MLB Trade Rumors has been going through the Major League teams and anticipating eventual arbitration numbers for those players that are eligible. How these numbers are reached isn’t something I’m able to really explain. It’s an inexact science but Matt Swartz has had some success with these estimations in the past. For the White Sox, there are 4 first time arb-eligible players, listed in what I believe to be the likelihood in which they’ll be offered a contract:
De Aza is a no-brainer. He is coming off of his first full major league season despite being 28 years old through nearly the entire year (late bloomer!) batting .281/.349/.410 while performing serviceably in center field. The MLBTR model expects a $1.7M salary going De Aza’s way. Sounds just fine to me.
Gordon Beckham…I don’t have the energy to go into the Gordon Beckham story here, we’re all frustrated, but we know that he does add value from the second base position. Though he only got on base at a .296 clip, Fangraphs, Baseball-Reference and Baseball Propsectus’ versions of WAR have Beckham in the positive as far as value, which isn’t a given for players that are actually receiving major league paychecks. The White Sox will most certainly give Beckham another chance. Gordo made $520,000 in 2012 but he’s played a lot of baseball since he’s been called up, and that means he’s in line for a serious raise. The estimation has him making $3.1M in 2013. That’s a hefty increase, but not terribly unreasonable, and it’s something the White Sox should be willing to pay.
Ohhhh, Philip Humber. Humber had an interesting year in which he achieved both a perfect game and a demotion to the bullpen. He was pretty bad, and if you take 9 perfect innings away from him, he was absolutely terrible. He wasn’t worth much of anything and he’s looking at a raise that should put him over the $1M mark. Unless there is a mechanical flaw of some sort that the White Sox have identified and are prepared to address and fix by the time the season rolls around they should probably just non-tender Philip Humber. Sucks for him to be remembered as the guy that threw a perfect game and was rewarded with a non-tender but when you think about it, that’s not so bad for a kid from Nacogdoches, Texas.
Dan Johnson loves his game 162’s. We’ve now seen it first hand as he hit 3 homeruns to end the 2012 season, albeit in a meaningless game. Johnson got on base over the half the time he came to the plate in 2012! He also barely came to the plate. 31 times. Johnson might be a decent guy to have come off the bench for some teams, but the White Sox don’t really have a place for him. They could let him stay, and he’d probably get about $1.2M for it. I can’t say I really see the point and it’s fairly likely he’ll be non-tendered.
If the Sox offer arbitration to just De Aza and Beckham, that puts the 2013 payroll estimate at $103M with plenty of spots yet to fill. Bringing back the un-discussed, non-free agent 2012 players at near league minimum still puts the team salary well over what Rick Hahn stated as his intended level upon being announced as the new GM. Any of these arb-eligible players could be offered a contract prior to hitting arbitration, those numbers would become anybody’s guess. Either way, it doesn’t look like there will be any money for any A.J.’s or Youkilis’ (Youkiliseses? Youkili?).