The rubber match in a series of three arbitration hearings between the Miami Marlins and their own players was heard on Thursday. Right-hander Dan Straily didn’t get the 2018 salary he had been seeking, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports.
Straily was eligible for a substantial raise for the first time in his career. He comes away with $3.375 million, $1.225 million shy of the $4.6 million that MLB Trade Rumors had projected for him at the start of this offseason. His representatives at Sosnick Cobbe & Karon were making a case for a $3.55 million salary.
As MLBTR’s Matt Swartz explains, the process emphasizes old-school analytics:
Another quirk to the arbitration process is that it usually only factors in “baseball card statistics” rather than more sophisticated metrics. While teams signing free agents are typically up to speed on sabermetrics, the arbitration process does not account for them. Counting stats are important, as is playing time in general.
With that in mind, the following figures likely influenced the arbiters’ decision:
Platform year stats: 10-9, 181.2 IP, 4.26 ERA in 33 games
Career stats: 37-30, 633.1 IP, 4.25 ERA in 119 games
Although Straily isn’t nearly as effective a trade chip as catcher J.T. Realmuto, the Marlins have been open to moving him for the same logistical reasons. He only remains under club control through the 2020 season, during which time they don’t expect to be very competitive. He’d probably be considered a back-end-of-the-rotation starter on a championship contender, an asset that could be parlayed into a couple new prospects for a farm system still lacking in depth.
However, Straily prefers to remain throughout the rebuilding process. Speaking to the Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer:
“I agree with what happened, all the moves they made,” Straily said of the Marlins’ active offseason. “And I really feel that the pieces they brought in…this might flip around a little quicker [than people expect]. I’m not saying today, but things are going to flip around a little quicker than a lot of people realize, because of some of the players they were able to acquire back in those trades.”
According to Spotrac, the Marlins now have $79,712,142 in salary commitments for this season. Their five-man arbitration class—not including Marcell Ozuna, who was traded to the Cardinals in December—combines for $10.8 million of that total.