Players file for arbitration, then immediately sign contracts to avoid arbitration. It’s one of 17,000 processes and quirks that can only answered with “Yeah, well, that’s how baseball works.”
Beckham, was projected to receive $3.1 million through arbitration by MLB Trade Rumors, but wound up settling for for $2.925. It makes sense that he would settle for less, because Beckham’s performance the past few years has been fairly poor.
De Aza, was projected to receive $1.7 million through arbitration, but wound up with a contract for $2.075 for 2013. It would make sense that he would earn a bit more than slowly scraping together three years of service time, since he was a highly effective regular throughout the season.
Reaction to the contracts around Twitter and elsewhere have been positive, since even if the fact that both players are in their first year of arbitration is taken into account, $5 million still just sounds like a perfectly reasonable amount to drop on two position starters. This is, after all, why teams place spend so much time coveting years of cost-controlled production. It’s just seems so affordable, because it’s set up to be.