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Yankees avoid arbitration with Didi Gregorius

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A few days ago, the Yankees settled arbitration numbers with Michael Pineda and Dustin Ackley, but remained at odds with their four other arbitration-eligible players. The 2016 salaries of Aroldis Chapman, Ivan Nova, and Nathan Eovaldi are still in dispute, but the Yankees and Didi Gregorius have now come to an agreement.

After making just $553,900 in 2015 as a league-minimum player, Gregorius is eligible for arbitration for the first time as a Super Two player. It felt like New York would be going to an arbitration hearing with the shortstop after he filed for a $2.525 million salary for 2016 and the Yankees countered with $2.3 million, but after some negotiations a $2.425 million one-year contract proved to be the middle ground. MLB Trade Rumors projected him to make $2.1 million in arbitration this year, so he did well for himself.

After putting up a 3.1 WAR season last year, Fangraphs' dollar valuation feature has Didi as being worth $24.7 million in 2015. That's a huge amount of surplus value, which is common for young, talented, and inexpensive players. Right now it doesn't make sense for the Yankees to consider an extension, but if Didi plays to that level over the next few seasons, the team might entertain the idea of cost certainty since they will have to go through this process with him four times instead of the usual three. Sure, 2019 is a long way away, but it's never too early to start considering the future.

We still don't know what will happen with Chapman, Nova, and Eovaldi, but the trio have until mid-February to iron out an agreement before we have to worry about an arbitration hearing. Gregorius was easily the smallest discrepancy, so it's no wonder he was the first to agree to terms. The others might not be so easy.