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Alternate title: 7 Crazy Arbitration Avoiding Numbers That Will SHOCK You To The Core

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year again! The Padres recently came to terms on one year deals with 5 players, which means all their arbitration eligible guys are signed save starter Andrew Cashner.

Economist Matt Swartz developed a system for projecting arbitration salaries and interestingly, there seems to be a pattern of Padre players receiving more money in deals to avoid arbitration than they were expected to be awarded. Printed on the internet here for your reading pleasure are the projected, actual, and how much more or less than projected dollars each arbitration eligible Padre received. Numbers are in millions.

Projected in arbitration Actual Difference
Chase Headley $10.00 $10.53 $0.53
Ian Kennedy $5.80 $6.10 $0.30
Eric Stults $3.00 $2.75 -$0.25
Andrew Cashner $2.40 ??? $0.00
Everth Cabrera $2.20 $2.45 $0.25
Tyson Ross $1.30 $1.98 $0.68
Tim Stauffer $1.20 $1.60 $0.40
Kyle Blanks $1.00 $0.99 -$0.01
Total $1.89

It’s worth keeping in mind that these salaries are negotiated between the team and the player based on expected arbitration awards. That means years of service is considered, plus all the weird stats that arbitration panels value for some reason. The Padres aren’t simply handing out raises that are arrived at, (ahem) arbitrarily.

And the increase isn’t likely to be Padres specific. I’m guessing higher revenues in the sport through cable television deals and the salary cap on amatuer players are the cause behind these bigger salary numbers, as we’ve seen increased costs per win on the free agent market as well.

Last night, the deadline to offer contracts to arbitration-eligible players came, and went.  San Diego had 10 players in this bucket, running the gambit from ‘no doubt he’ll get tendered a contract’ to ‘well, I guess we’ll see what happens’.

The ten were Chase Headley, Eric Stults, Tim Stauffer, Luke Gregerson, Ian Kennedy, Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner, Everth Cabrera, Kyle Blanks, and Jesus Guzman.  Turned out, all 10 were offered contracts for next year.

Stults and Stauffer signed one-year contracts with the team, as reported by Corey Brock, Bill Center, and elsewhere.  Everyone else is now in the first phase of the arbitration kabuki dance.  Based on last year’s performance, it’s highly likely Headley, Cashner, and Cabrera will submit to arbitration, meaning they’ll exchange salary figures in January.  Headley’s case will be mostly based on prior to 2013 performance, but Cashner and Cabrera will push the superior years they had last season.  Everth’s 50-game suspension will make for an interesting discussion point between Byrnes and Boras.  I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation if it gets that far.  No Padre went to the hearing last season.

Gregerson, Kennedy, Ross?  They’ll probably not get to that point; I’d be mildly surprised if they submit for arbitration.

That brings us to Blanks and Guzman.  No way they submit for arbitration.  My initial reaction was why did they get tendered at all?

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