Chris Heisey, Kenley Jansen, Juan Nicasio and Justin Turner all filed for arbitration on the deadline day after failing to reach agreements with the Dodgers. Now, this doesn’t mean they’re actually going to arbitration, as the club and players (agents, actually) can negotiate until each player’s arbitration hearing — anytime between Feb. 1 and 21. Arbitration figures will be exchanged by Saturday.
Matt Swartz of MLB Trade Rumors predicted the following salaries for the four remaining arbitration-eligible Dodgers (service time in parenthesis — 3.135 would be 3 years, 135 days):
- Heisey (4.157): $2.2 million
- Jansen (4.073): $8.2 million
- Nicasio (3.084): $2.4 million
- Turner (4.045): $2.2 million
For what it’s worth, Swartz projected Ellis at $3.8 million before settling for $450,000 more than that projection.
Eric Stephen of True Blue LA dug this up about Andrew Friedman’s history regarding arbitration-eligible players.
“But Friedman with Tampa Bay took things one step further. The Rays used a strategy called ‘file and trial’ (or sometimes ‘file and go’), meaning if the player and team couldn’t reach agreement by the filing deadline — again, January 13 for this offseason — the team would no longer negotiate; instead, the two parties would eventually see a hearing.”
Things are much different in LA than they were in Tampa Bay, so it remains to be seen if Friedman and Co., will implement the same policy. Seeing as he and they were brought in to make the use of resources more efficient, I’m assuming there’s a good chance this will be the case. The Dodgers, as an organization, haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing with a player since Joe Beimel in 2007 — a case they won behind Kim Ng’s expertise in the area.
It’s always best if the two sides can agree to a deal before the hearing, because having to go in and tell an independent arbiter why your player isn’t as good as he thinks is really awkward for the team and player. Bad blood could come from an arbitration hearing and it’s really best to avoid it. And most of the time, the two sides are squabbling over an inconsequential amount of money.
Once the figures come in, perhaps Friedman’s crew will try to meet these players somewhere in the middle — a common practice for many around the league. I’m not really worried about bad blood brewing between the Dodgers and Heisey, Nicasio and Turner. They aren’t going to ask for $10 million or anything like that. Jansen’s dominance and youth could lead him to ask for a huge pay day, and the new front office doesn’t seem to like to pay relievers handsomely (which is a good thing). In this case, I hope Jansen gets a fair value and the organization pays close to what it actually wants to pay to Jansen. Everyone’s happy.
I really don’t anticipate anything negative coming from this process, but we won’t know exactly how this new front office is going to operate until the time actually comes for it to act.