Friday is the deadline for teams to submit numbers and finalize contracts with arbitration-eligible players before going to a trial.
Trials can be especially contentious, but the Minnesota Twins haven’t had many in recent years. Kyle Lohse and the Twins went to arbitration following the 2004 and 2005 seasons, and Kyle Gibson and the Twins did so last winter.
After 2004, Lohse filed for $2.4 million and won his trial, and the next year he won and received $3.95 million. How contentious each of those cases were is up for debate — after all, he took a bat to Ron Gardenhire’s door at the Metrodome after being removed from a start, and only made 22 appearances with the club in 2006 before he was traded — but as Lohse told MLB Trade Rumors’ B.J. Rains back in 2013, it can feel a little like the team wants to make a player look bad despite wanting to keep them.
It’s a weird balance.
“It’s not a pleasant thing,” Lohse told Rains. “It’s hard to sit there and listen to the lawyer say how bad you are when the GM is sitting right there and you feel like he fed them the info to talk about how bad you are yet they still want you.
“It can get almost a little personal in there at times. I think it kind of helped me because they tried to get a little personal and they weren’t going off facts and it kind of hurt their case during one of my hearings.”
The Twins beat Gibson in last year’s case, as the righty filed for $4.55 million but was granted $4.2 million by the arbitration panel.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, which runs a sophisticated projection system for arbitration-eligible players created by a former colleague of mine at both Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus, Matt Swartz, the Twins came into the offseason with 10 players eligible and an estimate of the following values:
- Jake Odorizzi – $9.4 million (final year)
- Kyle Gibson – $7.9 million (final year)
- C.J. Cron – $5.2 million (one more year of club control)
- Eddie Rosario – $5.0 million (three more years of club control)
- Max Kepler – $3.2 million (four more years of club control)
- Miguel Sano – $3.1 million (three more years of club control)
- Ehire Adrianza – $1.8 million (two more years of club control)
- Taylor Rogers – $1.6 million (four more years of club control)
- Byron Buxton – $1.2 million (four more years of club control)
- Trevor May – $1.1 million (two more years of club control)
They also had Robbie Grossman listed, but he was non-tendered. He has not signed with another club as of this writing.
Here’s a quick look at what the team has accomplished so far:
(UPDATE: According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Twins have reached agreements with each arbitration-eligible player)
Rosario included here:
In addition, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced they’ve claimed Aaron Slegers off waivers from the Twins. Slegers was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster after the team signed Nelson Cruz.
Former Twins right-handed starter Felix Jorge was signed by the Cincinnati Reds on a minor-league deal, as well. He’ll have an invitation to spring training.