The deadline to sign a player to a deal before teams and players would have to enter arbitration passed on Tuesday at 12PM central time. As the deadline neared, teams rushed to resign their players. The Miami Marlins had four players up for arbitration, here is how they fared.
The Marlins and closer Juan Carlos Oviedo agreed to a $6 million contract for the 2012 season. The Marlins and their former closer reached a deal right before the arbitration deadline. The move to me, makes no sense at all. As Michael Jong, over on Fishstripes, points out, Oviedo is not that good of a pitcher, and he adds not much more value over relief pitcher Jose Ceda. Apparently, the difference between Ceda and Oviedo in 2012 is just a third of a win. I will repeat that, the Marlins are paying Oviedo almost $6 million more for a third of a win! That is ridiculous. The Marlins however are not looking to keep Oviedo. Their intentions are to try to trade the former closer. I have no idea how much value the Marlins are going to get for him, but I doubt it will be much at all.
Edward Mujica also avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $1.62 million, one-year deal with the Marlins on Tuesday. The deal was first reported shortly before the deadline by Joe Capozzi. Mujica will likely be the Marlins setup man if the Marlins are able to deal Oviedo.
The Marlins were unable to reach a deal with two players. Those two players were Anibal Sanchez and Emilio Bonifacio. According to Juan Rodriguez, Anibal Sanchez and the Marlins are ways apart in his negotiations.
Sanchez is seeking $8 million, $1.1 million more than the Marlins’ offer. That disparity is the largest in the franchise’s arbitration history. The only other instance team and player exchanged figures more than $1 million apart was in 1998, when Charles Johnson sought $3.3 million and the Marlins came in at $2.25 million. Johnson won that hearing.That Sanchez and the Marlins exchanged figures doesn’t preclude them from working out a multi-year deal. In 2010, the Marlins and Josh Johnson filed figures, but Johnson ultimately received a four-year, $39 million contract extension.
Hopefully the Marlins and Anibal can come to a multi-year agreement. Sanchez is expected to be a huge part of the Marlins rotation in 2012 and beyond.
As for Bonifacio, the Marlins are much closer to a deal.
The Marlins and Bonifacio filed within spitting distance of each other. Bonifacio wants $2.2 million, just $250,000 more than the Marlins’ figure. This is the fifth time this Marlins front office will to go a hearing to settle a disparity of $350,000 or less. The team was $350,000 apart with Mark Redman and Vladimir Nunez in 2003, $125,000 apart with Kevin Gregg in 2007 and $200,000 apart with Cody Ross in 2010. Redman and Ross won their cases. The team beat Nunez and Gregg.
The Marlins do not generally negotiate after the deadline passes. You can expect to see both Bonifacio and Sanchez go to hearings with the Marlins. I will have some posts next week on who should win the case.