Looking at the Diamondbacks Arbitration Candidates

Mark Trumbo

is one of several arbitration eligible’s that the Dbacks have this off-season. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The hot stove season is officially here Diamondbacks fans! The talk around baseball will be about the free agent market, but salary arbitration is also an important part of every team’s off-season, and this year the Dbacks have a number of players eligible.

First here is how salary arbitration works courtesy of FanGraphs:

Players are eligible for salary arbitration hearings if they meet any of these requirements:

They have at least three full seasons of MLB service time, and less than six. Players with six or more years of service time become free agents after their contract has expired.

Players that have acquired exactly three years of service time have their salary determined by the team. For years three through six, players can negotiate their salary for the next season to an arbitration panel, if they cant reach an agreement with their team.

There is one exception that everybody should know. If a player finishes with less than three years of service, but they rank in the top 22% of all 2 year players in terms of time spent in the big leagues then they are still eligible for arbitration. This is called the Super 2 exception. If a player has 2 years and 199 days of service time, then MLB would grant him super 2 status.

If a player and a team cant work out a deal, before a hearing takes place both sides will present figures and the panel will decide if the player or the team wins. Whichever side wins that is the players contract.

Here are some important dates to keep in mind with regard to arbitration in 2015:

Jan 13th: Salary arbitration filings

Jan 16th: Salary figures are exchanged between the player and the team

Feb 1-21: Salary arbitration hearings take place

Salary arbitration is probably the most annoying part of the off-season for both the players and the teams.

A team has two options on their eligible players. The team can offer arbitration which means the hearing will take place, or they can non-tender the player which means they become a free agent. Arbitration can be expensive, and if a team believes their salary will be to much than non-tendering usually takes place.

With that in mind lets take a look at the Dbacks players eligible for salary arbitration this off-season.

Cliff Pennington

Last season as a backup middle infielder, Pennington posted a slash line of .253/.346/.358 to go with solid defense at SS and 2B. He is versatile, and he can make an impact off the bench as a pinch-hitter. He also provides a veteran presence for a young team.

However, he is the most obvious candidate the Dbacks have to move if they want to reduce some payroll. They have a surplus of shortstop talent, and even if Owings or Gregarious are traded, Nick Ahmed proved that he can at least be a backup. The Dbacks also want to get younger, and letting Ahmed play more satisfies that.

Pennington only played in 68 games, and the bottom line is his $3.3 million projected salary is to much for a player that doesn’t play a whole lot, even if he has value.

Verdict: non-tender

David Hernandez

Lets be honest, when the Dbacks lost Hernandez for the whole 2014 season due to an UCL injury, his presence and value in the bullpen was missed.

He had a rough year in 2013, posting a 4.48 era in 62.1 IP but he looked really good in spring training, and he was primed for a big year. In 2012 he posted a 2.50 era in 68.1 innings pitched.

The Dbacks will need him in the back end of the bullpen to at the very least provide a veteran presence. His projected salary of $2.125 million is lower than Pennington’s, and he has more value.

Verdict: offer arbitration

Mark Trumbo

The case of what to do with Trumbo this offseason is very interesting. The Dbacks have a crowded outfield: David Peralta, Ender Inciarte, A.J. Pollock, Trumbo, and the Dbacks might decide to keep him given that most of the year was spent on the D.L.

However, I just think paying him 6.5 million is to much for a player that has a hard time getting on base. Sure he might provide more pop, and drive in more runs when he is healthy for a full season, but if he cant get on base then he is not useful in my estimation. The Dbacks want to cut payroll, and he would be a great candidate. The Trumbo experience didn’t work out.

I like Peralta, Pollack, and Inciarte in the outfield. This team is going to be young, and they have a great manager in Chip Hale to lead them. Peralta, Inciarte, and Pollock get on base a lot more than Trumbo does, and they have better range in the outfield for less money. I think the Dbacks are better off without Trumbo next season.

Verdict: non-tender

Wade Miley

This is the easiest decision to make, so my explanation wont be very long. He went 8-12 with a 4.34 era in 2014, but he is the only guy that always makes his starts. He pitched 201.1 innings which means he is a workhorse.

His WHIP and K/BB ratio is high, but the Dbacks had enough injury issues in their rotation not to keep Miley. He is projected to make $4.3 million next season.

Verdict: offer arbitration

Addison Reed

As much as I want to get rid of Reed, I don’t think there is even the smallest chance that they will non-tender him after getting one year of production.When the Dbacks traded for him last winter, I thought it was a dumb move. His high fly ball tendencies aren’t a good fit for Chase Field at it showed in 2014.

Overall in 59.1 innings pitched, he went 1-7 with a 4.25 era. His era and record are radically high for a closer, and he only made 32 saves. In 32.0 innings pitched at home, he had a 4.78 era, compared with a 3.62 era on the road in less innings pitched. That proves my point.

However, I think there going to see what he can do next year. He also provides some leadership for younger guys like Matt Stites and Jake Barrett who could be up next year. If he struggles again, especially at Chase Field I think the Dbacks have no choice to deal him, especially when they have closer options in the future. Simply put the Dbacks don’t have an option that is ready right now unless their going to sign David Robertson which isn’t going to happen.

Verdict: offer arbitration

 Jordan Pacheco

Pacheco was out-righted to Triple A Reno yesterday, meaning he was taken off the 40 man roster. He is in his first year of arbitration eligibility. When a player is out-righted, they are still payed based on their contract which in his case is yet t to be decided. To me I think the Dbacks should offer arbitration, especially if the team is willing to part with Miguel Montero. The team doesn’t have any depth at the C position, which is the key difference when comparing it to the SS situtation. He provides versatility and he can play multiple positions. I think the Dbacks should offer arbitration and keep him around for the time being as a safety-net. He is only projected to make $1 million anyway.

Verdict: offer arbitration