Four Twins Arbitration Decisions Looming Again
Image courtesy of Jeffrey Becker, USA TodayWith that in mind, let's try to project (OK, guess) what will happen over the next two days. Post your thoughts and guesses in the Comments below.
Service Time: 5.016
2016 Salary: $5.0 Million
MLB Trade Rumors Projection: $8.6 Million
Twins Daily Projection: 8.0 Million
Santiago came to the Twins at the deadline last year in exchange for Ricky Nolasco and Alex Meyer. He struggled early, but was better late. He has been an All-Star and until his 4.70 ERA in 2016, he had never posted an ERA over 3.75. He has pitched over 180 innings in each of the last two seasons.
Santiago Asks: $8.5 Million
Twins Offer: $7.0 Million
Midpoint: $7.75 Million
A huge salary bump after a rough season for Santiago doesn’t make sense, but he’ll get a bump because of the innings and the numbers prior to 2016. That means there is potentially a pretty big difference between what Santiago’s side wants and what the Twins might be willing to offer. The bigger the gap, the more difficult it can be for both sides to reach an agreement in the middle. Remember that the Twins sent $4 million to the Angels in that trade last year to avoid needing to pay Nolasco $12 million in 2017. In other words, it appears that they anticipated needing to pay him around $8 million.
Service Time: 4.128
2016 Salary: $1.1 Million
MLB Trade Rumors Projection: $2.2 Million
Twins Daily Projection: $2.5 Million
Kintzler’s road to the big leagues was interesting and even included a stint with the St. Paul Saints. After a couple of solid seasons in middle relief for the Brewers, he missed much of the 2015 season with a knee injury. The Brewers non-tendered him after that season and the Twins quickly signed him to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. Though he didn’t start the season in the big leagues, he was with the Twins within a month. Not only did he pitch well and show increased velocity, but he became the Twins closer and recorded 17 saves.
Kintzler Asks: $2.95 Million
Twins Offer: $2.25 Million
Midpoint: $2.6 Million
This is an interesting one because of the saves. Frankly, if he had just worked in middle relief, he would likely be in line for a deal between $1.9 and $2.2 million. The reality is that the saves probably mean something in arbitration discussions. While I can’t imagine Kintzler’s side overstating their case, they should be using it to their advantage. That’s why I kept them just shy of $3 million. The Twins will argue that he isn’t really a typical closer and fits the role of middle relief. That would be an easier case for them if they had a veteran closer on the staff at this point. This feels like one where an agreement should be easy to reach.
Service Time: 3.056
2016 Salary: approximately $600,000
MLB Trade Rumors Projection: $3.5 Million
Twins Daily Projection: $2.5 Million
Gibson was being fast-tracked to the big leagues. He was the team’s #1 pick in 2009 and began his career in Ft. Myers in 2010. He finished the season with several starts in AAA. That’s where he began the 2011 season. By season’s end, he had Tommy John surgery and missed the 2012 season. He debuted in 2013 and became a fixture in the Twins rotation since 2014. He was the Twins pitcher of the year in 2015. A month into the 2016 season, he landed on the DL with some shoulder pain. He returned about six weeks later and was inconsistent the rest of the season.
Gibson Asks: $3.55 Million
Twins Offer: $2.55 Million
Midpoint: $3.05 Million
This is another difficult one. It is Gibson’s first trek into arbitration. There are some first-year arbitration eligible starting pitchers who have reached closer to $4 million, but I don’t think Gibson can reach that level. But the Twins may be able to use his 2016 struggles to negate some of the value he could have received after 2015. The Twins can’t really go any lower than $2.5 million. My guess is that they will reach an agreement with Gibson just shy of the midpoint with some innings-incentives that could push him just past the midpoint. Using my guesses, I could see a deal for about $2.9 million with $50K bonus at 140 innings, $50K at 170 innings, $50K at 185 innings and $50K at 200 innings.
Service Time: 3.053
2016 Salary: approximately $550,000
MLB Trade Rumors Projection: $1.1 Million
Twins Daily Projection: $1.5 Million
Pressly came to the Twins in the December 2012 Rule 5 draft. He spent the entire 2013 season with the Twins, but he was able to go to Rochester in 2014. He returned late in 2014 and pitched well. He was off to a very good start in 2015 but an injury ended his season early. Pressly was one of the most used relievers early in the 2016 season and in time it caught up to him. Blessed with a fastball that reached 98 and even 99 mph, he has the potential to be very good in the bullpen.
Pressly Asks: $1.65 Million
Twins Offer: $1.15 Million
Midpoint: $1.4 Million
I can’t imagine this one even getting to the point of exchanging figures. They should be fairly close in the $1.1 to $1.5 million range. I would think that they are close enough where midpoint agreement would work. He pitched innings, but was average for a reliever, numbers-wise. He has missed time the two previous seasons, so he should fit into a typical first-year arbitration reliever range.
So what do you think? Which players will come to an agreement with the Twins before exchanging numbers? Is it possible that the Twins could go to arbitration for the first time in over a decade in 2017? We shall find out in the next couple of days.