With A.J. Pollock and Patrick Corbin having rejected the Diamondbacks’ qualifying offers, the team knows they are no longer committed to paying either man $17.9 million next year [They could still, technically, re-sign with the Diamondbacks as free agents, but that chance seems like “jack” for Pollock and... well, let’s just say, “less than jack” for Corbin] With that out of the way, the next stage is deciding whether or not to tender contracts to the players who are not under automatic team control for next season. That excludes the players who either have less than three years of service time (who will be assigned contracts for 2019) and those who previously inked other deals. Basically, the arbitration-eligible players.
There are plenty of those to be found around the Diamondbacks: no less than fourteen, in fact, which according to MLB Trade Rumors, is tied with the Brewers for most in the major-leagues this winter. With every one of those all but certain to end up needing a pay increase for 2019. the team has some decisions to make. Right now, based off the MLBTR estimates, Jack’s spreadsheet suggests the team looks to have a payroll of about $142 million for Opening Day next year. That would be about $10 million than the same figure in 2018, though last summer, there were some significant salary pickups during the season.
As yet, we do not know what figures these fourteen will cost. The two sides can negotiate freely, to come to a mutually agreed figure. That’s usually what ends up happening. But if not, the arbitration process involves the team and the player each submitting independent figures of what they think the player is worth. They then have a hearing, making the case to an independent arbitrator, who will pick one figure or the other - no splitting the difference - and that then becomes the player’s salary for the next year. That has only been needed a handful of times in Arizona franchise history, and it’s likely all or almost all of these players will simply work out a salary with the team.
However, the team is under no obligation to offer them anything at all. They can simply say “No, thanks,” and let the player go. The man will then become a free-agent, able to sign with any team, for whatever they can get. [Note that this is strictly a one-way deal. Players do not have the right to walk away into free-agency.] This allows the team to save money, by cutting bait on any players they do not think are worth the cost, which typically increases steadily through the (typically three) years of arbitration. If the D-backs want salary room to spend on other players this year, non-tendering some of these fourteen is among the easiest ways to get it.
So, who gets the ax? Below is a poll, listing all fourteen players, along with their age, arbitration status, and estimated 2019 salary. You have to decide who gets paid, and who gets future endeavored, to borrow a wrestling phrase. The more you decline, the more money the team will have to play with for 2019. But also, the more players whose production you will have to replace, through free-agency, trades or the farm system. I’ll give you a week to discuss, then write up the results - probably in three groups - as we head towards the non-tender deadline, which is the end of this month. For those on mobile, here’s the link to the form.