Sunday, January 20, 2008

Arbitration: 2008 Giants

It was announced the other day (and reported here in the Chron and in the Merc) that the Giants were able to sign Brad Hennessey to a contract, avoiding arbitration, while they ended up apart with Kevin Correia and Vinnie Chulk, and thus exchanged salaries ahead of arbitration (though they could come to an agreement before the scheduled meeting).
  • Hennessey: signed a one year contract for $1.6M. He pitched in increasingly more important situations for bullpen during the 2007 season than he had in past seasons, plus it was the first year he didn't get yanked back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen, reaching a zenith of being named closer when Benitez was finally traded. He did well in that role for a while, at one point getting saves 14 straight save opportunities, the most since Nen had a 28 straight streak in 2000, and 17 out of 19, before losing it and going 2 out of 5 before Brian Wilson took over the closer role. His inherited runners scored percentage was low but jumped with his troubles and finally ended at 47% inherited runners scoring, which was very poor. In 2007, he had a 3.42 ERA, 13 holds, and 19 saves in 69 outings, but lousy peripherals: 3.0 BB/9 (barely good), 5.6 K/9 (again borderline), 1.7 K/BB (which is not good for a reliever, the best relievers are above 2.4). I think he earned his raise from the $400,000 he made in 2007, though it is unlikely that he's going to be saving that many games in 2008, but when the arbitrator looks at the situation, he's only going to consider what he has done in the past, and 2007 looks pretty good, hence the Giants sought to get him signed without arbitration (where they would be forced to point out all his flaws as a reliever).
  • Correia: the Giants offered $850,000 while Correia asked for $1.3M. Correia had an OK statistical year then really stood out with his starts: in 8 starts, he had 46 IP, giving up 38 hits and 13 walks, getting 34 strikeouts. That works out to .259 BABIP (that's low, particularly in light of his .293 career BABIP and the .300 BABIP most pitchers should be around, so he was lucky with hits as a starter), 7.4 H/9, 2.5 BB/9 (good, want it under 3.0), 6.7 K/9 (OK as long as it stays above 6.0, then it gets dicey), 2.6 K/BB (very good, want it over 2.0 for starters). In relief, he was OK but not great: he had a 4.20 ERA with 12 holds in 51 relief appearances and so-so peripherals: 4.4 BB/9, 7.4 K/9, 1.7 K/BB (which is not good for a reliever, a good reliever would be over 2.4). Overall, Correia had a 3.45 ERA in 51 relief appearances and 8 starts. The amount he asked for would make sense if he was headed for sure for the rotation in 2008 - something his agent must have talked him into - but based on 2007 and his past, I think the Giants offer is closer to the truth. Hopefully they will avoid arbitration with a contract around $1M. He will get more money if he can repeat his great starts at the end of 2007, but his OK relief (and can't find the stat, but I recall his inherited runners success rate to not be that good either) and lucky starts (due to the much reduced hits) says that he should repeat success as a starter before getting bigger bucks, and there's no guarantee that he will be even starting in 2008, he has to beat out Jonathan Sanchez as well as Pat Misch, who both should give him a lot of competition (I'm betting on Pat Misch, though who wins between Kevin and Pat, I have no idea; I would love to see either starting, though I would like to see Misch starting more, I see him as being Lowry's replacement if a trade could be made).
  • Chulk: the Giants offered $725,000 and Chulk asked for $975,000. Chulk also had a nice season: Chulk had a 3.57 ERA with 9 holds in 57 appearances with good peripherals: 2.4 BB/9, 7.0 K/9, 2.9 K/BB. They most probably will avoid arbitration by splitting the difference at $850,000. Lots of Giants fans look past him, and admittedly his inherited runners scoring was bad (again, unavailable, but recall it not being good; most of the staff, from what I had remembered, were not good except for Kline, who fans are not enamored with either), but his numbers in 2007 look pretty good except for the inherited success rate.

The Giants have usually sought to avoid arbitration with their players and have been successful for the most part in avoiding (and winning the ones they don't avoid except for one nasty exception where they totally screwed up) actual arbitration meetings. I don't think they will have to go to the meeting as most of the time, the two sides just split the difference between the two amounts. Because of the bigger gap for Correia, the amount might end up more on his side since he obviously wants much more.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Martin - This is the absolute worst time of the year. It just seems to drag until pitchers and catchers report. I just got back from 9 days in Paris, so that certainly helps.
    I don't much see the point of arguing over $100,000 for these guys when the team turns around and throws an extra million at Feliz for example. Or Omar

    ReplyDelete

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