As reported by Dan Hayes earlier today, Jose Abreu has opted for arbitration instead of the final three years of his initial contract he signed with the White Sox.
When initially signed, Abreu’s contract allowed him to choose to go into arbitration over the final three years of his deal with the White Sox rather than the contract amounts. He was due to earn $10.5 million this season.
This is a bit of an odd contract situation for Abreu. There really hasn’t been much precedent for an opt-out like this. MLB Trade Rumors gives an estimated contract in arbitration of $12 million and includes a lengthy analysis for that figure.
While players do get nice raises in their first year of arbitration, there’s still some value in the contracts for even very good players. In Dierkes article, the best comp he could find was Giancarlo Stanton who made $6.5 million in his first year of arbitration. Another example is Todd Frazier who made $4.5 million in his first year. Overall though, Abreu’s contract plus a sixth of his signing bonus would have been $11.66 million last season and Dierkes makes the argument that Abreu earned it and a slight raise would be deserved.