Tuesday the 17th at midnight is the deadline for teams and players to settle potential arbitration cases without exchanging formal arbitration figures between a player and the team. On Wednesday, once those figures are exchanged, this is where a team sees just how far apart they may potentially be with a player. Typically, many deals are worked out after that by meeting at some point in the middle of the two figures. For those negotiations that are hopelessly apart, arbitration hearings start February 1st and go until February 15th.
At the start of this offseason, the Pirates had 9 potential arbitration eligible players. But after non-tendering Ross Ohlendorf and trading Jose Veras for Casey McGehee (also arb-eligible), the Pirates were left with 8 players.
In recent weeks, the Pirates and Chris Resop agreed upon a 1 year/$850K deal for 2012. They also signed Jason Grilli for 1 year/$1.1M, leaving them with 6 players left. Using MLBTR’s Projected Arbitration Salaries and Tracker, here’s the players left and their projected salaries:
Joel Hanrahan – $4M
Casey McGehee – $3.1M
Jeff Karstens – $2.8M
Garrett Jones – $2.4M
Charlie Morton – $2.1M
Evan Meek – $900K
The figures above are MLBTR’s estimates as a starting point, but I would be very surprised if Meek was given more money than Resop. I would hazard that Meek’s salary was more in the $700K range, especially after his largely ineffective 2011 season.
Very few cases actually go to arbitration. It can be a rather unsettling process for the player, as they are forced to hear from their employer about all their negative qualities and why they should not be awarded the higher dollar figure. Last year, Ross Ohlendorf took the Pirates to arbitration and won his case, but I would not anticipate any player this year to do the same.