The A’s have a major league-high 14 players eligible for salary arbitration this winter, and they face a 9 p.m. deadline Tuesday on whether to tender those players contracts for the upcoming season.
Oakland figures to offer contracts to the large majority of them, if not all. Any players non-tendered will become free agents.
It’s an annual procedure and it can be a confusing one to understand. To be tendered a contract simply means the player remains under team control, and the process will begin where the team and the player’s agent will try to negotiate a salary for the upcoming season. If they don’t come to an agreement, an arbitration panel will decide a salary, though the A’s have had great success over the years avoiding that scenario.
There’s no doubt that the A’s marquee arbitration-eligible players all will be tendered contracts -- right-hander Jeff Samardzija, first baseman Brandon Moss, right fielder Josh Reddick, catcher/first baseman John Jaso and new third baseman Brett Lawrie among them. But being offered a contract doesn’t mean these players can’t be traded. You can bet that Samardzija and perhaps Moss, Reddick and Jaso among others will continue to see their names floated in trade speculation.
[RELATED: Trade speculation swirls around Samardzija]
Of the A’s 14 arb-eligible players, the most noteworthy non-tender candidate is first baseman Ike Davis. He was just acquired Nov. 23 via trade from the Pittsburgh Pirates, but at very minimal cost -- an exchange of international signing pool money. It was a low-risk maneuver for the A’s and Davis provides depth in case they want to trade another first baseman.
[RELATED: A's acquire Ike Davis from Pirates]
If they non-tender him, it might be a sign the A’s want to keep Moss and Jaso. If Davis is tendered a contract, perhaps it’s a signal that a first baseman could be on the move at some point this offseason.
Here’s the full list of A’s players eligible for arbitration and their estimated 2015 salaries via MLBTradeRumors.com:
• John Jaso – $3.3MM
• Jeff Samardzija – $9.5MM
• Brandon Moss – $7.1MM
• Ike Davis – $4.4MM
• Sam Fuld – $1.6MM
• Jesse Chavez – $2.5MM
• Craig Gentry – $1.5MM
• Josh Reddick – $3.7MM
• Fernando Abad – $900,000
• Eric Sogard – $1.0MM
• Brett Lawrie – $1.8MM
• Fernando Rodriguez – $900,000
• Ryan Cook – $1.3MM
• Jarrod Parker – $900,000
Between now and late January, the A’s will work to find middle ground on a negotiated salary with players. If they can’t agree, the team will present a specific salary figure and the player will present a specific salary figure, and an arbitration panel will award the player one salary or another.
That can be a contentious process, one both sides usually like to avoid. The A’s haven’t gone to the arbitration table with a player since 2005, when they won a case against pitcher Juan Cruz.