The deadline to tender offers to arbitration eligible players is at midnight tonight. The Pittsburgh Pirates have eight players who are eligible for arbitration. Here is a rundown of what to expect by the end of the night, along with projected arbitration values, as projected by MLB Trade Rumors.
Joel Hanrahan – $4,000,000
Hanrahan is a lock to be tendered. He’s a huge value for his production out of the closer role, priced at almost $5 M less than what he might get on the open market.
Jeff Karstens – $2,800,000
You have to tender Karstens after the season he had in 2011. Maybe it wasn’t fully legit, and he’s probably due for a regression from his 3.38 ERA. His advanced metrics suggested he won’t see a huge decline, with a 4.00 xFIP. That would be worth $2.8 M.
Jose Veras – $2,500,000
Of all of the relievers the Pirates have, Veras is the guy I see them non-tendering. The only way I see him sticking around is through a deal before the deadline tomorrow. Otherwise it would be a waste to give $2.5 M to a reliever when guys like Jared Hughes are projected to start in AAA. If you want to make a case that Veras could stay, you could point to the fact that he has lasted on the roster this long, while arbitration eligibles like Ross Ohlendorf have been released.
Garrett Jones – $2,400,000
In my original arbitration estimates, I had Jones at $1.5 M, which was the biggest difference between my projections and the MLBTR projections. Either way I think the Pirates will bring him back. They have made a lot of comments about not being able to add a first baseman on the open market. I’d like to see them make a strong push for Carlos Pena, and they have the money to make it happen. If they do add a first baseman, it wouldn’t be the worst thing to have Jones as an option off the bench. Worst case they deal him away.
Charlie Morton – $2,100,000
Morton is another lock to be tendered.
Chris Resop – $1,100,000
I could see Resop being non-tendered, but I wouldn’t agree with it. He had good numbers last year, with a staff leading 10.2 K/9 ratio, a 3.9 BB/9 ratio, and a 1.0 HR/9 ratio. He makes for a decent set up man, and would have value at $1.1 M. Ultimately I think they bring him back.
Evan Meek – $900,000
I have some concerns that the 2010 season might have been a fluke year for Meek, rather than his 2011 season being a down year. He’s got the upside of a major league closer, so you can’t dismiss him just yet, especially not when he’s this cheap.
Jason Grilli – $800,000
He’s a little bit older than the rest of the staff, but he had strong results in 2011. His control was a bit off, with a 4.1 BB/9 ratio, but he struck out 37 in 32.2 innings, and only gave up two homers. If I’m looking at just the K/9, BB/9, and HR/9 numbers from 2011, I’d have him third best out of the bullpen. I think he gets tendered.
The locks to be tendered are Hanrahan, Karstens, and Morton. Things could go either way for Jones, Resop, Meek, and Grilli, although I think all four get tendered. The only person I have projected as a non-tender candidate is Veras.