The Tampa Bay Rays did not have a single Type “A” or “B” free agent to offer or turn down arbitration on December 1st, but that does not mean the road will be paved with gold for the Rays in 2009. They might have some of the toughest decisions yet as a franchise as they currently have 6 members of the 40-man roster up for arbitration before the beginning of the 2009 season.
But next year will be even worse, with a total of 7 Rays going into arbitration for the first time. The current 2009 class includes a crowd favorite, an developing outfielder turned pitcher, a foreign-born ironman and a couple of huge pieces of the upgraded Rays infield. I will try and explore the 2008 season for pluses and minuses only based on statistics and facts pertaining to the regular season.
I try and put myself within Rays General Manager Andrew Friedman’s head and look at statistics and possible risks for these players based on results compiled during the 2008 regular season. I will attempt to seperate the postseason from the regular season and not use them as a primary evaluation, but as bonus materials to decide and make a prediction on the outcome of the Rays choices, and paths during the 2009 arbitration process.
I am going to evaluate the first 3 guys that compose key parts of the infield and a current bench player and slightly used outfielder who plays better when he is in the flow of the game. So without further ado:
Here is a tough one for me. I can see the positive of this new team role model and how he has become more of a fan favorite in the last few years. And the fans’ respond to his home-spun Rays energy like a bug to a lightbulb. But this is ultimately a baseball decision, and sometimes good players have to be dragged under the carpet when they are not pulling their collective weight on the team. Gomes has done as much as he can with what he has been presented in 2008, but will it be enough to satify the new Rays urges and wants for their offense?
The worst part of determining if Gomes is the player the Rays need right now is that he is like the proverbial rolling stone, and he gather energy and motivation from activity, not from just sitting on the bench. Some People may also call upon the fact that he has had a swinging door between Durham, North Carolina and St. Petersburg, Florida the last 2 years. This is not a positive and good thing for such a powerful young player to develop into a hitting rut so deep he has to go down to the minors to correct himself.
It is a little more than a swing adjustment, it is mostly pitch recognition. Gomes seems to have a difficuly time reading some cutters and sinkers coming into his body before they expolde and tip over the outside of the plate for a strike. Professional baseball is based on the fact that you usually get a hit at least 3 times in every 10 at bats. To even hit a solid .300 nowadays you have to study the leagues pitchers’ and their collective release points and angle variables even before stepping to the plate. To some players this is a formality and they tend to be able to hit anything thrown their direction. Others have to make in-game adjustments to fit the changes, and Gomes has been slow, but actively trying to play catchup and learn to adjust on the fly more in 2008.
Gomes has to develop a little more give and take in his set strike zone to be an effective hitter for the team in 2009. In 2008, Gomes only had a paltry 178 plate appearances for the Rays. Not a huge amount, but was he being sat down more for plate discipline, or for a lack of consistant ability to hit with men in scoring position and producing scoring situations when he did get his chance at the plate.
His .183 batting average speaks volumes to me about the type of pitching he saw in 2008. Gomes has never been really strong at recognizing the breaking points late on a pitch. This has put him in alot of 2-strike situations during the season, which lead to costly and unnecessary outs. His On-Base Plus Scoring average was a dismal .670, not the perfect prerequisite for a power hitter off the bench.
For a guy who had been pretty hot with his bat to begin the season, Gomes became an offensive liability by the end of the season. He was swining at more pitches outside the strike zone trying to get something going, or maybe jump-starting himself out of a slump as deep as a ravine in the Grand Canyon.
In comparision to 2007, Gomes had a total of 393 plate appearances that season and still struck out 126 times for the Rays. That is a high number, but his .244 average and .620 OPS were indications he was seeing the ball more and hitting better pitches in 2007 than 2008.
So you have to ask yourself if Gomes got more pitches to hit in 2008, what would he have done with them? The statistics show that Gomes saw at least 676 pitches in 2008, and he swung at 48.1 percent of them. He did have a good contact rate of 76.3 percent, including foul balls. This shows that the bat was getting to the ball, but not into the field of play for him. In 2008, he got pitches to hit, but only had 44 percent chance of the ball going between the foul lines.
Based on all information, do you take into account his community and local fan base as a reason to keep him or even offer him arbitration in 2009? The decision ultimately has to come from an evaluation of Gomes by Rays Hitting Coach Steve Henderson. If Henderson sees a viable way to increase his productivity and think he is an under-used, but key piece to the Rays’ 2009 machine, you have to offer him arbitration.
Based on his 2008 numbers, Gomes might not get a huge jump in salary, but it will be a significant increase from his 2007 salalry. Gomes might come away from a hearing with a salary in the $ 1.2-1.3 million dollar range based on service time and hearing guidelines. Such an amount would keep a valuable member of the Rays team here, and also give him time to further study his craft, and then decide on his fate with his maple bat.
Here we have a guy who I truly feel had a banner year in 2008. Do I expect him to have the same year, or even build on it in 2009? I hope so for his sake, every season Navarro has been here, the Rays have thrown a veteran catcher at him to see if he buckles or falters. He never seems to falter far from his true self. Navarro did an amazing job in 2008 by taking control of the Rays young staff and showing a veteran leadership role in every aspect of the game
This did not go unnoticed by his peers or the Rays’ faithful as Navarro was rewarded with a selection to the American League All-Star staff by Boston skipper Terry Francona. Navarro rewarded Francona with 7 innings of solid catching, great throws to nab baserunners’ and timely hits for the All-Star squad in New York. At the time of the All-Star game, Navarro was hitting over .300 and was in an impressive groove both behind and at the plate for the Rays.
He ended up hitting .295 for the year, but had only 470 plate appearances after an early season injury took away valuable plate appearances from him. Navarro ended up hitting above the league average for hits, and set a personal hit total of 126 for the season. He came up with 7 home runs and lowered his strikeout rate during the season. A true test to him finally having confidience to follow his personal strike zone and sticking to it.
He was in control of his staff and commanded the respect from all of them. A well publicized blow-up with starter, Matt Garza showed that Navarro was no longer just playing catch back there, but was there to win and established him as a valuable commodity behind the plate for the Rays.
Based on his 2008 numbers, Navarro was only out-hit by Minnesota’s Joe Mauer in the AL for catchers, and his average lead the entire Rays lineup for 2008. His 54 RBI’s were 10 more than his previous best 44 RBI’s set in 2007 with the team. He got hot at the right time for the Rays, hitting .317 for September during the Rays playoff push.
He also excelled in throwing behind the plate, and increased his caught stealing ratio to 34.8 percent this season. That total was ranked third in the MLB, and second in the AL. When compared against all catchers in the AL with at least 100 games, he was second only to Cleveland’s Kelly Shoppach in the fewest bases allowed this season. He also had a .944 fielding average for the season, which put him 4th in the AL.
Based on the upswing of both his statistics and his thrust to become a on-field leader for the Rays, I think that the team will reward Navarro with an arbitration hearing and he can expect to increase his salary to around the $ 2.3 million dollars in salary for 2009. If the young catcher can regain and establish himself behind the plate again in 2009, he will cement himself in the Rays lineup for a long time.
Who would have thought that a year ago that Jason Bartlett would have such an effect on the 2008 season for the Rays. Last November, when he was traded to the Rays from the Twins, most people thought he was a throw in candidate and did not see the unlimited amount of potential in his game. How much different a year can make, as Bartlett became the middle gunner in a well-tuned and aligned Rays defensive infield.
Bartlett improved the Rays defense so much by just playing shortstop that the Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers of America gave him the Team MVP honors for 2008. But he also did it with his bat when Bartlett hit an impressive . 286 for the Rays, and made contact on 86 percent of the pitches he saw in 2008.
Like Navarro, Bartlett hit .371 in the final 39 games of 2008 and provided excellent hitting with runners in scoring position ,and provided countless extra base hits. He led the AL in hitting against left-handers, hitting a brisk .379 for the year. That mark was also 4th best in the MLB in 2008. He was a combined 20-28 on the base paths, but was an impressive 9 out of 11 with steals of third base in 2008. Any time he was on base, he was a threat to steal or take an extra base on a hit or a run.
Bartlett slugged out an .386 average in August, the highest average for that month in Rays history, and the second best ever for a Rays player. He hit .297 for the year with Runners In Scoring Position. The one bitter downside to his play in 2008 was the time he missed due to injuries. This showed a big gaping hole in the Rays’ defense and the team did win and play tough without Bartlett, but struggled at times. The team went a combined 78-47 with Bartlett in the lineup in 2008.
Another very visible downside was his .970 fielding average and 16 errors this season. Bartlett made a few mis-guided efforts during the season, but his outstanding defensive plays at other times during the season can surely cancel out the errors and miscues. His defense stance was outstanding and truly made the trade for him an huge plus for the Rays. If he could get to the ball, he made a valiant effort to record the out for the team.
Based on the ability of Bartlett to secure for the Rays a defensive decrease in costly errors and a huge upgrade at his position, I think the team should award Bartlett with an arbitration hearing for 2009. Based on the arbitration process, he might garnish a 2009 salary in the range of $ 2 million dollars a season, and that will be a great value at that amount for the team. I also hear a rumor that the Twins might want him back. If the Rays sign him to a 2-year deal at a great price, he would be an extra value to the Twins…………you never know………
Please be advised that at anytime the Rays could swoop in and sign any of these 3 players to a contract before their arbitration hearing dates. I am only using the amounts as a feeder for the possible increase and financial rewards for the teams extrordinary 2008 season. It is not to be taken as a set award amount or even a pre-determined hearing reward, but as a calculated guess based on past arbitration hearings and my own personal opinion.
Both Bartlett and Navarro might even be entertaining an offer at this time from the Rays for multiple years, or even a longer extension. This is just a “guess-timate” on the 2009 salary if the team does not offer or entertain a multi year contract, and decides to go for a one-year contract for the players. At any time the team can either trade or even release any of these players and the arbitration would be a moot point.
Tomorrow I will take on the last 3 arbitration eligible players on the Rays 2008 roster and give the same evaluations of their 2008 seasons and the expected financial results of a possible arbitration award.
The final 3 candidates are: Right-fielder Gabe Gross, Number-5 Starter Edwin Jackson, and Relief Pitcher Grant Balfour. All 3 have interesting numbers for the season and multiple reasons to consider or deny arbitration for 2009. Be it the World Baseball Classic, an ever increasing confidence in their game, or potential finally getting a chance to rear it’s head, Major League Baseball players know that their last season is always a tell-tale sign to their futures.
So here we are…………..Arbitration Day. During the next 7 days teams will really show just how much they want certain members of their 2008 roster. Not lost in all of this is the Type “A” or “B” eligible arbitration candidates. Luckly for the Tampa Bay Rays, they do not have any of these candidates and can either offer arbitration to their players’, or not and not risk losing anything.
Because we do not have any classified arbitration candidates, the Rays would not recieve any type of compensation from other teams for them signing their players past December 7th. Today is the first day that teams will be contacting their players and their agents and let all of the above know their desires for 2009. With the Rays, there will be a few really important decisions on personell and the make-up of the Rays roster in 2009.
With the Rule 5 Draft also on the horizon, the team might elect to not offer arbitration to certain memebers of the team knowing they would like to remian with the Rays, and can use their roster spot for the Rule 5 draft until they are resigned by the team. Just because a player is cut loose from the Rays does not always mean they do not want him on their roster or in the minor league system.
It is a bit of a mind game to try and disguise your true interest in some players and hope that the work with the mirrors and shadows protects these players. Back to the arbitration game, I will try and make a few predictions here today on who might, or might not be offered Arbitration by their 2008 clubs.
As predicted, the Tampa Bay Rays did not offer any arbitration to any of it’s 4 free agents on Monday night. Rocco Badelli and Trever Miller were actively seeking another team for 2009 on Monday and did not expect the Rays to offer arbitration.
Eric Hinske and Cliff Floyd are the other two free agents for the Rays and both are currently going through offers from other teams. Floyd is also rehabbing a shoulder surgery to help repair some damage suffered during the 2008 World Series during Game 2 at Tropicana Field against the Philadelphia Phillies.
I am going to start off with Raul Ibanez of the Seattle Mariners. Ibanez will be offered arbitration by the team, but he will refuse the offer and end up signing with another club. The guy is a power left-handed bat that will be needed in a few National League outfields in 2009. He will also have his pick of Designated hitter spots in the American League by at least a half dozen clubs before finally signing in Toronto.
The Mariners did offer Arbitration to Ibanez on December 1, 2008 at 2:32 PM CST .
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have a few decisions to make in regards to the arbitration of power-hitting first baseman Mark Teixiera and hard throwing closer Francisco Rodriquez. Both players are considered in the top tier of Type “A” candidates for arbitration, and the Angels might use this to offer them arbitration with the hopes they will decline and sign with another team. Another part of the equation would be the draft picks acquired for either of them to leave the team to re-stock the Angels minor league system.
Two other Angels also will have a go at arbitration today with mixed results for them both. Starting pitcher Jon Garland might not be offered arbitration bascially because he is not the dominating pitcher he was before coming to LA from the Chicago White Sox. Darrin Oliver, a reliever, might be a Monday decision becuase he would make the same amount if he was with the club or turned down for arbitration. I think that both might be offered arbitration, with Oliver a last second yes or no decision. Another Angel in jeopardy of not getting offered arbitration is Garrett Anderson. He is another bubble player who might be offered arbitration due to the loyalty to the club, but the hearing might bring him a lower salary than as a free agent.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anahiem announced at 7:31 pm CST that they have decided to offer arbitration to Mark Teixiera, Jon Garland, Darren Oliver and K-Rod for 2009. Garrett Anderson was not granted arbitration by the club.
The World Champion Philadelphia Phillies will not be offering arbitration to relievers Tom Gordon and Rudy Seanez. Gordon makes total sense since his ceiling and salary were high in 2008, and he was out with an injury the entire year. The Phillies invested in Brad Ledge for their closer, and he responded in producing a fantastic season and a solid spot on the roster as the Phillies 2009 closer. Seanez is a left-handed reliever and might be one of the next relievers to sign a contract, maybe for the Rangers.
Also up for consideration will be starter Jamie Moyer and right-fielder Pat Burrell. Moyer has been a linch pin in the Phillies rotation since coming over from the Seattle Mariners. His pitching stabilized a Phillies rotation that was a mess before his arrival. Burrell is a home-grown Phillies star who might have just made himself too expensive for the Phillies taste. I think the team will offer arbitration to Moyer. The team will still work to cut a deal with Moyer, but will certainly decline an offer to Burrell for 2009.
The team has decided to not offer arbitration to all four of their eligible candidates for 2009. Tom Gordon was the only player not mentioned, but is still injured and will not be offered a contract for 2009.
The San Diego Padres will not be offering arbitration to former closer Trevor Hoffman. This is actually a sad event. More so by the way the team kind of dumped him after giving him a contract offer and then rescinding it and not giving him a reason why before announcing the decision. This act might come back to haunt the Padres since Hoffman is thinking seriously about maybe closing for the division foe, L A Dodgers.
The San Diego Padres confirmed at 7:41 pm CST that they are not going to offer arbitration to Trevor Hoffman.
Former All-Star and Atlanta Brave closer/starter John Smoltz will not be offered arbitration by the team. This is not to mean that he doesn’t still have any fire and gas in the tank, but the Braves did get rocked in 2002 by Greg Maddux accepting arbitration and getting a huge increase in salary. He might still be in the Braves jersey on Opening Day, but not at a arbitration sized increase in pay.
The Atlanta Braves confirmed at 8:09 pm CST that they are declining to offer arbitration to pitcher John Smoltz.
The Toronto Blue Jays will offer Arbitration to pitcher A J Burnett. There are signals in the Jays system that they want to put an end to the uphill climb in payroll without results in 2009. But to let Burnett go would send the wrong message to Roy Halliday and the staff about the intentions of the team. I think the team will make a few runs at players to try and compete with the Rays, Red Sox and Yankees in 2009.
The Toronto Blue Jays have offered arbitration to pitcher A J Burnett, but have denied arbitration to his battery mate Gregg Zaun. The decision on the pair hit the Internet about 6:56 pm CST tonight.
The Texas Rangers have a huge decision to make as to the future of current DH, Milton Bradley for 2009. Bradley had a breakout year for the team and would again be a great cornerstone with Josh Hamilton in the middle of the Rangers’ lineup for 2009. For that reason, I think the Rangers will offer arbitration to Bradley for the 2009 season, and then at trade deadline time, trade him for more pitching.
The Texas Rangers announced at 11:55 pm CST that they will offer arbitration to Milton Bradley for 2009.
With the Brewers, I think we will see one given arbitration and one let go for obvious reasons. C C Sabathia will definitely be offered arbitration. Sabathia made such an impact on this team after his trade from Cleveland in 2008. To say they would also let this guy go with out a fight would be a huge PR mistake and also a roster busting move. Public sentiment is high that the team needs to retain their big train and let him roll another year in Miller Park.
On the other hand, the Brewers felt they got robbed in the closer department by the injuries and the inconsistant pitching of Eric Gagne in his Brewers stay. For that reason, the Brewers will not be offering arbitration to Gagne. Even the recent retirement of closer Solomon Torres can’t keep Gagne on the Brewers’ roster.
Another set of Brewers’ racing for arbitration hearing and raises are pitchers’ Ben Sheets and Brian Shouse. Sheets will be offered arbitration as a goodwill gesture that the team wants to be competitive in 2009. The showe of faith might be enough to retain Sabathia. Sheets recent injury problems might weigh heavy in this process, and the team might not offer at the last minute. This is seriously one that is on the fence right now.
Brewers reliever Brian Shouse will not be offered arbitration. The minor league system of the Brewers’ actually have a pretty godd supply of relievers in their minor league system that are itching for a chance at the major league level. This might be the deciding factor in Shouses’ future with the team.
The Brewers have offered arbitration to C C Sabathia, Brian Shouse and Ben Sheets. They did decline to offer Eric Gagne an arbitration hearing on December 1, 2008 at 3:08 PM CST.
In the Yankees camp, both Bobby Abreu and Mike Mussina will be offered arbitration. Abreu will be offered it more as a afterthought to any team thinking of signing him for 2009. Since he is a Type “A” candidate, the signing club will lose a draft pick in June, and the Yankees will also get a compensation pick for him.
Mussina is semi-retired and not thought of seeking a contract with any team in 2009. This might be a pre-emptive strike set up to divert any team from trying to get him under contract in 2009. The Yankees feel he might be going through a “Troy Percival” stage and might not want to play now, but as soon as the teams report, might consider a contract for 2009.
Also speaking of the Yankees, they will not hand an arbitration offer to Andy Pettitte for 2009. The thinking in the Yankees camp is that Pettitte is already emotionally out of the Yankees staff and might not be a totally positive member of the young pitching staff in 2009. It is a shame since Pettitte is a dominating leftie when he is on his game.
The Yankees also will not offer arbitration to Jason Giambi. This one kind of puzzles me a bit in the fact that Giambi might end up in the A L East again in 2009, and wouldn’t you like the fact that you took 2 draft picks for that team to even sign the “Gambino”. His defense has gone downward fast in the last few years, but after some eye situation early in 2008, he hit the ball as well as anyone in baseball.
Also in the Yankees camp is Ivan Rodriguez. As you might remember, the Yankees basically borrowed him for a few months trying to make a stretch run and catch either the Rays or Red Sox before the playoffs. He was a major upgrade at the catching position. But his increase in salary with Jorge Posada still on the roster might be enough for the Yankees to not offer arbitration to Rodriguez.
At 4:48 pm CST, the New York Yankees have declined to offer arbitration to pitchers’ Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte, and Right-filder Bobby Abreu.
Staying in the AL East, the Boston Red Sox will offer arbitration to veteran catcher Jason Varitek. Considering what he has played for in the last few years, he might be one of the big winners in average change in salary in 2009. Varitek’s agent . Scott Boras tried to play up Varitek’s “stats” by comparing him to a far superior catcher in Jorge Posada to the Red Sox earler in the Hot Stove season.
The Boston Red Sox have decided to offer arbitration to both Jason Varitek and pitcher Paul Byrd. Word came in at 8:14 pm CST, with Byrd’s offer a bit baffling with the recent news about the signing of Japanese pitcher Junichi Tazawa.
The Colorado Rockies will offer arbitration to closer Brian Fuentes. This might also be a smokescreen by the rockies to gain posession of a teams draft pick for signing Fuentes. He was been contacted by several clubs that have already interested in the closer, even with the compensation issues. Fuentes might turn down the offer and seek his spot somewhere else in the MLB in 2009.
The Colorado Rockies have decided to offer arbitration to closer Brian Fuentes. The offer hit the wires at 6:59 pm CST tonight.
Frank Thomas of the Oakland A’s will not be offered arbitration by the team. This is not for lack of desire or offensive firepower, but the team already has it on good authority that he wants to stay with Oakland and might be willing to negotiate a discount to remain with the club.
The Oakland A’s confirmed at 9:07 pm CST that they are not offering arbitration to Frank Thomas for 2009.
Kerry Wood of the Chicago Cubs is an interesting player to consider for arbitration. The team would like to offer him arbitration, but only on the premise that he will turn it down and they can reap 2 draft picks for him. But the flip-side is that they offer it and he accepts it and give the team a secere situation both in salary and in the Bullpen. If there is any movement to show he would accept the arbitration offer, the team would refuse to offer him arbitration for 2009. This one truly might be decided on a written agreement and not on a handshake. Reliever Bob Howry is also up for arbitration and might not be extended an offer for arbitration for 2009.
The Chicago Cubs announced at 11:03 pm CST that they have decided to not offer arbitration to Kerry Wood and Bob Howry for 2009.
On the South Side of Chicago, the White Sox will not be offering arbitration to both Ken Griffey Jr., or Juan Uribe. With the recent trade talks concerning Jermaine Dye and Nick Swishers trade to the Yankees, you might think the team would retain Griffey for one season as insurance. On the up-side, he is also on pace to hit a few milestones that would be a PR masterpeiece for the White Sox to promote in 2009.
Juan Uribe is an easier piece to replace either with minor leaguer Josh Fields, or by a trade. Uribe has been an adequate player for the team , but his arbitration increase in salary would not sit well with the White Sox payroll issues for 2009. Also under consideration is shortstop Orlando Cabrera, who has gotten alot of talk lately as trade bait for the White Sox. Cabrera might be offered arbitration based on his recent reade rumblings.
The Chicago White Sox announced at 12:35 pm CST that they are offering arbitration to Orlando Cabrera for 2009. No word yet on the status of arbitration for Griffey Jr, or Juan Uribe at this time.
The Arizona Diamondbacks might take a few days to consider if the offer arbitration to Adam Dunn, or set him free. He has not been one of the big names thrown around in any circles this off season and might not be worth the compensation picks for another team to consider him in 2009. I think the D-back do end up offering him arbitration as a gesutre he has a place if he wants it in 2009. But I also think in the back of their minds, he turns it down and takes the play out of their hands.
Also up for consideration by the D-backs is starter Randy Johnson and relievers’ Brandon Lyon and Juan Cruz. Both players had an adequate 2008, and it might come down to what place they will have in the future of the team as to their status for arbitration. Cruz might be a decison based on the want and need out there for relievers who can set-up or close with the least amount of baggage. Cruz will come down to a last minure discussion before he is offered arbitration. Lyons and Johnson might be the two guys’ not be offered arbitration for 2009. Another D-back who is sought after by many teams is second baseman Orlando Hudson who will certainly be offered arbitration to try and retain at least some draft picks when he declines the D-backs offer.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have announced at 9:26 pm CST that they are not offering arbitration to both Randy Johnson and Adam Dunn. Being offered arbitration will be Juan Cruz, Orlando Hudson and Brandon Lyon.
The Florida Marlins had an amazing run at the National League East title early in the season before falling by the wayside. At the forefront of that action was Luis Gonzalez . Gonzalez was the veteran presence on the club, and with catcher Paul Lo Duca might both be victims of payroll cutting for 2009. Also up for arbitration is veteran reliever Arthur Rhodes, who I think might have done enough to merit the team offering arbitration to him to hold onto this valuable commodity at least until the 2009 trade deadline. I have a feeling that Gonzalez and Lo Duca played their last ball for the Marlins and will not be offered arbitration for 2009.
The Floridas Marlins announced at 11:08 pm CST that they will not offer arbitration to Arthur Rhodes, Luis Gonzalez, and Paul Lo Duca for 2009.
Several other veterans have arbitration issues to contend with in the majors this off season. Moise Alou is considering retirement, and that might be the total basis that the New York Mets do not offer him arbitration. His injury might not have been severe to end his career, but he might just consider it time while he can still function naturally.
Also up for arbitration on the Mets are Luis Ayala and Oliver Perez. Ayala might be the odd man out as the Mets have high hopes for the inning eater Perez and they might not offer arbitration to both Alou and Ayala, but offer arbitration to Perez.
Out of the New York Mets offices at 8:22 pm CST is the announcement that they are declining to offer arbitration to Moises Alou and Luis Ayala. The team is however offering arbitration to pitcher Oliver Perez.
Alan Embree has been a tough competitor for years in the American League. He has been a “go-to” reliever for years and might be starting down that road of decline finally. For that reason, I see the Oakland A’s considering this for a bit of time then not offering him arbitration, but extending a Spring Training Invite to him to see if he is still a dominating reliever.
At 9:07 pm CST tonight, the Oakland A’s have denied arbitration to Alan Embree and Frank Thomas.
Edgar Renteria is considered to be on the way out and the Detroit Tigers also must make an educated guess as to if they offer him arbitration, will he accept it or turn it donw and move onto another team in 2009. This is another team that will have to feel out its veteran before it either commits or turns down arbitration to him. I have a feeling they will not offer him arbitration.
The Detroit Tigers did not offer arbitration to Renteria on Monday, December 1,2008 at 2:42 PM CST.
The Minnesota Twins had a remarkable 2008 season, and also included in that was the work of reliver Dennys Reyes of the Twins Bullpen unit. Reyes had one of his best seasons in the majors and added a veteran persence to the staff. I have a feeling that it was enough to merit an offer of arbitration for Reyes to continue in Minnesota for 2009.
The Minnesota Twins just offered arbitration to reliever Dennys Reyes for 2009 at 4:20 pm CST .
The St Louis Cardinals Bullpen was a mess in 2008. The closer role ended up being a closer-by committee assignment during the season and no one truly stepped up and took over a veteran role in the Bullpen. For this reason I feel that former closer Jason Isringhausen and Branden Looper will not be offered arbitration by the team. I do feel that reliever Russ Spring might be a bubble guy and also might be offered arbitration for 2009.
At 6:19 pm CST, The St. Louis Cardinals have denied arbitration to three of their pitchers from the 2008 staff. Jason Isringhausen, Branden Looper and Russ Springer all were not offered arbitration by the Cardinals.
Since coming to the Kansas City Royals, Mark Grudzienlanek has been a clutch player in the middle for the Royals. He has been a solid defender and an above average guy at the plate for a team fighting for an idenity in the A L Central division. I have a feeling that the Royals might reward that loyalty and service by offering arbitration to Grudzienlanek for 2009.
RESULTS: The Kansas City Royals just offered arbitration to infielder Mark Grudzielanek at 8:17 pm CST for the 2009 season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers had another fantastic run at the National League pennant in 2008. The team was sitting near the .500 mark most of the year and finally took over the division late in the season, and overtake the Arizona D-backs for the Western division. On the forefront of that move was the acquiring of Manny Ramirez from the Boston Red Sox, and Casey Blake from the Cleveland Indians. Both of these players have done everything asked of them by the Dodgers and will be offered arbitration today.
Another twist of fate for the Dodgers saw their Bullpen and starting pitching come togewther at the right time and take over the game for the team. Starters’ Brad Penny and Derek Lowe hunkered down and played playoof type ball the last month of the season to propel LA into position for the title. For that reason, these two starters might be offered arbitration for the 2009 season.Reliever Joe Biemel helped anchor the leftie side of the Bullpen. Infielder Jeff Kent was up and down all year long due to injuries and did not participate fully in 2008. For that reason, I think that the Dodgers will not offer arbitration to Biemel and Kent for 2009.
Also up for,arbitration is future Hall-of-Famer, Gregg Maddux. He did not have an explosive end of the year for the Dodgers after being picked up from the San Diego Padres, and might not be offered arbitration by Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have just offered arbitration to Manny Ramirez, Casey Blake and Derek Lowe. In a second announcement, the team has decided to deny arbitration to pitchers’ Joe Biemel, Greg Maddux, Brad Penny and infielder Jeff Kent. Final word came out from the Dodgers office at 7:20 pm CST tonight.