It’s January 12th, and that date is important because today at 1:00 pm ET was the deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to file their salary figures for arbitration. The two sides will present their figures at a later arbitration hearing, where a third party arbitrator will decide which side’s salary is more reasonable — unless the team and player agree to a deal on their own before the hearing.
Spoiler alert: They almost always agree to a deal on their own before the hearing.
In fact, the Twins already agreed to deals with five of their six of arbitration-eligible players for 2018. Here’s what they’ll be earning:
- Ehire Adrianza - $1 million
- Eduardo Escobar - $4.85 million
- Robbie Grossman - $2 million
- Trevor May - $650,000
- Ryan Pressly - $1.6 million
These amounts are all pretty close to MLB Trade Rumor’s previous estimates, so no big surprises.
The lone hold-out here is Kyle Gibson. MLB Trade Rumors projected Gibson at $5.3 million for 2018, and it’s not clear yet what figures the team and Kyle submitted for arbitration. It’s also still possible the two sides could come to their own agreement before a hearing. The Twins haven’t actually gone to an arbitration hearing with any player since Kyle Lohse in 2006.
Another important reminder about arbitration salaries is that they are not guaranteed unless specifically negotiated otherwise. That means the Twins could cut one of these players before midway through spring training and only pay 1/6th of the agreed amount.
2018 Twins Payroll
Now that most of the arbitration-eligible players are signed, let’s revisit where the Twins payroll currently stands for 2018.
- Guaranteed contracts going into the offseason: $66,700,000
- New free agent signings: $8,400,000
- Buyouts: $700,000
- Arbitration salaries: $10,100,000 (plus Kyle Gibson’s estimated $5,300,000)
- Major league minimum salaries: $6.54 million (assuming 12 players at $545,000)
TOTAL = $97,740,000
The Twins’ Opening Day payroll in 2017 was $104,837,500 (according to the Associated Press), so it’s pretty obvious the Twins still have money to spend — especially considering the payroll could go much higher than previous years. A few months ago I guesstimated the Twins’ 2018 Opening Day payroll would be around $122 million, which would mean the Twins still have $24 million-ish left to spend.
Could that be... Yu Darvish money? Perhaps.