With Blake Treinen winning his arbitration case against the Oakland A’s, it’s clear that this offseason, it’s in arbitration that players are getting paid.
On Saturday, Jeff Passan of ESPN reported that Oakland A’s closer Blake Treinen had won his arbitration case. As a result, the A’s will have to pay Treinen $6.4M for 2019, a $4.25 million raise from 2018, which is a record for a second-time arbitration eligible reliever.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 2, 2019
In an offseason in which everyone expected to see record-breaking contracts in free agency, it is through arbitration that teams and players seem to be breaking records.
It all started with the Boston Red Sox and Mookie Betts came to terms on a 1-year deal worth $20M in order to avoid an arbitration hearing by January’s filing deadline. Up from $10.5M last season, this $9.5M raise set the record for the largest MLB arbitration raise in history.
Betts wouldn’t hold on to that record for too long, however. Just hours after Betts’ deal was announced, the New York Mets and Jacob deGrom agreed to terms on 1-year, $17M contract, a $9.6M raise from the previous season.
Just two days before Treinen won his case against the Oakland A’s, Nolan Arenado and the Colorado Rockies avoided an arbitration hearing by agreeing to a $26M deal for the 2019 season. This deal breaks a record set just one year ago when Josh Donaldson and the Toronto Blue Jays avoided a hearing by agreeing on a 1-year, $23M deal.
To put this in perspective, the Chicago White Sox most recently offered Manny Machado a 7-year, $175M deal. If Machado were to agree to this deal, for the 2019 season he’d be paid $1M less in free agency than Arenado did in arbitration.