New York Mets: Dan Masi

Salary projections: Other eligible Mets

October, 31, 2014
Oct 31
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Pace Law School in White Plains won the sixth-annual Tulane National Baseball Arbitration Competition in 2013 in New Orleans.

This week, Dan Masi (Pace ’14) and Jesse Kantor (Pace ’15) offered their salary projections for the Mets’ arbitration-eligible players, including detailed analyses for Lucas Duda, Dillon Gee, Jenrry Mejia and Daniel Murphy.


On the final day, Masi and Kantor produce a roundup of the other arbitration-eligible Mets.

Note: Anthony Recker earlier this year was projected to be a Super 2, but now is expected to narrowly miss the cut. Players with three or fewer years of service time, who do not qualify for Super 2 status, have their salaries set by the team somewhere near the major league minimum, which will increase modestly from $500,000 in 2015.


The Pace Law arbitration team is using the same methods agents and team officials employ.

Bobby Parnell
lastname
Parnell
Bobby Parnell underwent Tommy John surgery after his first and only appearance of the 2014 season. The Mets won’t consider non-tendering Parnell because his salary is not burdensome and he could prove to be a bargain for a player who led the team in saves in 2013. Because he didn’t record any meaningful stats in 2014, Parnell will likely be given the exact same salary as he received the previous year.
Prediction: $3.7M

Eric Young Jr.
lastname
Young
After leading the NL in steals in 2013, Eric Young Jr. was used more sparingly this past season, finishing the year with nearly half of the starts he had in 2013. However, when in the lineup, Young flashed his trademark speed to the tune of 30 steals (with only six times caught stealing). Considering his 2014 statistics, his arbitration value would be near $2.25 million, based on a $400,000 raise from his current $1.85 million salary. At that value, he would likely be paid more than actual value and the Mets could non-tender him and attempt to re-sign him for less.
Prediction: Potential non-tender ($2.25M)

Ruben Tejada
lastname
Tejada
Ruben Tejada recorded five homers and started 105 games for the Mets in 2014, but he failed to claim the shortstop position for his own. With the Mets intent on either acquiring a shortstop or using Wilmer Flores, Tejada projects as no more than a backup middle infielder next season. So the Mets may not be willing to pay the amount required to keep Tejada. If the Mets were to go to arbitration with Tejada, he would likely receive roughly $1.7 million -- a $600,000 raise.
Prediction: Potential non-tender ($1.7M)

Buddy Carlyle
lastname
Carlyle
Buddy Carlyle performed admirably after being called up following four years mostly out of the majors. When given the opportunity, the 36-year-old Carlyle responded with a 1.45 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 27 relief appearances. A career fringe pitcher, Carlyle likely would be paid near $1 million in arbitration -- more than he would receive on the market. While the Mets may want to hold on to Carlyle considering his impressive stats, they’ll likely non-tender, either replacing him with a cheaper option or attempting to re-sign.
Prediction: Potential non-tender ($1.0M)

Dana Eveland
lastname
Eveland
Another pitcher who returned from an MLB hiatus, Dana Eveland finished 1-1 with a 2.63 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 30 relief appearances. Only 30 years old, Eveland represents a younger option than Carlyle to place in the bullpen -- and at an equally cheap price. He’s also a left-hander, which is more valuable. Eveland’s platform year and career numbers are slightly lower than comparable player Brett Cecil, so he should receive less than the $1.3 million Cecil received last year.
Prediction: $1.1M

Salary projection: Jenrry Mejia

October, 30, 2014
Oct 30
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Brad Penner/USA TODAY SportsFill-in closer Jenrry Mejia is projected to earn $2.5 million in 2015.



Pace Law School in White Plains won the sixth-annual Tulane National Baseball Arbitration Competition in 2013 in New Orleans. This week, Dan Masi (Pace ’14) and Jesse Kantor (Pace ’15) offer their salary projections for the Mets’ arbitration-eligible players, including detailed analyses for Lucas Duda, Dillon Gee, Jenrry Mejia and Daniel Murphy.

The Pace Law arbitration team is using the same methods agents and team officials employ.

On Day 4, here is an analysis of Mejia's projected 2015 salary.

Introduction

Jenrry Mejia began the 2014 season in the rotation and finished it as the closer, a move that significantly increased his value entering his first year of arbitration eligibility. While his foray into starting pitching yielded mixed results, Mejia excelled once veteran fill-ins flopped and he received the opportunity to replace injured Bobby Parnell as closer.

As a reliever, Mejia had 28 saves and a 2.72 ERA. While his overall numbers are not eye-popping, Mejia showed glimpses of brilliance that should allow him to challenge Parnell for the closer role in 2015.

The Case for the New York Mets

The Mets will argue that Mejia is a one-year closer and should not be paid the same as a player who has spent more of his career in the role. While he converted 28 saves in his platform season (19th in MLB), those were the only saves he has earned in his career.

Mejia also has peripheral numbers that suggest he received a bit of luck and does not possess the “stuff” of a traditional closer. His 1.48 WHIP overall (1.42 as reliever) shows he allows too many baserunners and places the team in danger of blowing the lead every outing.

A history of injuries, a lack of career saves and his mediocre numbers in his platform year should keep Mejia’s 2015 salary below that of other deserving closers in previous years.

The Case for Jenrry Mejia

Mejia will argue that he filled in admirably at closer, finishing with six more saves than Parnell the year before. Further, his overall stats should be discounted since he was more effective upon moving to the bullpen. His 2.72 ERA as a reliever was the 11th best in MLB of all closers with at least 20 saves -- better than All-Stars Sean Doolittle, Fernando Rodney and Francisco Rodriguez.

Mejia also will argue that it is not his fault his career saves are low. Mejia proved in his breakout campaign that he has the ability to be dominant and efficient, as evidenced by his 9.4 K/9 ratio and his 90.3 save percentage (sixth in NL).

Comparable Players

Mark Melancon -- 2013 -- Salary: $2.595M

Mark Melancon turned in one of the more impressive relief pitching campaigns in 2013. As a setup man who was thrust into the closer role after an injury to Jason Grilli, Melancon recorded a superb 1.39 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP and 16 saves while also being voted an NL All-Star. In addition to the saves, Melancon was credited with 26 holds.

Although Melancon had 12 fewer saves than Mejia in their respective platform seasons, he had nine more career saves to that point, with a much lower ERA and WHIP. Like Mejia, Melancon was not considered the true closer for the majority of his early career, but when given the job Melancon outperformed Mejia statistically. Even with more platform-year saves, Mejia had fewer career saves and worse rate stats and should be paid less than the $2.595 million Melancon received in 2013.

Chris Perez -- 2010 -- Salary: $2.35M

Although an older comp, Chris Perez is helpful. Though he recorded five fewer platform-year saves, Perez pitched in with nine holds, and he recorded an ERA that was more than a run lower than even Mejia’s 2.72 as a reliever. Perez also proved to be the more dominant closer over their respective careers, holding the role for a longer period of time, finishing with 32 saves and was much more difficult to hit based on his lower ERA, WHIP and BAA. Because Perez received his $2.35 million salary in 2010, Mejia may be able to receive slightly above this amount due to the comparison being older.

Predicted Result

2013 proved to be very helpful in our analysis of Mejia’s market because several high-profile closers entered arbitration at the same time. Using the salaries given to both Aroldis Chapman of the Reds ($5 million) and Greg Holland of the Royals ($4.675 million), we deduced that while a strong platform year is helpful, career numbers can help tip the scales in a player’s favor. Chapman, with 11 fewer platform-year saves and an ERA 1.32 worse than Holland, was awarded a salary $325,000 higher. Holland was clearly the more dominant closer during their respective platform years. However, Chapman recorded 10 more saves and a near identical ERA over their careers.

Using this comparable-player-salary analysis, Mejia should be paid less than Melancon despite 12 more platform-year saves because Melancon was clearly the more dominant pitcher over their respective platform years and careers. With an ERA as a reliever that was double that of Melancon and a WHIP 0.52 higher, Mejia benefited from receiving the closer role earlier in the season and capitalized to obtain more saves.

Based on this information, we predict Jenrry Mejia will receive a salary of $2.5 million for the 2015.

Salary projection: Dillon Gee

October, 29, 2014
Oct 29
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Mike Stobe/Getty ImagesOpening Day starter Dillon Gee is projected to earn $4.99 million in 2015.



Pace Law School in White Plains won the sixth-annual Tulane National Baseball Arbitration Competition in 2013 in New Orleans. This week, Dan Masi (Pace ’14) and Jesse Kantor (Pace ’15) offer their salary projections for the Mets’ arbitration-eligible players, including detailed analyses for Lucas Duda, Dillon Gee, Jenrry Mejia and Daniel Murphy.

The Pace Law arbitration team is using the same methods agents and team officials employ.

On Day 3, here is an analysis of Gee's projected 2015 salary.

Introduction

Dillon Gee started on Opening Day this past season and seemed poised to improve on his 2013 performance. However, his campaign was plagued by a strained right lat muscle, which caused him to miss two months during the middle of the season. The injury limited Gee to only 137.1 innings and will likely impact his 2015 salary.

Prior to the setback, Gee was cruising for the Mets, recording a 3-1 record and 2.73 ERA. Three-quarters of his outings resulted in a Quality Start (QS). After returning from injury on July 9, his ERA the remainder of the season ballooned to 4.78, he posted a 4-7 record and a QS rate of only 36 percent.

Gee will see an increase from his $3.625 million salary of this past season, but with only a partial season under his belt, the figure will be lower than he would hope.

The Case for the New York Mets

The Mets will argue that Gee’s injury hurts his value to the team. While an effective starter when healthy, the Mets are not able to rely on Gee to take the hill every fifth day. Having only approached the 200-inning plateau once in his career (199 IP in 2013), Gee simply cannot be paid as the workhorse ace of the staff.

The two-run difference in his ERA after the injury shows he was less effective after his return.

Earning a quality start in only 50 percent of his starts, Gee was worse than any of the Mets qualified starters and 6 percent lower than the league average.

The Mets will look to find other starting pitchers who suffered injuries, or limited innings, in their platform seasons to use as comparable players.

The Case for Dillon Gee

Gee will argue that his mediocre record was due more to the failings of the Mets lineup. Gee received only 3.27 runs per game of support in 2014 -- the eighth-lowest amount among NL pitchers out of 59 with at least 120 inning pitched.

While he may have suffered after returning from the injury, the fact that he returned demonstrated he is healthy and able to rebound.

Coming off a 199-inning season in 2013, Gee has the ability to be an effective pitcher and contribute for the Mets in 2015.

Gee also will likely argue that his career numbers trump any deficiency in his platform-year statistics. Gee will look for pitchers with similar career numbers to get the highest total salary possible and offset the limited raise he will receive.

Comparable Players

Marco Estrada -- 2013 -- Salary: $3.325M -- Raise from previous year: $1.37M

Marco Estrada represents a perfect barometer for Gee’s injury-shortened season. In 2013, Estrada started only 21 games because of injury. He recorded 121 innings and a 7-4 record. Further, he finished with a lower ERA and WHIP than Gee while proving to be the more effective pitcher overall. Estrada tops Gee in strikeouts, quality starts, QS percentage, and has a better batting average against (BAA). With inferior platform-year statistics, Gee shouldn’t receive a greater raise than Estrada received only last year.

J.A. Happ -- 2012 -- Salary: $3.7M -- Raise from previous year: $1.35M

Where Estrada represents the ceiling of Gee’s potential raise, Happ should represent the floor. In 2012, Happ started 24 games and logged 144.2 innings and a 10-11 record. His 4.79 ERA and 1.40 WHIP were significantly higher than both Gee and Estrada’s statistics in those categories. However, even with inferior statistics, Happ received only $20,000 less than the $1.37 million Estrada was paid in his comparable season. Gee outperformed Happ and should receive a raise greater than $1.35 million.

Bud Norris -- 2013—Salary: $5.35M -- Raise from previous year: $2.3M

Bud Norris is a good comp to use to determine whether Gee’s total salary amount is warranted. After the 2013 season, Norris received a $5.3 million salary based on his platform year and career statistics. While it is evident Norris had the better platform year, primarily because of a lack of injury issues, a look at their respective careers will help determine what Gee should be paid. While Gee was paid more following his first arbitration season, his 2013 statistics warranted the head start. However, Gee regressed in 2014 and he should be paid less than Norris’ $5.3 million.

Predicted Result

Using the Estrada and Happ comps to base a salary-raise argument, it seems fitting Gee should receive a raise near the $1.37 million Estrada received in 2013. However, since it is difficult to argue Gee outperformed Estrada, a slightly smaller raise makes sense. With more than 100 fewer innings pitched, a salary below Norris’ $5.3 million also seems reasonable.

Based on his platform and career statistics and the comparable players cited above, we predict Gee to receive a raise of $1.365 million and a total salary of $4.99 million in 2015.

Salary projection: Daniel Murphy

October, 28, 2014
Oct 28
12:00
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Nick Wass/Associated PressAll-Star Daniel Murphy is projected to earn $8.1 million in 2015.



Pace Law School in White Plains won the sixth-annual Tulane National Baseball Arbitration Competition in 2013 in New Orleans. This week, Dan Masi (Pace ’14) and Jesse Kantor (Pace ’15) offer their salary projections for the Mets’ arbitration-eligible players, including detailed analyses for Lucas Duda, Dillon Gee, Jenrry Mejia and Daniel Murphy.

The Pace Law arbitration team is using the same methods agents and team officials employ.

On Day 2, here is an analysis of Murphy's projected 2015 salary.

Introduction

Second baseman Daniel Murphy is entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility and will be eligible for free agency after the 2015 season.

Murphy had his best statistical season to date in 2013, which resulted in a salary of $5.7 million this past season. That marked a $2.775 million raise from the previous year. Even with stagnant -- or slightly depressed -- statistics this past season, Murphy’s 2014 numbers ranked impressively among other major league, and especially National League, second basemen. Murphy also was the Mets’ only 2014 All-Star selection.

Despite the presence of offensive and defensive deficiencies, Murphy remains one of the most consistent NL second basemen, and the Mets will have to pay him a salary commensurate with his production if they want him back in 2015.

The Case for the New York Mets

While the Mets will acknowledge and respect Murphy’s 2014 offensive contributions, they likely will argue his decreased production merits a smaller raise than he desires. Compared with 2013, Murphy scored 13 fewer runs, had 16 fewer hits, four fewer homers, 21 fewer RBIs, and 10 fewer stolen bases, while only increasing his batting average by three points.

Additionally, the Mets likely will argue that Murphy’s continued disappointing defensive statistics negate his hitting abilities. In 2014, Murphy had 15 errors, which was the most among 20 qualifying MLB second basemen. He also had a .974 defensive fielding percentage (FP), also the worst among 20 qualifying second basemen, and minus-10 defensive runs saved (DRS), which ranked third-worst among 20 qualifying second basemen.

The Case for Daniel Murphy

Murphy’s most impressive statistical category came in his .289 batting average, which was tied for the best among NL second basemen. His 37 doubles rank first among qualifying NL second basemen and fourth among all MLB second basemen. Murphy also placed in the top half of NL second basemen in plate appearances, runs, hits, stolen bases, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and on-base-plus-slugging percentage. These statistical rankings represent Murphy’s excellence as an NL second basemen and are certainly going provide Murphy’s representatives with a strong foundation for demanding a large salary increase.

Murphy’s case is further strengthened by being the Mets’ only All-Star selection as well as the team’s best hitter for most of last season. As the Mets’ 2014 leader in batting average, runs, hits, doubles, and stolen bases, it is evident how important Murphy is to the team’s success.

Comparable Players

Brett Gardner -- 2013 -- Salary: $5.6M -- Raise from previous year: $2.75M

As Brett Gardner’s numbers in his platform season are very similar to Murphy’s, the $2.75 million raise Gardner received in the 2013-14 offseason serves as an excellent predictor of Murphy’s 2015 salary. Although a center fielder by trade, Murphy and Gardner will be lumped together because they play “up the middle,” with Gardner getting a slight bump because of the more challenging fielding position.

Murphy had more hits, doubles, homers, RBIs and a better batting average, while Gardner had more runs, significantly more stolen bases, and a higher on-base percentage, slugging percentage and on-base-plus-slugging percentage. Although batting statistics are more important, Murphy’s poor fielding compared to Gardner’s is worth noting. With only three errors, a .991 FP, and six DRS at an arguably more difficult position, Gardner has excelled as an elite defensive player while Murphy continues to disappoint.

When comparing the players’ career numbers through the platform season, it becomes clear how strong of a base stealer Gardner is. He accumulated 161 to Murphy’s 55. Despite his speed, Gardner had 310 fewer career hits, 105 fewer doubles, 25 fewer homers, 152 fewer RBIs, and a lower batting average, slugging-percentage and on-base-plus-slugging percentage.

It appears Gardner was awarded his 2014 salary largely for his base-stealing capabilities. Because Gardner had nearly twice as many stolen bases than Murphy and only one less home run in his platform season, in addition to Murphy’s higher starting salary, it is reasonable to predict that Murphy’s raise will be less than $2.75 million. Although Murphy will never be the base-stealer or defensive weapon Gardner is, he has proven himself the more reliable hitter over time. Accordingly, it is reasonable to expect Murphy’s 2015 salary to be significantly higher than $5.6 million, but it is highly unlikely he will receive a raise greater than $2.75 million.

Jed Lowrie -- 2013 -- Salary $5.25M -- Raise from previous year: $2.85M

Murphy and Jed Lowrie also had extremely comparable platform seasons, with Murphy’s superior base-stealing abilities offset by Lowrie’s homer and RBI production. The players produced nearly identical amounts of runs, hits, doubles, and similar batting averages and on-base percentages. However, Lowrie exhibited much stronger power-hitting numbers, with 75 RBIs, 15 homers, a .446 slugging percentage, and a .791 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.

Also similar to Murphy were Lowrie’s poor defensive statistics in his 2013 platform season. At shortstop, Lowrie had 16 errors, a .962 FP, and an abysmal -18 DRS -- lower than Murphy across the board.

Despite similar platform seasons, a career comparison demonstrates Murphy’s superior hitting abilities. However, a career comparison is not as indicative here as it is in other situations because Lowrie became third-time eligible despite only 1,969 career plate appearances, compared with Murphy’s 3,081. While Murphy may have proved himself the more reliable hitter over time, Lowrie appears to be more of a power-hitting threat in the long term.

With similar hitting and fielding statistics in their platform seasons, but with Lowrie having the slight edge because of his superior power, Murphy should expect a lower raise than Lowrie received. However, the long-term consistency of Murphy leads us to believe his total salary will be much higher.

Predicted Result

While Murphy is not a top-tier slugger, he is an elite hitter when compared with the rest of the Mets’ roster. As a second baseman, Murphy could generally make up for ordinary hitting abilities with great fielding. But Murphy remains a defensive liability. Although batting statistics bear more weight in salary-arbitration proceedings, Murphy’s poor fielding -- especially in the NL, where there is no designated hitter and players derive more value from their fielding skills -- makes it less likely he will receive a raise equal to Gardner’s. Whereas Lowrie’s power-hitting capabilities as an American Leaguer were enough to offset his defensive liabilities, Murphy will likely not be able to ameliorate the effects of his fielding.

Accordingly, we predict Daniel Murphy can expect a raise of $2.4 million and an overall salary of $8.1 million for the 2015 season.

John Bazemore/Associated PressLucas Duda is projected to earn $4.25 million in 2015.



First up, this detailed report from the Pace Law team on Lucas Duda's projected 2015 salary ...

Lucas Duda entered 2014 in a first-base platoon with Ike Davis. Duda ended the season entrenched at the position. While Davis failed to take advantage of his opportunity and was dealt to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Duda established himself as the Mets’ top power-hitting threat after David Wright turned in an injury-plagued campaign.

Duda led the team in homers, RBIs and OPS. He proved a threat every time he stepped into the batter’s box, finishing second in homers, tied for third in RBIs and fourth in OPS among NL first basemen. While not a Gold Glove-caliber defender, Duda only committed seven errors in 1,197 total chances and proved an adequate fielder. Coming off an astounding statistical season, Duda looks to cash in with a healthy raise from his 2014 salary of $1.6375 million.

The Case for the New York Mets

The Mets likely will argue that Duda is one-dimensional and relies too much on power. His .253 average places him seventh out of nine qualified NL first basemen and he strikes out at a 22.7 percent clip. Both numbers are troubling for the Mets, who are afraid of committing a large amount of money to what could be a Davis clone.

Duda’s 2014 average was his highest total since 2011 (.292), when he still was a part-time player. His career average sits just below, at .248. Further, the Mets will attempt to argue that Duda struggles mightily within the “friendly” confines of Citi Field. Batting only .227 at home compared to .275 on the road, his inability to hit for average contributed to the Mets sub-.500 home record. Duda also hit only .180 with two homers in 111 at-bats against left-handed pitching in 2014.

The Case for Lucas Duda

Duda has a lot going for him entering his second arbitration-eligible offseason. Not only did he lead the Mets in multiple power categories, but he also was a force among all NL first basemen. He posted career bests in nearly every major offensive category, most notably at-bats, runs, hits, doubles, homers and RBIs. Most importantly for his arbitration case, he solidified himself as an everyday starter for the Mets, appearing in a total of 153 games, including 136 starts at first base.

Duda will be able to argue that his production did not slip when given the opportunity to play every day. Rather, it improved across the board. Further, Duda proved to be an extremely clutch player throughout the year, batting .301 with 12 homers and an OPS of 1.100 with runners in scoring position. His rate stats only improved when there were two outs and RISP, hitting .318 with an OPS of 1.145. Duda saved his most impressive statistical season for his platform year and should see a considerable raise as a result.

Comparable Players

Brandon Moss -- 2013 -- Salary: $4.1M -- Raise from previous year: $2.5M

With 30 homers, a .256 average and 87 RBIs, Brandon Moss represents a near-identical comparison to Duda’s platform season. Duda distinguishes himself with his elite ability to get on base despite a low batting average. However, Moss displays far greater slugging ability, posting a SLG 41 points above Duda. Duda also has an advantage in that he was an everyday player for a longer portion of his platform season, starting 23 more games. Based on their relative statistics, Duda should receive a raise that exceeds Moss’ $2.5 million.

Garrett Jones -- 2012 -- Salary: $4.5M -- Raise from previous year: $2.1M

Another power hitting first baseman, Garrett Jones’ platform and career statistics set the range that Duda should look to receive in 2015. While Duda arguably outperformed or matched Jones in all statistical categories during their platform seasons, Jones is superior over their respective careers. Therefore, Duda should be paid a salary that approaches, but does not surpass Jones’ $4.5 million.

Predicted Result

With more games started than both Moss and Jones, Duda is more valuable because he is an everyday player and no longer confined to a platoon at first base. This alone would make him more valuable than in previous years. In conjunction with his statistical prowess, he should see a considerable raise from his current $1.6375 million. With arguably better platform statistics than both Jones and Moss, Duda should cash in with a raise that is larger than both of his comps.

However, with lesser career numbers than Jones through their respective second-time arbitration-eligible seasons, Duda will likely come in with a salary lower than the $4.5 million received by Jones. Further, with seemingly identical stats to Moss, a $2.5 million raise seems to be the appropriate figure to gauge Duda.

Taking into consideration the 23 more games started, we predict Duda will receive a nominal raise over Moss and receive a total salary of $4.25 million for the 2015 season.

Intro to Pace salary-projection series

October, 27, 2014
Oct 27
11:55
AM ET
Pace Law School in White Plains won the sixth-annual Tulane National Baseball Arbitration Competition in 2013 in New Orleans. This week, Dan Masi (Pace '14) and Jesse Kantor (Pace '15) offer their salary projections for the Mets’ arbitration-eligible players, including detailed analyses for Lucas Duda, Dillon Gee, Jenrry Mejia and Daniel Murphy.

The Pace Law arbitration team will explain MLB’s salary-arbitration process and will predict the outcome of the contract negotiations and potential arbitration cases for these players using the same methods agents and team officials employ.




As the Mets hope to make free-agent splashes during the winter on a potentially limited budget, every dollar matters. The salaries of these four players could be crucial to the shape of Sandy Alderson’s offseason and the near future of the organization.

Here's the Pace team's primer on the arbitration process:

Under Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement, players typically become arbitration-eligible for the first time after accumulating at least three years of major league service.

Some players also can become eligible for their first year of arbitration if they are designated as “Super Two’s.” Those players have accumulated at least two but less than three years of major league service and at least 86 days of service in the previous season. They also rank in the top 22 percent of all players who have at least two but less than three years of service. (For example, Ike Davis was designated a Super Two and became eligible for his first year of arbitration following the 2012 season after having accumulated a service time of 2 years and 168 days.) A player earns a day of service for each day he remains on a team’s active roster or disabled list.

Arbitration eligibility becomes critical to a player’s earning capacity in his early career because, until that moment, he holds little bargaining power. A player stays under team control until he reaches or exceeds six years of major league service, when he can elect to become a free agent and is able to negotiate a contract of any length on the open market.

A player with less than six years of service has no negotiating leverage prior to becoming arbitration eligible, since he remains subject to baseball’s “reserve system” that bars a player from seeking deals with other teams and from negotiations with his own club. Players therefore are generally forced to accept minimum salaries regardless of the quality of their performance. (The major league minimum for 2014 was $500,000. It will see a modest rise for next season.)

Of course, teams are free to offer their players a larger contract based on perceived value, but the team has no obligation to do so. As a case in point, Mike Trout, who finished second in the 2012 AL MVP voting, earned only $510,000 in 2013 because he had only one year of service and was subject to the reserve system.

After a player does become arbitration-eligible, the team must first decide whether to tender a contract to the player. If the team does not offer the player a contract by the Dec. 2 tender deadline, the player becomes a non-tendered free agent regardless of how many years he has played. (Mike Pelfrey was non-tendered by the Mets during his arbitration years.)

If the team has tendered a contract to its arbitration-eligible player, the player can either accept that typically low offer, or the sides can begin negotiations for a contract of any service length. (Jonathon Niese is the most recent example with the Mets of a player agreeing to a multi-year contract to bargain away his arbitration years. He signed a five-year, $25.5 million deal.) Typically, a player will earn significantly more than the minimum salary after becoming arbitration-eligible and will receive significant raises for each subsequent arbitration year until he reaches the point of free agency. If a player has no long-term deal that covers his arbitration years, he typically will engage in arbitration a maximum of three times prior to his free agency. A Super Two may go through the process four times.

In addition to offseason trades and free-agent signings that certainly catch the winter headlines, teams are busy negotiating contracts with arbitration-eligible players throughout the offseason. If no agreement between a player and team materializes by the CBA pre-set date in mid-January, then a final binding arbitration date is set to determine the player’s one-year salary for the subsequent season. In preparation for this final date, both the player and his current team exchange and submit to a panel of highly qualified arbitrators a salary request. They also create statistical-evidence presentations, according to CBA rules.

Neither side needs to justify its submitted figure at the point of submitting their figures. However, once exchanged, these figures cannot be altered. Assuming the sides have not agreed to a contract prior to the scheduled date of arbitration, the arbitration panel will proceed to determine the appropriate salary. Since the panel must award only one of the stated figures -- not a figure between -- each side needs only to prove that the player is worth either just above or below the midpoint between the two submitted figures.

In making its determination, the panel may consider only certain evidence:

• The quality of the player’s contribution to his club during the past season (referred to as his “platform season"), including but not limited to his overall performance, special qualities of leadership and public appeal

• The length and consistency of his career contribution

• The record of the player’s past compensation

• Comparative baseball salaries

• The existence of any physical or mental defects on the part of the player

• The recent performance record of the club, including but not limited to its league standing and attendance as an indication of public acceptance.

Statistical comparisons to players with similar service time often provide the most convincing argument. Arbitrators tend to base their overall decisions on the similarity of the player in question to the presented “comps” in their equivalent year of service time and in their career stats to that point.

As we spend the next few days exploring the cases of the Mets’ prominent arbitration-eligible players, we will focus our analysis on each player’s platform season, career statistical totals, intriguing stories and comparable players’ statistics and salaries in order to predict their salaries. Enjoy.

Bios ...

Dan Masi (@DanMasi) is a 2009 graduate of the University of Georgia. He graduated from Pace Law School in 2014. He currently is awaiting his bar results for New York and New Jersey. A two-time member of the Pace Baseball Arbitration team, Masi helped the school finish in first place in the Tulane National Baseball Arbitration Competition in 2013. He hopes to pursue a career in Baseball Operations.

Jesse Kantor graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2010. He is in his final year at Pace Law School. A member of the Pace Law Review, Kantor also competed in the 2013 and 2014 National Sports Law Negotiation Competition held at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego and the 2014 Tulane Baseball Arbitration Competition.

Intro to Pace salary-projection series

November, 11, 2013
11/11/13
8:59
AM ET
Dan Masi and Jared Hand, representing Pace Law School in White Plains, won the sixth-annual Tulane National Baseball Arbitration Competition in January in New Orleans. This week, along with new additions to the Pace Law arbitration team Pete Naber and Jesse Kantor, they offer their salary predictions for the Mets’ high-profile arbitration-eligible players: Dillon Gee, Bobby Parnell, Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy.

The Pace Law arbitration team will explain MLB’s salary-arbitration process and will predict the outcome of the contract negotiations and potential arbitration cases for these players using the same methods agents and team officials employ.




As the Mets hope to make big splashes during the winter on a potentially limited budget, every dollar matters. The salaries of these four players could be crucial to the shape of Sandy Alderson’s offseason and the near future of the organization.

Here's the Pace team's primer on the arbitration process:

Under Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement, players typically become arbitration-eligible for the first time after accumulating at least three years of major league Service. Some players can also become eligible for their first year of arbitration if they are designated as “Super Two’s” -- meaning they have accumulated at least two but less than three years of major league service and at least 86 days of service in the previous season while also ranking in the top 22 percent of all players who have at least two but less than three years of service. (For example, Ike Davis was designated a Super Two and became eligible for his first year of arbitration following the 2012 season after having accumulated a service time of 2 years and 168 days.) A player earns a day of service for each day he remains on a team’s active roster or disabled list.

Arbitration eligibility becomes critical to a player’s earning capacity in his early career because, until that moment, he holds little bargaining power. A player stays under team control until he reaches or exceeds six years of major league service, when he can elect to become a free agent and is able to negotiate a contract of any length on the open market.

A player with less than six years of service has no negotiating leverage prior to becoming arbitration eligible, since he remains subject to baseball’s “reserve system” that bars a player from seeking deals with other teams and from negotiations with his own club. Players therefore are generally forced to accept minimum salaries regardless of the quality of their performance. (The major league minimum for 2014 is $500,000.)

Of course, teams are free to offer their players a larger contract based on perceived value, but the team has no obligation to do so. As a case in point, Mike Trout, who finished second in the 2012 AL MVP voting, earned only $510,000 in 2013 because he had only one year of service and was subject to the reserve system.

After a player does become arbitration-eligible, the team must first decide whether to tender a contract to the player. If the team does not offer the player a contract by the tender deadline in early December, the player becomes a non-tendered free agent regardless of how many years he has played. (Mike Pelfrey was non-tendered by the Mets during his arbitration years.)

If the team has tendered a contract to its arbitration-eligible player, the player can either accept that typically low offer, or the sides can begin negotiations for a contract of any service length. (Jonathon Niese is the most recent example with the Mets. He signed a five-year, $25.5 million deal.) Typically, a player will earn significantly more than the minimum salary after becoming arbitration-eligible and will receive significant raises for each subsequent arbitration year until he reaches the point of free agency. If a player has no long-term deal that covers his arbitration years, he typically will engage in arbitration a maximum of three times prior to his free agency. A Super Two may go through the process four times.

In addition to offseason trades and free-agent signings that certainly catch the winter headlines, teams are busy negotiating contracts with arbitration-eligible players throughout the offseason. If no agreement between a player and team materializes by the CBA pre-set date in mid-January, then a final binding arbitration date is set to determine the player’s one-year salary for the subsequent season. In preparation for this final date, both the player and his current team exchange and submit to a panel of highly qualified arbitrators a salary request. They also create statistical-evidence presentations, according to CBA rules.

Neither side needs to justify its submitted figure at the point of submitting their figures. However, once exchanged, these figures cannot be altered. Assuming the sides have not agreed to a contract prior to the scheduled date of arbitration, the arbitration panel will proceed to determine the appropriate salary. Since the panel must award only one of the stated figures -- not a figure between -- each side needs only to prove that the player is worth either just above or below the midpoint between the two submitted figures.

In making its determination, the panel may consider only certain evidence:

• The quality of the player’s contribution to his club during the past season (referred to as his “platform season"), including but not limited to his overall performance, special qualities of leadership and public appeal

• The length and consistency of his career contribution

• The record of the player’s past compensation

• Comparative baseball salaries

• The existence of any physical or mental defects on the part of the player

• The recent performance record of the club, including but not limited to its league standing and attendance as an indication of public acceptance.

Statistical comparisons to players with similar service time often provide the most convincing argument. Arbitrators tend to base their overall decisions on the similarity of the player in question to the presented “comps” in their equivalent year of service time and in their career stats to that point.

As we spend the next few days exploring the cases of the Mets’ prominent arbitration-eligible players, we will focus our analysis on each player’s platform season, career statistical totals, intriguing stories and comparable players’ statistics and salaries in order to predict their salaries. Enjoy.

Bios ...

Dan Masi graduated from the University of Georgia in 2009. He is a third-year law student at Pace Law School. Masi finished in first place at last year’s Tulane Baseball Arbitration Competition and will be looking to defend his title this winter. He hopes to use his experience to work in baseball operations for an MLB team in the future.

Jared Hand graduated from SUNY Oneonta in 2008 and from Pace Law School, Cum Laude, in 2012. A two-time participant at the Tulane Baseball Arbitration Competition, in 2011 and 2012, Hand coached last year’s championship-winning team and will coach again this year. He is an Associate at Welby, Brady & Greenblatt, LLP, a law firm located in White Plains.

Peter Naber, a 2011 graduate of James Madison University, is a third-year law student at Pace Law. In addition to working as a member of Pace International Law Review, Naber recently competed at the National Sports Law Negotiation Competition held at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. He will be joining Masi this year on Pace’s team for the 2014 Tulane Baseball Competition.

Jesse Kantor graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010. He is a second-year law student at Pace Law. A member of Pace Law Review, Kantor also competed at the National Sports Law Negotiation Competition. He will be joining Masi and Naber on Pace’s 2014 Tulane competition team.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187