Salary arbitration won't hit until January, but that doesn't mean we can't look ahead now. Clayton Kershaw is chief among the Dodgers eligible for arbitration this offseason, though most of the focus this winter will be on a potential contract extension for the Dodgers ace.
Matt Swartz over at MLB Trade Rumors has a model for predicting arbitration salaries, and on Tuesday he predicted 2014 figures for the seven eligible Dodgers this winter:
- Kershaw: $18.2 million
- Kenley Jansen: $4.8 million
- A.J. Ellis: $3.2 million
- Ronald Belisario: $2.3 million
- Drew Butera: $700,000
- Scott Elbert: $600,000
- Mike Baxter: $500,000
Kershaw, about to win his second Cy Young Award, is a bit of a special case, and admittedly tough to predict. Swartz mentions Kershaw's projection would top the largest arbitration award, which is $15.5 million for Ryan Howard in 2011. But that ignores Tim Lincecum, who made $22 million in 2013 in the second year of a two-year contract that bought out his final two arbitration seasons.
Swartz thinks the Dodgers will non-tender Elbert, coming off Tommy John surgery, and Butera. I think the Dodgers will keep Butera for the same reason they traded for him on July 31. They have very little catching depth in the system, and I think they'll keep Butera around for relatively inexpensive backstop insurance heading into spring training in 2014.
The deadline to tender contracts is December 2. Players file for arbitration on Jan. 14, with figures exchanged on Jan. 17.
Here are some other Dodgers links for a Tuesday:
- Steve Dilbeck at the Los Angeles Times takes a look at the Dodgers' pursuit of Masahiro Tanaka.
- Tony Jackson at Dodger Scribe offers his view of the World Series, specifically Monday night's Game 5. It is always interesting to see how a professional looks at the game with time to actually sit back and enjoy it rather than being on deadline, official or otherwise.
- Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness began his 2013 Dodgers player-by-player reviews, complete with 1990 Topps-style cards, with A.J. Ellis.
- Mark Saxon at ESPN LA grades the Dodgers season in various areas.
- Jim Baker at Baseball Nation looks at 10 old World Series programs, including one from the 1966 World Series between the Dodgers and Orioles.
- The Gold Glove Awards will be announced Tuesday night at 4 p.m. PT on ESPN2. The Dodgers have five finalists.