If you haven’t heard, the Miami Marlins have a ton of players eligible for arbitration this off-season. The Marlins have seven players headed to arbitration, they include right-handers Mat Latos, Steve Cishek, Aaron Crow, Henderson Alvarez, and David Phelps, left-hander Mike Dunn, and second baseman Dee Gordon.
The team was able to knock one guy off the list earlier today, as they reached a deal with newly acquired reliever Aaron Crow, according to Jon Heyman.
The $1.975 million deal is just $25,000 short of what Matt Swartz and MLB Trade Rumors projected Crow would earn this upcoming season. After this season, Crow will be eligible for arbitration one last time before hitting free agency after 2016 season.
Crow is coming off an abysmal season with the Royals, posting a 4.12 ERA, a 5.40 FIP, and a -0.9 WAR in 45 innings with the Royals last season. He pitched so poorly in the second half, the Royals actually left him off the post-season roster.
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The reason for Crow’s demise last season was his faltering strikeout rate, which has gone down each season since his breakout 1.1 fWAR season. Last season, he struck out just over 5 hitters per nine innings. He also went from forcing 53% ground balls all the way down to 43% last season.
Despite him never making a start as a major leaguer, the Marlins hope to stretch Crow out during Spring Training in hopes of making him either a starter or a long reliever.
The last time Crow was used as a full-time starter was back in 2010, in Double-A with the Royals. That season he posted a 5.66 ERA and a 4.76 FIP.
While the Marlins hope they bought a lottery ticket, buying low on Aaron Crow, the more likely result is the Marlins paying almost $2 million to a sunken cost.
Today is the last day for the Marlins to negotiate with their other arbitration eligible players because the Marlins are a file-and-go team. If the two sides don’t come to terms today, they’ll both send what they think the player should earn in 2015 and an arbitrator will decided what the player gets.