The White Sox took everybody by surprise last year, perhaps because Avisail Garcia and Yolmer Sanchez caught Rick Hahn off guard. However it happened, two White Sox players ended up in the club’s first arbitration hearings since Keith Foulke in 2001, and both players won.
There will be no such drama this year. The White Sox announced settlements with all four remaining arb-eligible players on deadline day. The rundown (with MLB Trade Rumors’ projections):
- Jose Abreu: $16M ($16M)
- Alex Colome: $7.325M ($7.3M)
- Yolmer Sanchez: $4.625M ($4.7M)
- Carlos Rodon: $4.2M ($3.7M)
The White Sox settled with Leury Garcia at $1.55 million in November while non-tendering Avi Garcia and Matt Davidson. Add it all up, and MLBTR just about nailed it:
- Projected total: $33.6M
- Actual total: $33.7M
They saved about $10 million in potential contracts to Avi Garcia and Matt Davidson, which they’ve instead redirected to Manny Machado’s support system ($8 million for Yonder Alonso, $4 million for Jon Jay). Throw in one year of Ivan Nova, a year of James McCann and two years of Kelvin Herrera, and the White Sox have committed just shy of $77 million for 13 salaries.
Fill out the rest of the 25-man roster with pre-arb spots, and that puts their payroll at around $83 million. There’s plenty of room left for Manny Machado, and if there isn’t, then they shouldn’t have thrown $8 million around so freely.
Two other takeaways from the settlements:
No. 1: Jose Abreu did OK by opting out.
If you didn’t see the bottom of Friday’s discussion, karkovice squad beat me to the math. Abreu was guaranteed $34 million over the final three years of his original deal, but he made $39.825 million by going through the arbitration process. That’s a well-deserved $5.825 million, and MLB Trade Rumors’ initial projections had him missing an extra $5 million or so.
No. 2: Any bad blood has so far been contained.
Unlike the Foulke situation, where resentments dripped out here and there over the remainder of his Sox career, we haven’t heard any real recriminations from last winter’s arbitration hearings. Granted, the non-tendering of Avisail Garcia closed the book on one, but Sanchez dodged the question with a laugh during spring training, and hasn’t seemed any worse for the wear since.
I’m guessing Sanchez is better equipped than any other White Sox to survive the often-acrimonious nature of arbitration hearings. It’s hard to imagine anything getting under his skin, and it’s even harder to imagine beating him in a smack-talking competition, even if it’s codified. For all I know, the White Sox might’ve been more eager to settle after hearing his cruel cackle.