadium songs listed, and hey, they even have a link to iTunes in case you can't get enough of  James McDonald firin' up to Wiz and "Youngin' On His Grind."
  • In the same vein, the Pirates also list the players' twitter accounts.
  • Chad Qualls, who spent a couple of forgettable months in Pittsburgh, scored a minor league deal with the Marlins plus an invite to camp.
  • Former WVU quarterback Pat White was offered a minor league deal by the Marlins, but for now will stick to football.
  • How did tying elite free agency to a draft pick work out in the first year of the new CBA? Nine free agents got a one-year, $13.3M qualifying offer. All of them said "no thanks," opting for free agency despite triggering draft pick compensation by the refusal. Three (David Ortiz, Hiroki Kuroda, Adam LaRoche) signed with their old squads. Four others (Josh Hamilton, B.J. Upton, Nick Swisher, Rafael Soriano) jumped to new clubs that were willing to give up the pick. Two (Kyle Lohse, Michael Bourn) are unsigned. Upton went to the Braves, but that's a wash as they'll replace their lost pick with a fresh one when Bourn signs. Six of the seven signees inked multi-year deals, and all but LaRoche averaged at least $13M/year (his is 2 yrs/$24M), so it didn't seem to hurt their market value too much. The draft pick compensation goes away after the 2013 draft if the player remains unsigned that long.

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