Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Where I think these arbitration cases will end up

Easy Eddie seems to be pretty intent on signing his boys before it gets to the arbitration hearing, what with getting deals done with Valverde, Quintero and now Backe before it gets to the ripping players to shreds part of this negotiation process.

So there are still three players who need a deal, all pitchers: Wandy, Byrdak, and Geary. Where do I think those numbers will end up?

You have to look at benchmarks, and the financials set by players before them, which is where I think it's helpful to look at a couple of recent signings, namely: Frank Francisco and Chad Qualls. And, ironically enough, Brandon Backe.

Wandy is every bit the pitcher Backe is (and that's not necessarily a compliment): given to pain, limited in innings, higher ERA, lower win total. So with Backe signing a $1.55 million contract (potentially a $2.5 million deal), you can look at Wandy and his agent licking their chops. Do I think Wandy gets a million-dollar raise? I'm not so sure about that, but Backe went from $800,000 to $1.55 million. Wandy made $451,000 and had a decent, injury-shortened year. Verdict? $900K + incentives.

With Byrdak and Geary, there's an indication of where this will end up with a couple of other recent deals: Arizona's Chad Qualls and Texas' Frank Francisco. Qualls just signed a deal for $2.35 million after making about $1.31 million last year. Francisco signed a deal for $1.615 million for 2009 after making $775,000 last year.

Byrdak made $712,500 in 2008 - Verdict? $1.4 million
Geary made $1.125 million in 2008 - Verdict? $2.1 million

These are just educated guesses, but it's what I would be shooting for if I was their agents.