With the regular season looming, baseball players with between 3-6 years of service time re-work their contracts through a process called arbitration. The player and his camp, and the big league front office will meet with a non-biased third-party arbiter to meet in the middle on a one or two-year deal with a compromised salary.
Players are often motivated to sign extensions before arbitration hearings because it usually ensures job security as well as a set salary you don’t leave in the hands of someone else. Here are the big-name players who have either avoided arbitration with an extension or who have agreed on arbitration numbers with their team.
MLB Arbitration tracker
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays
Contract: one-year, $7.9 million
The Blue Jays and Vlad Jr. came to an agreement on a contract to avoid arbitration on Tuesday. There’s a very good chance Toronto gives Guerrero a sizable contract extension at some point soon. The All-Star 3B led the AL in HRs, OPS, slugging, runs scored and total bases in 2021.
Shane Bieber, Cleveland Guardians
Contract: one-year, $6 million
Bieber avoided his first year of arbitration with a one-year deal to continue being the ace of the Guardians. The $6 million price tag may not seem like much for a Cy Young award winner, but Bieber is heading into his age-27 season. Look for the Guardians to give Bieber an extension that will cover his last two remaining years of arbitration later in 2022.
Pete Alonso, New York Mets
Contract: one-year, $7.4 million
Alonso has avoided arbitration with a one-year deal worth $7.4 million, per Jeff Passan. Alonso was recently in a major car accident, but reports are that he will be ready to go by Opening Day without limitations. Alonso has two more years of arbitration looming, but he is a prime extension candidate if the Mets see him factoring into their future plans.
Brian Anderson, Miami Marlins
Contract: one-year, $4.475 million
This is Anderson’s second arbitration year and he still is operating on a one-year deal. He was projected to receive $4.5 million and his final contract came just under that to avoid going through the process. He faces arbitration again in 2023 and isn’t scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent until 2024 when he will turn 31.
Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers
Contract: one-year, $6.5 million
Burnes saw a nice bump in his contract as he is coming off winning the 2021 NL Cy Young award and making the NL All-Star team. This is just his first year of arbitration, but don’t be surprised if he doesn’t make it to his next one before the Brewers give him a shiny new extension keeping him in Milwaukee for a long time.
Matt Chapman, Toronto Blue Jays
Contract: two years, $25 million
The Blue Jays didn’t take too long to give their new third baseman a brand new contract. This extension takes Chapman through his last two remaining arbitration years and he will become a free agent after the 2023 season. Chapman figures to play third base, but bat towards the bottom of the order as the Blue Jays have shored up their lineup ahead of Opening Day.