There’s still a long way to go until Opening Day, but Thursday offered a notable date in terms of the offseason calendar. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on Wednesday night that 1pm ET on January 11th was the deadline for arbitration agreements between teams and players. They will still be able to negotiate after today to avoid a potential arbitration hearing (which New York hasn’t had since 2017 with Dellin Betances), but this deadline is understood as at least a hurdle to clear.
Entering Thursday, the Yankees had 10 players currently on their roster and eligible for raises in arbitration: second baseman Gleyber Torres, closer Clay Holmes, lefty starter Nestor Cortes, catcher Jose Trevino, righty starter Clarke Schmidt, and reliever Jonathan Loáisiga made up the batch of familiar faces while recent trade acquisitions Juan Soto, Alex Verdugo, Trent Grisham, and Victor González made up the remaining quartet. The superstar Soto is on track to smash Shohei Ohtani’s arbitration record of $30 million, so be warned that it could be a bit until we hear the specifics. (Jon Heyman indicated as much, given the financials.)
There will be plenty of news today on players from this batch agreeing to contracts, so we’re going to consolidate them into this one article and update as more information breaks.
- The first Yankee to agree to a deal was perhaps their most anonymous. Reliever Victor González is new to the team after coming over from the Dodgers in a minor trade that also sent prospect Jorbit Vivas to New York in exchange for 2021 first-round pick Trey Sweeney. González is in his first year of arbitration and agreed on a $860,000 contract for 2024, per Joel Sherman — a little under what MLB Trade Rumors projected in early October.
- A second new Yankee has agreed on a 2024 contract! It’s not Soto but the outfielder who came with him from San Diego, Trent Grisham. The second-year arb player and defensive whiz settled with the Yankees at $5.5 million, per Robert Murray. That’s $600K above what MLBTR suggested.
- Scratch off that caveat above, as Juan Soto has his record deal. Sherman has him signing with the Yankees for $31.5 million, a new plateau in arbitration, though $1.5 million less than MLBTR’s projection. Now, just imagine what he’s going to get next offseason as a free agent? (Congrats in advance to Boras Corp.)
- They’re coming in waves now. Mark Feinsand has a pair of arb signings, with Clay Holmes taking $6 million (aside from performance bonuses, right on the money per MLBTR) and Nestor Cortes nabbing a $3.95-million deal (essentially on the dot as well).
- Sherman’s back on it with a trio of signings. Jonathan Loáisiga gets $2.5 million, Clarke Schmidt nets $2,025,000, and the most notable non-Soto Yank, Gleyber Torres, cashed in for $14.2 million in his final season before free agency. MLBTR nailed the Loáisiga deal, were about a half-million up on Schmidt, and $1.1 million over on Torres.
- We’re closing out already. Per Jon Heyman, the Yankees have now signed all 10 of their arb-eligible players now, with Alex Verdugo netting $8.7 million ($500,000 under the projection) and Jose Trevino accepting a $2.73-million deal (roughly a bullseye). That’s Yahtzee!
- Officially official, per the Yankees themselves:
The Yankees have agreed to terms with LHP Nestor Cortes, LHP Victor González, OF Trent Grisham, RHP Clay Holmes, RHP Jonathan Loáisiga, RHP Clarke Schmidt, OF Juan Soto, INF Gleyber Torres, C Jose Trevino and OF Alex Verdugo on one-year contracts, thus avoiding arbitration.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) January 12, 2024