Nothing like arbitration news! to spice up the monotony of winter baseball. The Giants have recently made their decisions on who’s getting arbitration and who isn’t, from SFGiants.com:
The Giants announced late Saturday night that they offered salary arbitration to third baseman Pedro Feliz, although this hardly assured that the free agent would return to the club in 2008.
Not too surprising. I always thought that the Giants might offer Feliz arbitration because I think he’s got a good shot of getting a multi-year deal on the market. A team like Philadelphia or even the Twins (maybe not so much the Twins now that they’ve started selling) could sign Feliz for 2-3 years because even though we all know he’s a bad player, the Philly combo of Abraham Nunez and Wes Helms was horrific (Nunez had an OPS+ of 54 and Helms had a OPS+ of 68) and the Twins didn’t do much better with Nick “Worst MLB Regular” Punto manning the hot corner for them in ’07 (OPS+ of 52). Feliz is no superstar but he’s better than both of those examples.
Also, if Feliz is signed by another team, the Giants will get compensation because he’s a Type-B free agent. That compensation will come in the form of a sandwich pick.
A lot of fans will probably moan and groan about offering Feliz arbitration but it’s not the worst thing that could happen. He could very well accept it and the Giants would have to pay him something in the neighborhood of $5-7M but depending on what Feliz wants, I still think he can get a multi-year deal on the free market. There’s got to be a few teams at least that love his gold glove defense and over-value his 20HR power and RBI numbers. What the Giants did was protect themselves. Worst case – Feliz takes arbitration and you have to pay him. Best case – another team signs him, you get the draft pick, and you can continue looking for a replacement. Feliz’s value will probably never be higher so if he wants to make more money on the market, now is the time to do so. Having to watch Feliz for another year isn’t something I’d call fun but it’s a decent fallback option so the Giants don’t have to trade the farm for a third baseman.
From the same article, on who wasn’t offered arbitration:
The Giants did not offer salary arbitration to their other free agents — left fielder Barry Bonds, first baseman-outfielder Ryan Klesko, right-hander Russ Ortiz and catcher Mike Matheny.
No surprises here. No reason to bring back Klesko or Ortiz (who’ll miss the year with arm surgery) and Matheny was still on the active roster for some weird reason. Bonds was also a no-brainer, his chances of playing now are minuscule and if offered arbitration, at this point, he would surely accept it.
Another interesting bit-o-news regarding a possible non-tender in Xavier Nady:
The Pirates are prepared to trade outfielder Xavier Nady.
And, if they cannot do so within the next few days, according to one official with direct knowledge of their plans, they are considering non-tendering him before the Dec. 12 deadline to offer salary arbitration. That would allow him to become a free agent.
The Pirates organization is in transition right now and Nady is definitely available but if they can’t find the right match, they’d rather non-tender him than pay him in arbitration. The potential Nady non-tender is good news for the Giants, because he’s a Type B free agent the Giants wouldn’t lose a pick to sign him if he’s non-tendered, but also for the fact that the Giants wouldn’t necessarily have to trade a prospect to get him. If non-tendered, he enters the market as a free agent.
In 2007 Nady hit (.278/.330/.476) and he can play a corner OF spot or 1B. I would be interested in him at first base if non-tendered. He could be a platoon option (he’s hit well against LHP for his career) or a a starting option if the Giants can’t pair him with someone like a Geoff Jenkins. He could even be an insurance option if the club is still crazy enough to let Dan Ortmeier play first base. He’s a decent hitter at AT&T, too. In 53 career AB’s he’s hit (.302/.351/.434) which is an OPS of .785, that’s unheard of for a Giants first baseman. If I were to sign him, I’d hope to either get him on a 1 year deal or maybe even a 2-year deal similar to what Rich Aurilia got last offseason. A $2/8-10M deal for a career league average hitter isn’t too shabby this day and age.