The big news yesterday was that the Yankees acquired yet another reliever, Chris Martin, from the Rockies. Yesterday also happened to be the deadline for players to file for arbitration. Brian Cashman has made more trades this offseason than every before, and he actually dealt several players who are arbitration eligible this year, including Francisco Cervelli, David Phelps and Shawn Kelley. Esmil Rogers was arbitration eligible, but the Yankees re-signed him to a one-year deal worth $1.48 million. However, Cashman acquired two other players who are arbitration eligible, so the Yankees had four players total file for arbitration on Tuesday.
Projected 2015 Salary: $3.3 million
2014 Statistics: 20.2 IP, 8.27 ERA, 6.91 FIP, 2.61 HR/9
Last year was Nova's first year of arbitration eligibility and he reached a deal to avoid arbitration for $3.3 million. Of course, he then went on to miss almost the entire season after having to have Tommy John surgery, so it would make sense for him to earn the same amount of money this year. Although it's a very small sample size, Nova didn't pitch well in the four games that he started in 2014. There isn't a definitive date set for his return from rehab yet, but he should be ready around the end of May.
Projected 2015 Salary: $2.1 million
2014 Statistics: 76.1 IP, 6.96 HR/9, 0.83 BB/9, 0.59 HR/9, 0.83 WHIP, 1.89 ERA, 2.71 FIP, 2.2 fWAR
This is Pineda's first year of arbitration eligibility. He missed a good portion of last season due to his pine tar suspension which subsequently turned into a long stay on the disabled listed with a shoulder injury. He pitched really well both at the start of the season and when he finally returned in August and September. His only full season to date was back in 2011 with the Mariners, but if he can stay healthy in 2015 and pitch like he did last year, he would be worth every bit of that projected salary.
Projected 2015 Salary: $1.1 million
2014 Statistics: 61 IP, 9.89 K/9, 2.36 BB/9, 0.74 HR/9, 1.26 WHIP, 3.54 ERA, 2.94 FIP
This is also Carpenter's first year of arbitration eligibility, and he made $0.5 million (slightly more than the minimum) last year with the Braves. Again, part of Cashman's offseason involved trading away some players who were arbitration eligible, yet acquiring players in their first year of arbitration eligibility which will cost less money. Carpenter appears to replace Kelley in the bullpen, and Kelley is projected to earn a higher salary of $2.5 million. A similar player who happens to be cheaper? We'll take it.
Projected 2015 salary: $3.1 million
2014 Statistics: 199.2 IP, 6.40 K/9, 1.94 BB/9, 0.63 HR/9, 1.33 WHIP, 4.37 ERA, 3.37 FIP, 3.0 fWAR
Finally, newcomer Eovaldi is also in his first year of arbitration eligibility, after having made $0.5 million last year. He's projected to earn roughly the same as Nova because of how comparable their career numbers are. When he was eligible for the first time last year, Nova had pitched 517 innings with a 4.04 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 4.09 FIP. Eovaldi has currently pitched 460 innings with a 4.07 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 3.70 FIP. By that standard, Eovaldi might even deserve to earn more.
The next step is for the team and the players to exchange figures, which will happen Friday. If they are unable to reach an agreement with any of the players, they will go to hearings which would start in February. Very rarely have the Yankees had to hold an arbitration hearing with a player. In fact, they haven't had to fight a player in an arbitration hearing since 2008, when they beat Chien Ming Wang and saved themselves $0.6 million. Before that, you have to go all the way back to 2000 when they beat Mariano Rivera and only had to pay him $7.2 million instead of the $9 million that he wanted.
Do you think the salary projections sound about right? Will the Yankees be able to avoid having any arbitration hearings?
*All salary projections courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors.