Mark Trumbo: asked for $5.85 million, offered $3.4 million
Ouch. That's quite a significant gap there - for comparison, last season, the three D-backs who got to this stage all wanted within a million dollars of the club offer. There were only a couple of players with any teams in 2013, who had bigger spreads: Jason Hammel had a $2.55 million gap., and Chase Headley a $3.225 million one (the largest this year is Justin Masterson , $3.75 million away from what the Indians offered). The good news is, last season's discrepancy didn't seem to prevent an eventual agreement, with both men settling at or near the mid-point. Something similar would put Trumbo around the $4.6 million level.
Obviously, his camp will push the fact that Trumbo had 34 home-runs and drove in 100 for the Angels, and only four players in the major-leagues have hit more home-runs than his 66 over the past two seasons (Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis, Edwin Encarnacion - yeah, that one kinda surprised me a bit too! - and Adam Dunn). The D-backs will no doubt counter that Trumbo had the lowest on-base percentage of anyone who hit 34 home-runs, since Joe Carter for the 1989 Cleveland Indians. Previous history would tend to suggest that it's the hitter who probably has the better case, if things go that far.
Gerardo Parra: asked for $5.2 million, offered $4.3 million
This gap is much more what we're used to seeing, and isn't far off what we saw when Parra went through this for his first arbitration-eligible settlement. There, we offered $2.1 million, and he wanted $2.7 million: that's a gap of $600K, compared to $900K here, though in percentage terms, the player and club are actually closer together this time around. In 2013, the Diamondbacks eventually reached a mutual agreement with Parra, on a one-year deal at fractionally below the mid-point, for $2.35 million. A repeat thus time would lead to a figure of about $4.7 million, pretty close to the mid-point for Trumbo.
I wonder if there could be a psychological component, in paying one or other of our outfielders, more than the other? They're not in identical situations - this is Trumbo's first arb year, while it's Parra's second. However, in terms of value, both bWAR and fWAR agree that Parra was worth a significantly higher amount for 2013, largely due to his defense. bWAR had it at 6.1 to 2.2, while fWAR had the gap somewhat narrower, albeit still significant, at 4.6 to 2.5. Even if Parra's second Gold Glove would seem likely to boost his value in the arbitrator's eyes, there's a real chance he'll ending up getting less than Trumbo. I would feel a vague sense of injustice at this, somehow.
So, if you were the arbitrator - and remember, that means there's no middle ground allowed, you have to pick one figure or the other - on which side would come down?