January 12, 2017

Galvis reportedly has deal as deadline nears for Phillies to exchange arbitration figures

Shortstop Freddy Galvis and the Phillies have reportedly avoided arbitration and come to an agreement on a one-year contract. 

MLB.com first reported the new deal, which pays Galvis $4.35 million for the 2017 season. Galvis, hit .274 with an MLB-low .274 on-base percentage, but also hit 20 home runs, went 17-for-23 in stolen base attempts, and played exceptional defense at shortstop – Galvis was one of three finalists for the National League Rawlings Gold Glove Award.


The Phillies have until tomorrow afternoon to secure new contracts with their other two arbitration-eligible players before that process takes a more formal and public negotiation: all major league teams have until midday on Friday to exchange salary figures with such players.

The Phillies tendered arbitration to three of their four eligible players last month: Galvis, fellow infielder Cesar Hernandez and right-handed reliever Jeanmar Gomez. The front office non-tendered Cody Asche, making him a free agent (he recently signed a minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox).

There still stands a strong chance that the Phillies, as they did with Galvis late Thursday, will agree to deals with Hernandez and Gomez before Friday’s deadline arrives. If they do not, the club and each individual player will exchange filing numbers.

Those filing numbers – which are what each party considers a fair salary for the upcoming season – are important because if a deal is not struck in the next month, an arbiter chooses one of those figures in a hearing next month and that becomes the player’s salary for the season.

Again, this doesn’t mean players and teams can’t strike a deal before Friday’s deadline. There is generally a lot of activity in the 24 hours or so leading up to the deadline.

Also: just because teams and players don’t come to an agreement Friday doesn’t mean they still can’t do so before an arbitration hearing, which can sometimes become contentious.

For example, Galvis made $2 million last year, in his first year as an arbitration-eligible player. MLBtraderumors.com projects Galvis to make $4.4 million through arbitration in 2017. So let's pretend Thursday's agreement didn't happen and that tomorrow Galvis filed $4.8 million and the Phillies file $4.1 million. The two parties could still negotiate and perhaps meet in the middle at, say, $4.45 million before a potential hearing.

In retrospect, that number is awfully close to what the two parties agreed to on Thursday.

Last month, we examined the decisions the Phillies had to make with each of their arbitration-eligible players and the potential salaries each could command in 2017. Of the current trio, Gomez may be the most interesting since he racked up 37 saves (a traditional stat that could carry weight) but also had plenty of peripheral statistics (1.456 WHIP, a 6.16 strikeout rate that ranked 83rd of 86 NL relievers with at least 40 innings) that were not representative of a dominant, back-end-of-the-bullpen reliever.

Gomez, who turns 29 next month, figures to be one of three pitchers (with Hector Neris and newcomer Joaquin Benoit) competing for the closer job this spring. Gomez made $1.4 million last season (his first year of arbitration) and MLBtraderumors.com projects him to make $4.6 million through arbitration in 2017.

Hernandez is a first-year arbitration eligible player who made $525,000 in 2016. MLBtraderumors.com projects him to make $2.5 million through arbitration this season.


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