Atlanta Braves’ 2017 Salary Arbitration Estimates

One of the best things that the MLB Trade Rumors site does each year is to publish their estimates on salary arbitration figures.  Today that list is out, with the names of 7 Atlanta Braves included.

The Atlanta Braves will have a December 2nd deadline to offer 2017 contracts to their controllable 40-man roster players, and those in the salary arbitration cycle will be of particular interest.  3 days afterwards, the Winter Meetings begin in Washington, D.C. – the prime time for off-season wheeling and dealing.

The Braves will have a few decision points to make in the run-up to that December 2nd deadline regarding some of their controllable players, and that’s where the MLBTR’s Salary Arbitration model comes into play today.

Their Matt Swartz has come up with a mathematical model based on service time and player performance rankings that attempts to guess what the salary number each arb-eligible player should be when they sign. While these numbers are recognized as the most-often-cited salary indicators in the industry, each team and player are still at liberty to negotiate their own contract terms, should they opt to avoid the pain of the arbitration process.

You can read about some of the trials and tribulations from Matt’s efforts to create this model here.

Here is the list of Atlanta Braves from MLBTR’s latest run:

Numbers in parentheses indicate the amount of major league service time accrued in years and days.

Note:  *Both Ian Krol and Ender Inciarte will become Super-2 eligible players, with their 2 years++ of service time:

Both players have exceeded that 2 years, 131 days period so they will be rewarded with an early arbitration opportunity:  a ‘4th’ year in the pipe.

 

About the List

There are at least a couple of names that should be slam-dunks to be tendered contracts by the Atlanta Braves (and thus offered arbitration):  the aformentioned Ender Inciarte and Ian Krol.  Beyond that, you could make a case for cutting loose any of the rest:

  • Josh Collmenter – his is a special situation anyway.  He was on a 3-year deal through 2016 with a mutual options for 2017 when the Diamondbacks released him.  That contract would have paid him $2 million in 2017… less than his calculated arbitration number.  Either way, this might be to much for the Braves and he’s my leading candidate to be non-tendered.  BET:  Non-tendered.
  • Anthony Recker – The 33-year-old was solid in his role, but now the question is this:  who is coming in to be the primary catcher?  Depending on the answer, Recker could be non-tendered, yet re-signed to a minor league deal or offered another major league deal.  Tyler Flowers is under contract through 2017, yet he could be traded in the right deal, which would create an opening for Recker.  BET:  Keep via some means.
  • Arodys Vizcaino – unable to finish the season healthy, it is difficult to assess where he is at this time.  He’s also getting more expensive and the Braves have replacements available regardless – notably closer Jim JohnsonBET:  trade.
  • Paco Rodriguez – we got some information this morning that is relevant here (with a hat tip to Mr. Simmons):

The Braves would know this information as they’ve had a chance to monitor Rodriguez through his entire rehab.  $900K (+/-) isn’t a huge gamble if they believe he can be useful to the team, but he will face an uphill battle for a position.  This is another difficult call that could come down to the need for a 40-man roster position.  BET:  non-tender with hope to re-sign on a minor league deal.

  • Chris Withrow – Another close call, but he’s been just good enough to keep, though that salary figure seems a little high.  BET:  Keep.

 

Based on these figures and the assumption that all players currently under control will remain on the major league roster, my projected Opening Day 2017 payroll for the Atlanta Braves now stands at $74,110,000… but expect substantial changes to that – both in that figure and in the personnel behind it – as the off-season progresses.