Last month the Twins were able to come to agreement with five of their six arbitration-eligible players, leaving Kyle Gibson as their only hold out. Well, today the team and Kyle had their arbitration hearing, and guess what? Kyle lost.
In baseball salary arbitration, both the player and the team submit a figure they think the player should make over the next season, and an impartial arbitrator selects which of the two figures they feel is most reasonable. There’s no splitting the baby — the arbitrator can only pick one side or the other. The idea is that this forces the two sides to come closer together as they both try for the most reasonable number, often inducing settlement without an actual hearing.
In Kyle Gibson’s case, that didn’t happen. Gibson submitted a figure of $4.55 million and the Twins submitted one of $4.2 million. The arbitrator sided with the Twins. Interestingly, MLB Trade Rumors had projected Gibson’s 2018 salary at $5.3 million — over $1 million more than he’s going to get.
The last time the Twins actually went to an arbitration hearing with a player was back to back years with Kyle Lohse in 2005 and 2006. The Twins lost both times.
2018 Twins Payroll
Now that Gibson’s salary is settled, here’s where the Twins’payroll currently sits for 2018:
- Guaranteed contracts going into the offseason: $66,700,000
- New free agent signings: $16,650,000
- Buyouts: $700,000
- Arbitration salaries: $14,300,000
- Major league minimum salaries: $5,995,000 million (assuming 11 players at $545,000)
TOTAL = $104,345,000
The Twins’ 2017 Opening Day payroll was $104,837,500 (according to the Associated Press), so they’re currently sitting almost exactly at where they were last year. The team claims they want to spend, and have said they are looking to sign at least one other free agent starter, but talk is cheap.