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SF Giants: What each Player could Earn through Arbitration

SF Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
SF Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
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Last week, we looked at the SF Giants arbitration-eligible players and how each player performed in the 2020 season. Furthermore, we are dissecting each case to determine how likely it is that the Giants tender each player a contract for 2021.

The SF Giants have nine players eligible for arbitration with outfielder Alex Dickerson and infielder Donovan Solano being the most notable names.

The arbitration process allows players to negotiate their salary by using service time and on-field performance as support. Depending on a player’s service time, they can go through the arbitration process either three or four times before hitting free agency.

Once a player is tendered a contract, then the team and player will exchange salary figures for the upcoming season. If both parties cannot agree, then the case will be heard by a third=party panel.

That panel will determine which party has a more convincing case, and the player’s salary will be based on which side the panel chooses. It is a nasty process, but more often than not, the team and player avoid this altogether.

Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors recently released his annual projections of what he believes each player could expect to earn through arbitration. These projections carry some weight as teams will use the estimates when finalizing their tender and non-tender decisions.

Given the pandemic-shortened, 60-game season, Dierkes provided three estimates for each player. While based on different models, the estimates all fall within the same salary band.

For the SF Giants, the arbitration-eligible players and their projected 2021 salaries are listed below:

When we looked at the nine arbitration-eligible players last week, we had outfielder Joey Rickard on our list. He is up for arbitration, but he only collected six plate appearances in 2020 after sustaining an elbow injury. He was non-tendered and re-signed the last offseason, and I would expect him to be non-tendered again this offseason.

We did originally leave off Austin Slater from our list. After spending all season on the major league roster, it does look like he will have the service time to qualify and will be up for a nice raise in 2021.

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The non-tender market could be unusually high this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the SF Giants do not have any high-salaried arbitration players to receive substantial cost savings by non-tendering a player. That said, they will likely not tender a contract for each of their players as they continue to make improvements around the margins.

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