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Yankees Rumors: Yanks to offer arbitration to Pineda, Nova, Kelley, and Phelps, could non-tender Huff and Rogers

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The non-tender deadline is tonight, and it looks like two 2014 Yankees might be let go. Yay? Nay? Shrug?

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

As the long off-season trudges on, Major League Baseball hits certain deadlines that each of the 30 teams must act on. One such important date is tonight, as the Yankees have until midnight to offer arbitration to their six eligible players: Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, Shawn Kelley, David Phelps, David Huff, and Esmil Rogers. Yesterday, Mark Feinsand provided an update about the Yankees' most likely strategy:

This news should not be very surprising. As two young, cost-controlled starters with high potential despite injuries, Pineda and Nova were going to be brought back regardless. Nova made $3.3 million in his first year of eligibility last season, but that price tag is unlikely to change much following a season plagued by Tommy John surgery. Although by rule, it will go up a little bit, it won't be by much. Pineda on the other hand is facing arbitration for the first time; the Yankees won't be able to get away with paying him league minimum anymore. A raise to Nova's 2014 contract value seems likely.

Phelps will also be receiving arbitration for the first time in 2015, but since he is in more of a "swingman"-type role and he's kind of mediocre (85 ERA+ the past two seasons), he won't exactly be making Clayton Kershaw money. Since the Yankees gave Kelley a $1,765,000 deal last year in his second year of eligibility, that has to be Phelps's peak value for 2015 and it will probably be a little lower, perhaps $1.5 million. Kelley is in final year of arbitration eligibility and will be a free agent following the 2015 campaign. Although he can definitely be frustrating at times, his high strikeout potential (11.7 K/9) and strand rate (17%) are still enough for him to keep a spot in the bullpen, especially with David Robertson's future unclear. The Yankees gave D-Rob a $5.2 million contract in his final year, and being not nearly as good as him, Kelley figures to receive a contract at about half the value. That's just fine.

The news about Rogers and Huff's fates is not a shocker, either. While Feinsand didn't explicitly say that they would not receive contracts, it appears damning that he heard positive news on the other four players and nothing on them. Both Chad Jennings and Marc Carig were skeptical that the Yankees would offer Rogers and Huff arbitration as well. Rogers's mid-90s fastball will offer intrigue as long as he has it, but he's just far too inconsistent. He pitched better for the Yankees this year than he did with the Blue Jays, but a 4.68 ERA and 4.17 FIP aren't much to write home about, particularly since his overall season numbers (5.72 ERA, 4.73 FIP) were dismal. After making $1.8 million in first year of eligibility this season, Rogers isn't good enough to merit a higher value contract.

The same goes for Huff, whose 1.85 ERA in 39 innings with the Yankees belies his actual abilities. This is the same pitcher who was crushed to a 6.30 ERA in his earlier stint in 2014 with the Giants. Considering the fact that he's 30, that his career was in such dire straits before coming to the Yankees, and that he's just not a particularly impressive pitcher, giving him a raise would be a little weird. Since Huff has come back to the Yankees once before, a spring training invitation would make sense, but if he chooses to go somewhere else, so be it. Huff and Rogers will clear up a couple 40-man roster spots anyway, ones which could be used by new free agents or minor leaguers worthy of a promotion.


Well, okay then!