Every year, MLB Trade Rumors posts estimates for arbitration salaries for MLB players.
This year is no different, but their methodology has changed because of the shortened season. Here’s their explanation:
This winter, those involved in the process do not know how arbitration will account for the 60-game season, nor is there an agreement in place between MLB and the MLBPA on how to address it. Many cases may end up getting resolved in a hearing room. To reflect that uncertainty, we’re providing three projections for each player:
Method 1: Applies model directly with actual statistics from this 60-game season
Method 2: Extrapolates all counting stats to would-be 162-game totals. One home run becomes 2.7 home runs.
Method 3: For non-first-time eligibles, finds the raise they’d get in a 162 game season, then gives them 37% of that raise
So instead of one estimate, MLBTR has made three for each player. We won’t know which estimate is most accurate until, as noted, MLB and the MLBPA make some sort of agreement on how arbitration will be handled this winter.
Here are MLBTR’s estimates, three for each of the 12 Cubs eligibles:
Albert Almora Jr. – $1.575MM / $1.575MM / $1.575MM
Javier Baez – $10.0MM / $11.9MM / $10.7MM
Kris Bryant – $18.6MM / $18.6MM / $18.6MM
Victor Caratini – $1.2MM / $1.6MM / $1.2MM
Willson Contreras – $5.0MM / $7.4MM / $5.6MM
Ian Happ – $2.5MM / $4.6MM / $2.5MM
Colin Rea – $1.0MM / $1.6MM / $1.0MM
Kyle Ryan – $1.2MM / $1.5MM / $1.2MM
Kyle Schwarber – $7.01MM / $9.3MM / $7.9MM
Ryan Tepera – $1.2MM / $1.5MM / $1.1MM
Dan Winkler – $1.0MM / $1.2MM / $900K
Jose Martinez – $2.1MM / $2.3MM / $2.1MM
Right there, I can see at least one non-tender: Martinez. There’s no way the Cubs are going to pay Martinez $2 million in 2021.
It seems likely that Almora will also be non-tendered; he doesn’t really seem to have a place with the Cubs and I wish him well elsewhere.
It’s possible that the Cubs non-tender Schwarber with the intention of signing him to a contract at a lower figure, given his down year in 2020.
I don’t see the Cubs bringing Ryan back unless it’s at a lower salary.
But you see the dilemma the Cubs find themselves in, with several of the “core” either coming up for arbitration for the first time, or (like Bryant) possibly becoming too expensive.
As always, we await developments.