The SF Giants were able to agree to terms with three of their four remaining arbitration-eligible players on Thursday. However, they were unable to do so with veteran third baseman J.D. Davis. Mark Feinsand of MLB.Com was the first to report that the two sides did not come to an agreement.
SF Giants unable to come to terms with veteran third baseman for 2024
Feinsand also reported that Davis is looking for $6.9 million, whereas the Giants countered with $6.55 million. The difference is $350,000. When the offseason began, Davis was projected to make $6.8 million in his final trip through arbitration, so he is looking for a small bump above that.
Some teams have a file-and-trial approach with arbitration-eligible players where if they cannot come to an agreement, they will go to arbitration. In arbitration, both sides will make a case as to why the player deserves the salary they are proposing and a third-party arbiter chooses one side that will become the player's salary for the upcoming season.
It is a terrible process for players to go through and one that should be avoided. If it reeks of penny-pinching, it is because that is exactly what it is. Billion-dollar organizations spending time to squabble over relatively small amounts of money is asinine. I am totally in the camp that teams should just pay the player rather than go through this process. The optics are terrible. Even if the team wins the case, it is just a terrible look.
For the Giants and Davis, it could still be avoided and that is the hope. The organization has a good track record of avoiding arbitration, but they did go to arbitration with Donovan Solano and won the case.
However, it bears mentioning that Davis is a free agent at the end of the season. If the team is not inclined to keep him beyond this season, they do not run the risk of making a case that could hurt their chances in re-signing him down the road.
The 30-year-old infielder slashed .248/.325/.413 (103 OPS+) with 18 home runs, 69 RBI, and 61 runs in 546 plate appearances. His bat got off to a hot start but cooled off to the tune of a .649 OPS in the second half of the year. That said, Davis did flash a good glove at third base as he was worth +5 Outs Above Average in 2023.