Monday, December 2, 2013

Arb Time...

The Bucs' deadline to tender arbitration is today. The players that are eligible (with Matt Schwartz's of MLB Trade Rumors estimated 2014 salary in parenthesis):

  • Neil Walker ($4.8M) It's The Kid's second arb year; he was a Super Two, so he's under team control through 2016.
  • Pedro Alvarez ($4M) Pedro voided an option year worth $700K to start his arb clock, and it will pay off handsomely.
  • Charlie Morton ($3.9M) This is Ground Chuck's final arb season; maybe the Bucs will try to negotiate a contract with him to carry through a couple of FA years if they think he's healthy.
  • Mark Melancon ($3M) This is Mark the Shark's first arb season.
  • Gaby Sanchez ($2.3M) Gaby enters his second arb year.
  • Travis Snider ($1.4M) This is Snider's opening round of arb; the Bucs may tender and then try to sign him to a less expensive deal.
  • Michael McKenry ($900K) The Fort made it this year as a Super Two player.
  • Vin Mazzaro ($800K) Vinsanity takes his first stab at arbitration.
The big guy on this list, Garrett Jones has been DFA'ed, saving the Bucs $5M or so. (Felix Pie was also arb eligible, but was released after the season.) The only remaining player on thin ice is Snider. With Andrew Lambo on the roster, Jaff Decker in the fold and Gregory Polanco rising with a bullet, the numbers may have caught up to him, though at the price, the Bucs could carry him into camp before deciding his future. Of the seven left standing, a case could be made for all.

Walker, Alvarez, Morton and Melancon are core players. Without Jones and with the internal (and many outside) first base possibilities being lefties, Gaby looks secure. McKenry has an option and big league experience at the right price, so he's likely going to stick as an insurance policy, unless his knee injury raises some red flags. Mazzaro could be getting pricy for a middle reliever, but we suspect he gets another year to swim in the Shark Tank. Still, with the Bucs bringing back Duke Welker, picking up reliever Miles Mikolas and a handful of minor-league bullpen arms, they may be thinking twice about that salary hit.

We'll find out today...

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