Friday was the deadline for teams and players to exchange figures ahead of potential arbitration hearings. Over the last few years, more and more teams have used this deadline as the final chance to negotiate a deal before a hearing, opting to utilize the “file-and-trial” strategy. This trend has made Friday’s deadline all the more important, particularly for the Red Sox with so many high-profile players eligible for arbitration.
Before Friday rolled around, the Red Sox had agreed to deals with three of their twelve arbitration-eligible players, having signed Tyler Thornburg, Steven Wright and Heath Hembree to one-year deals to avoid a hearing. That left a bevy of players unsigned with a few hours remaining to the deadline. It was a lot of work to get done, but the Red Sox were able to complete the process on Friday. The team will not be heading to any arbitration hearings this year. Below are all of the deals that were struck, along with the difference between the actual deal and the MLB Trade Rumors projection.
- Mookie Betts: $20 million (+$1.3 million)
- Xander Bogaerts: $12 million (+$100,000)
- Jackie Bradley Jr.: $8.55 million (+$655,000)
- Eduardo Rodriguez: $4.3 million (-$500,000)
- Brock Holt: $3.575 million (+$175,000)
- Sandy León: $2.475 million (+$175,000)
- Matt Barnes: $1.6 million (+$100,000)
- Brandon Workman: $1.15 million (-$250,000)
- Blake Swihart: $900,000 (-$200,000)
The big deal here, both in terms of money and importance, obviously belongs to Betts. There’s been some concern about him and the team having the ability to agree on any deals, as the two sides went to trial around this time last year, and the previous winter saw him not agree to his pre-arbitration deal (which was just a formality anyway). They did agree to terms this time around as he set a record for a player in his second run through arbitration with his $20 million salary. As far as the totals go, the Red Sox spent a little shy of $2.5 million more than what they were projected to by MLB Trade Rumors.
You can see how all of these deals affect the payroll on the Payroll Tracker.