Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Let's Make A Deal

The Nats and a bunch of players exchanged salary arbitration figures today. If they don't come to an agreement within about a month or so, then it's up to an arbiter to pick one salary or the other.

The Nats and Chris Snelling have already come to an agreement: 1/$450K. Despite being the key piece in the Vidro trade, there really hasn't been much buzz about his role on the team, but he's out of options and would have to stick in the majors. To send him down, the Nats would have to expose him to waivers, where some other team would likely gobble him up. Barring injury (and you can't really do that with him), he'll be on the Major League roster come April.

Our good friend Bill Ladson has the details:

Chad Cordero wants $4.15MM, the team wants $3.65, a relatively tiny difference. With the escalation in his contract that he's likely to see, the Nats would be smart to offer him a long-term deal to buy out the remaining three arbitration years, and, perhaps, a year of Free Agency. Would 4/$22 get it done? Would it be worth it?

John Patterson wants $1.85, the team countered with $.85. That one's going to be trouble. Patterson's a strange case given how meager his statistical case is. He's been injured so much, he just hasn't put up any significant stats. I'd bet that the Nats would be able to win that hearing, but is $500K (assuming they could split the difference) worth it when you're pissing off your would-be ace?

Austin Kearns wants $4.25MM, but the Nats only want to pay $3.65. That's another difference that's almost meaningless. I want to look at Kearns a little more closely later. He's had a bunch of injuries that've prevented him from fulfilling his potential, but there's a lot of potential there. He's another player the Nats might want to lock up, building for the future with him. Would 4/$25 be worth it? Would he do that?

Felipe Lopez filed at $4.1, and the Nats offered $3.7. Seems like the Nats did their homework with the numbers, huh? As I said earlier, I'm not sure I'd go long-term with Lopez until he can prove that he can handle second.

Finally... Alex Escobar asked $590K, the Nats $500K. Their contracts guy (who is it now that Siegle is in SF?) deserves a bonus! They'll settle, and we'll settle for 34 games from Escobar.

Just for laughs and giggles, when I did my salary projections earlier this offseason, this is what I guessed:

Cordero: $3.5 (oops!)
Patterson: $1 (close enough)
Kearns: $3.5 (I'm cheap!)
Lopez: $4.5 (Lopez' agent is my agent)
Escobar: $500K (ka-CHING!)

Would you try to work out long-term deals with any of them? What's a reasonable offer?


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