JUPITER, Fla. -- Among the 146 arbitration-eligible players heading into this season, Giancarlo Stanton received the third-highest pay increase. Who topped him? Two of the five Atlanta Braves who received multi-year contract extensions.
Stanton according to the Associated Press received a 12-fold increase from $537,000 to $6.5 million. Like Stanton, Freddie Freeman was arbitration-eligible for the first time and garnered an eight-year, $135 million contract. That's a 30-fold increase from $560,000 to an average annual value of $16.75 million.
Freeman teammate Craig Kimbrel went from $560,000 to a $10.5 million AAV with a four-year, $42 million deal. Two Braves' players -- shortstop Andrelton Simmons (seven years, $58 million) and pitcher Julio Teheran (six years, $32.4 million) -- were not arbitration eligible. All totaled, the Braves committed $280.7 million to keeping their homegrown core intact.
The Marlins took notice, but don't look for them to follow suit.
"Every time there is a signing we all talk and say what impact is this having, how do they compare to the players we have, does it change our view of when to offer a long-term deal to particular players," team president David Samson said. "All contracts impact that decision because the players see it. Stanton knows what Freddie signed for. Jose knows what Teheran just got.
"Does it make it more complicated? Of course. That's why as an industry we're partners and when there are contracts signed it can impact the industry. ... We have not changed our view of pre-arbitration long-term deals. Our view is that if you're going to sign players pre-arbitration and give them that security, you want to get some free agent years."
The Braves did that with Simmons, buying out his first three free agent seasons, and buying out the first for Teheran. Similarly, buying out three free agent years for Jose Fernandez at this point would require a seven-year deal for a lot more than Teheran signed.
Samson acknowledged the risk of the team is greater when it comes to pitchers. This ownership group has signed just two pitchers to multi-year deals in their arbitration deals. Josh Johnson in January 2010 got four years for $39 million and the following December the Marlins and Ricky Nolasco agreed on a three-year, $26.5 million pact.
Johnson looked like he would sit atop the Marlins rotation for years to come. From 2011 until the Marlins traded him to the Blue Jays before 2013, Johnson made just 38 starts and went 11-15 with a 3.29 ERA and a 2.6-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Nolasco from the time he signed his extension until the Marlins traded him to the Dodgers was serviceable. He went 27-33 with a 4.42 ERA and struck out 3.1 batters for every one he walked over 82 games started.
Mike Lowell (four years, $32 million) after 2003 and Hanley Ramirez (six years, $70 million) in May 2008 are the only position players the current ownership group signed to multi-year extensions of three or more years while they were still arbitration-eligible.
If Stanton becomes the third, it will take a Freeman-like deal.
"We're very similar so obviously that's around the contract to be reached somewhere I guess, but that's not like, 'He got this, I'm going to work for this.' " Stanton said. "Our careers are very similar, yes. ... (A multi-year extension) really wasn't pushed very much. ... We're going to let this play out and see where we're at."
Pitchers for UM
Manager Mike Redmond announced his pitching lineup for Wednesday's exhibition opener against the University of Miami. Right-hander Angel Sanchez, who the Marlins acquired from the Dodgers last season as part of the Nolasco deal, will start. Others scheduled to pitch: Adam Conley, Greg Nappo, Josh Spence, Grant Dayton, Rett Varner, Edgar Olmos and James Leverton. ...
Fernandez likely will pitch Friday's Grapefruit League opener against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. The Cardinals will start Carlos Martinez.
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