MMs Off-Season Series: 2015's Arbitration Cases


     With the 2014 season over it's now time to focus our attention to the 2015 off-season. With the emergence of our young stars this season and the return of the "Dark Knight of Flushing," this off-season is going to be a critical one for Sandy Alderson and company. We already took a look at Alderson's starting budget and the players already contractual committed here. Last week, we reviewed all the team friendly, renewable contracts for the young stars. Today we'll take a look at Arbitration Cases.

2015 Arbitration Eligible Players

     After a player 1st 3 years of a player's MLB service time they are subject to annual contract reviews through arbitration. Both the team and the player submit a salary that they think he/they are worth. The arbitor then reviews the case and selects who's salary figure is more appropriate. Since there is no middle ground, sometimes its in the best interest of both parties to agree on an extension before even reaching the hearing.

     This season the Mets have 9 players eligible for arbitration. A few of them are actually in for pretty substantial raises too which will make them trade targets. Figures are based on MLBTR formulas.

Player Service Time (yrs)   2014 salary     2015 salary  
Daniel Murphy
$5,700,000 $8,300,000 Trade Candidate
Bobby Parnell
$3,700,000 $3,700,000
Dillon Gee
$3,625,000 $5,100,000 Trade Candidate
Eric Young Jr.
$1,850,000 $2,300,000 Non-Tender Candidate
Lucas Duda
$1,637,500 $4,300,000
Ruben Tejada
$1,100,000 $1,700,000 Non-Tender Candidate
Jenrry Mejia
$509,675 $3,100,000
Dana Eveland
$500,000 $1,000,000
Buddy Carlyle
$500,000 $1,000,000 Non-Tender Candidate

     A few guys are non-tender candidates. With Matt den Dekker's speed and glove, EYJ is no longer useful to the club. Wilmer Flores is a huge offensive upgrade over Tejada and his defense has been ok for now. The club will want a late inning defensive replacement on the bench and Tejada is surely not that. Lastly, with Parnell returning in 2015 and the Mets having plenty of pitching depth under renewable contracts, there is no reason for them to keep the right handed Carlyle. Eveland may end up staying and competing for the 2nd lefty spot though

     The raises that will be toughest to swallow are the $2.6m raise to Murphy, the $2.7m to Duda, and the $1.5m raise to Dillon Gee. In Duda's case, the raise is deserved and needed with 0 MLB ready replacements in AAA. With Harvey's return, Wheeler and deGrom's growth, Niese's team friendly contract, and Syndergaard's near readiness, there may not be a spot on the team for Gee so he is likely to be traded. Murphy on the other hand is a different story.

     While Dilson Herrera may be viewed as Murphy's eventual replacement, he has yet to play in AAA which gives the Mets some flexibility. Theoretically, Herrera could spend time in AAA with Murphy on the team in 2015. If, come trade deadline time, the Mets are not in a playoff run, they could trade Murphy then instead of now. The market may force this decision due to the fact that the Middle Infield Free Agent class is rather deep with Astrubal Cabrera, Hanley Ramirez, JJ Hardy, Stephen Drew, Jed Lowrie, and Emilio Bonifacio all available.

     IF the Mets keep everyone, this fills their 40 man roster at a payroll of $98,509,000 which is clearly over budget by about $8m. For now this is the number we will start our off-season planning with and we'll work down starting in our next post.


Tom Brennan said...

When the Wilpons are asked what their favorite all-time pop tune is, it is "Low Budget", by Ray Davies of the Kinks - or at least I so surmise. Here are the lyrics, in case you never heard it:

Cheap is small and not too steep
But best of all cheap is cheap

Circumstance has forced my hand
To be a cut price person in a low budget land

Times are hard but we'll all survive

I just got to learn to economize

I'm on a low budget
I'm on a low budget

I'm not cheap you understand
I'm just a cut price person in a low budget land

Excuse my shoes they don't quite fit
They're a special offer and they hurt me a bit
Even my trousers are giving me pain
They were reduced in a sale so I shouldn't complain

They squeeze me so tight so I can't take no more
They're size 28 but I take 34

I'm on a low budget, what did you say?
Yeah, I'm on a low budget, I thought you said that
I'm on a low budget, I'm a cut price person in a low budget land

I'm shopping at Woolworth and low discount stores
I'm dropping my standards so that I can buy more
Low budget sure keeps me on my toes
I count every penny and I watch where it goes

We're all on our uppers, we're all going skint
I used to suck cigars but now I suck polo mints

I'm on a low budget, what did you say?
Yeah, I'm on a low budget, I thought you said that
I'm on a low budget, I'm a cut price person in a low budget land
I'm on a low budget, low budget, low budget

Art takes time, time is money
Money's scarce and that ain't funny
Millionaires are things of the past
We're in a low budget film where nothing can last

Money's rare there's none to be found
So don't think that I'm tight if I don't buy a round

I'm on a low budget, what did you say?
Yes, I'm on a low budget, I thought you said that
I'm on a low budget, I'm a cut price person in a low budget land
I'm on a low budget, say it again, low budget, one more time, low budget

Reese Kaplan said...

Here's why they re-upped Sandy Alderson:


Tom Brennan said...

AC/DC, huh? Anything where DC comes in last is fine with me!

I hate Nats! Gnats are great, though.

Let's see if Sandy can do Dandy Deeds Dirt Cheap this winter.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure this is really about a "Low Budget" so much as it is about a smart budget. The Arb raises start this year, but really start to kick in starting next year when Harvey is up first, followed by Wheeler and deGrom respectively, all the while the Duda, Meija and Familia continue to earn more. The payroll will increase each year without adding players much like it is scheduled to do this year, except larger and fewer players to DFA, so if you like what they have coming and want to keep it, that means managing the budget properly in 2015. When the Wilpons had money, they spent it, so this is now a matter of cash flow and needs to be properly handled. This is smart payroll management and not a matter of being cheap, do you want another Grandy or Bay contract, just so you can say the Mets spent money? The FA class this year is weak and the one real prize is an unproven 23 year old Cuban, who is likely to spend about half of 2015 in the minors, so why break the bank this year when you have Justin Upton and Jason Heyward hitting the market next year? Look what bloated payrolls got the Rangers, Yankees and Angels this year

Tom Brennan said...

I'm on the same page as you, Anon. Just having some fun there. Note that the last thing I wrote was "Let's see if Sandy can do Dandy Deeds Dirt Cheap this winter."

Hopefully, he can spend low and make dandy moves at the same time.

I'd only spend a lot of the likelihood of increased revenue return warranted it. Ten more wins last year and we'd have found ourselves in a pennant race and drawing like heck.

My guess is he continues to look to tweak off season, on the cheap, and if in June we're cooking, he'll loosen the spending if the right pieces are out there. If not, he'll continue slow and prudent.

Anonymous said...

I think we see the graduation of the Fab Five, the maturation of some of the newcomers, the expiration of some of the Vets making money and the acquisition of some decent talent in return. If Nimmo is ready for 2016 and/or MDD/Puello fits an OF spot, the Mets could be just one or two pieces away from filling all of the holes....and have about a $70M payroll. I would love to see them move the Vets for as many good prospects as they can to restock a farm that has graduated big talent and look to sign either Heyward or Upton next year. Heyward may actually be the better target; sabermetrically was the best defensive player in the majors this year, has exactly the hitting approach Sandy likes and I think his bat has been slowed by injury (95 mph heater to the kisser will do that sometimes) and is ready to breakout. If they signed Heyward, they could offer up either Nimmo or Conforto along with secondary pitcher to get a top SS. Payroll under $90M with room for coming raises, all ML holes filled and still have a top minor league system.
Anon Joe F

Mack's Mets © 2012