clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Yasmani Grandal 2016 salary arbitration preview

New, 727 comments
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Can you smell it in the air? It is salary arbitration season now that we have reached the new year, with dozens of pre-free-agency players set for raises this winter, all based on comparable other players in both performance and service time.

The Dodgers already avoided salary arbitration by signing one-year contracts for 2016 with catcher A.J. Ellis and pitcher Joe Wieland. That leaves catcher Yasmani Grandal, infielder Justin Turner, outfielder Scott Van Slyke, closer Kenley Jansen and relief pitchers Chris Hatcher and Luis Avilan still eligible for salary arbitration.

The immediate dates to remember are the filing date of January 12 and the exchange date of January 15. The first date is more of a procedural thing, with both player and club filing for arbitration if the two sides can't agree on a contract. The second date serves more as an impetus to act, with both player and club exchanging salaries, the figures they will argue for should a hearing be required (which would be scheduled from Feb. 1-21, this year in Florida).

Here is a look at Grandal, who with three years, 115 days of major league service time is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time.

Let's first look at catchers with similar service time and production to Grandal, who just turned 27 in November. Here are their career numbers heading into salary arbitration after three years of major league service.

Comparable arbitration-eligible catchers
Catcher Years Svc Time PA HR BA/OBP/SLG OPS+ wOBA wRC+ rWAR fWAR Salary
Yasmani Grandal 2012-2015 3.115 1,203 40 .241/.351/.409 116 .336 118 5.9 6.2
tbd
Wilin Rosario 2011-2014 3.023 1,359 65 .274/.308/.473 101 .340 98 4.1 3.5 $2,800,000
Welington Castillo 2010-2014 3.009 1,069 27 .256/.324/.400 98 .320 101 7.6 6.8 $2,100,000
A.J. Ellis 2009-2013 3.151 1,197 25 .256/.349/.378 104 .322 105 6.2 6.8 $3,550,000^
Jason Castro 2010-2013 3.104 1,003 26 .255/.332/.417 105 .315 98 5.5 6.3 $2,450,000
Wilson Ramos 2010-2013 3.047 916 35 .270/.325/.445 109 .325 104 4.8 6.5 $2,095,000
Alex Avila 2009-2012 3.061 1,390 40 .261/.359/.432 113 .347 115 8.4 8.0 $2,950,000
Nick Hundley 2008-2011 3.088 1,120 30 .255/.314/.420 104 .320 103 4.6 6.4 $2,000,000*
Miguel Montero 2006-2009 3.031 938 31 .267/.332/.445 97 .335 96 2.2 3.0 $2,000,000
Mike Napoli 2006-2009 3.151 1,294 66 .256/.358/.493 121 .366 122 9.1 9.3 $3,600,000^
*Part of multi-year contract; ^qualified as a "Super Two" the previous year

Ellis heading into 2014 and Napoli in 2010 were in their second year of arbitration after qualifying for Super Two status the previous year, inflating their salaries a bit. Hundley's 2012 salary was part of a multi-year contract, so not perfectly comparable, and Montero might be too long ago with not quite enough production to be comparable to Grandal to date.

That leaves five reasonably comparable catchers going through the arbitration process with three years of service time in the last three seasons. Let's drill down and look at each of their launch seasons heading into arbitration:

3-year service time catchers' launch years
Catcher Year PA HR BA/OBP/SLG OPS+ wOBA wRC+ rWAR fWAR Salary
Yasmani Grandal 2015 426 16 .234/.353/.403 111 .335 115 1.4 2.3
tbd
Wilin Rosario 2014 410 13 .267/.305/.435 93 .319 85 -0.1 0.4 $2,800,000
Welington Castillo 2014 417 13 .237/.296/.389 89 .306 93 1.8 2.4 $2,100,000
Jason Castro 2013 491 18 .276/.350/.485 130 .361 129 4.5 4.4 $2,450,000
Wilson Ramos 2013 303 16 .272/.307/.470 110 .337 113 2.4 1.5 $2,095,000
Alex Avila 2012 434 9 .243/.352/.384 99 .327 104 2.4 2.3 $2,950,000

MLB Trade Rumors projected a salary of $2.7 million for Grandal.

2016 guess

A rough average of the five closest comps above is just shy of $2.5 million. Bump that a little for inflation, and I'll guess $2.6 million for Grandal in 2016.

These arbitration studies are made much easier thanks to Baseball-Reference, Cot's Baseball Contracts, MLB Trade Rumors and FanGraphs.