The Colorado Rockies and third baseman Nolan Arenado did not reach a settlement on a one-year deal for the 2019 season on Friday, but league sources told ESPN there is a strong sense that the two sides will reach an agreement before an arbitration hearing.
Arenado, a four-time All-Star selection who is seen as the gem of the 2019-20 free-agent class, requested $30 million. The Rockies, meanwhile, offered $24 million. Sources told ESPN that it’s likely that they will settle in the $27 million range.
Boston’s Mookie Betts, the AL MVP in 2018, will make $20 million next season, which sets a new arbitration-settlement standard for players with four or more years of service.
Pitcher Jacob deGrom more than doubled his salary as he reached a $17M deal with the Mets for 2019, breaking the record for a raise for an arbitration-eligible player.
The Cubs have signed suspended shortstop Addison Russell to a one-year deal worth $3.4 million, avoiding an arbitration hearing, according to a source.
Arenado, a slick-fielding, slugging 27-year-old, is coming off a season in which he hit .297 an led the National League with 38 home runs and was second with 110 RBIs and a .935 OPS.
Meanwhile, his teammate with the Rockies, shortstop Trevor Story, was one of the many players to reach a post-deadline settlement. After originally appearing like he was headed to an arbitration hearing, Story, who made $555,000 last season, settled on a $5 million salary for 2019.
The 26-year-old Story hit .291 with 37 home runs, 108 RBIs and 27 stolen bases for the Rockies last season.
Philadelphia Phillies ace Aaron Nola, New York Yankees pitcher Luis Severino and Houston Astros teammates Gerrit Cole and Carlos Correa were among those who did not reach settlements on one-year deals for the 2019 season and are expected to head to arbitration hearings to determine their salaries, league sources told ESPN on Friday.
Nola (17-6, 2.37 ERA, 224 strikeouts) and Severino (19-8, 3.39 ERA, 220 strikeouts) are both first-time-eligible starting pitchers, a market that has been notoriously difficult for players.
The non-settlements capped a wild morning in which more than 100 eligible players negotiated their contracts.
There were, however, some record settlements reached Friday.
• American League MVP Mookie Betts set a new standard for players with four or more years of service by settling with the Boston Red Sox for $20 million — a raise of $9.5 million over 2017, when he beat the Red Sox in an arbitration hearing.
• National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom more than doubled his salary with the New York Mets, jumping from $7.4 million to $17 million to set a record for the highest raise in arbitration, which had been set just hours earlier by Betts.
Nearly 200 players are in the arbitration system, which covers every player who has spent three, four or five full seasons in the major leagues and a small percentage of those with the most service days in the class of two-year players. Once a player reaches six full seasons of service time, he can become a free agent the following winter.