The 2023 season is over for the San Francisco Giants and that means fans must turn their attention to the offseason. If last offseason is any indication, the Giants' front office is at least going to try to go after some of the big names on the free agent market, although this year's free agent class is not quite as exciting especially with Shohei Ohtani hurt.
Before that can happen, though, the Giants have to make some decisions regarding their arbitration-eligible players. Arbitration is a somewhat arcane and confusing process at first, so here is a quick rundown of what it is and what it means for San Francisco.
What is arbitration in baseball? How many SF Giants players are arbitration-eligible?
The quick and dirty explanation of salary arbitration is that players with more than three years of service time but less than six are eligible for arbitration. There are exceptions such as "Super Two" players as well as young players that sign contract extensions that lock in their cost for their arbitration years, but that is the general gist.
The two important deadlines when it comes to arbitration are the non-tender deadline and the arbitration agreement deadline. The non-tender deadline, which is on November 17th, 2023 this year, is the deadline for teams to decide to begin the arbitration process with a player. The early years of players' contracts are not guaranteed, so if a team decides that what a given player is likely to get in arbitration isn't worth it, they can "non-tender" them which functionally means that that player is released.
The arbitration agreement deadline is in mid-January and that is when the two sides have to either come to an agreement on the player's salary for the upcoming season. If they can't, each side "files" the salary amount they want, they go to an arbitration hearing, and a neutral third party arbitrator decides which figure will be used to pay them.
As for how many Giants players are eligible for arbitration this year, lets take a look at all of them as well as how much they are expected to make in arbitration. All arbitration estimates will be coming from MLB Trade Rumors as their projections have been the gold standard for several years now.