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MLB arbitration deadline roundup: Betts, Bryant, Lindor and more reportedly lock in new deals

Key Points
  • Friday marked the MLB salary arbitration deadline.
  • Leading up to this deadline, eligible players and their current clubs negotiate salaries for the upcoming season if a contract was not already in place.
  • Some of the big names that reached deals Friday are Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer, Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant and Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor.
Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox pops out in the third inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 12, 2019 in Toronto, Canada.
Vaughn Ridley | Getty Images

Leading up to the Friday Major Leauge Baseball arbitration deadline, 155 eligible players and their current clubs negotiated salaries for the upcoming season. Since the deadline at noon, a number of deals were reported as teams and players avoided arbitration.

Some of the big names that reached deals Friday are Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer, Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant and Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor.

Players are typically salary arbitration-eligible once they have completed three years of MLB service. There isn't much variation among player salaries in the first several years. Rookies who get called up are paid at the Major League minimum salary rate, which is between $500,000 and $600,000.

MLB players are no longer eligible for arbitration once they hit six years in the Major Leagues and become free agents. There are some exceptions to the arbitration-eligibility timeline.

Leading up to the January deadline, clubs and players negotiate salaries, "primarily based on comparable players who have signed contracts in recent seasons," according to the MLB. Salaries can decrease, but a salary cannot be cut by more than 20%.

If both parties do not come to an agreement by the Friday deadline, then the club and player must exchange desired salary figures and a hearing is set for February. If a settlement is not reached by the February hearing, the case goes to a panel of arbitrators, who select one of the proposed salaries, according to the league.

Betts and the Boston Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $27 million deal ahead of the deadline, according to a tweet from ESPN's Jeff Passan.

This is slightly below the projected arbitration salary of $27.7 million speculated in MLB rumors.

If accurate, the deal would be a new record for an arbitration-eligible player, according to NBC Sports Boston. Until Betts' deal is official, the record as of right now belongs to Nolan Arenado's $26 million contract with the Colorado Rockies in 2019.

Betts will be considered a free agent following the 2020 season.

The Reds' Bauer agreed to a $17.5 million contract, according to multiple reports including MLB.com executive reporter Mark Feinsand.

Bauer had an arbitration hearing each of the past two years, Feinsand said. His new salary is the second-highest ever for an arbitration-eligible pitcher.

There were reports that Indians shortstop Lindor also reached a $17.5 million deal, according to MLB.com. The club has yet to confirm it. The deal would mark the second-highest contract for a second-time arbitration-eligible player, MLB.com reported.

Third baseman Bryant reached a $18.6 million agreement with the Cubs, according to Passan. MLB Trade Rumors was looking for a number at around $18.5 million.

Noah Syndergaard and the New York Mets settled on a $9.7 million contract for 2020, according to MLB.com writer Anthony DiComo. MLB Trade Rumors was expecting $9.9 million.

The New York Yankees have nine arbitration-eligible players, including pitcher James Paxton, right fielder Aaron Judge and catcher Gary Sanchez. MLB Trade Rumors is anticipating Paxton will get $12.9 million, Judge will get $6.4 million and Sanchez will land $5.6 million. If a settlement has not been reached by the deadline, then each player and the Yankees will face arbitration hearings.

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