Baseball’s arbitration cases began this week, and there are still two White Sox players with salaries still undetermined. Avisail Garcia and Yolmer Sanchez enter their third and first arbitration years, respectively, both as Super Twos. The Sox came to terms with five other arb-eligible players, but we’ve yet to hear of agreements for either of these two.
Here are the team and player filing numbers, along with MLB Trade Rumors’ estimated salary from earlier in the offseason and how much each player made in 2017.
MLBTR Estimate: $6.7M
MLBTR Estimate: $2.1M
It’s pretty funny that MLBTR nailed one player filing (Garcia) and one team filing (Sanchez). If you have faith in those estimates, you might say the Sox are getting one right and one wrong.
Salary disputes can be a battle worth fighting when there’s a chasm between what the team is offering and what the player wants. Mookie Betts is arbitration-eligible for the first time, and winning his case against the Red Sox gives him a $10.5 million salary instead of $7.5 million. Not only is that a big increase in pay for him this year, but it will now allow him to earn a higher salary in his following two arbitration years.
With Garcia and Sanchez, you have to expect that both players have small enough gaps that neither would be reason to actually have an arbitration hearing. It’s been 17 years since the Sox last went to arbitration (and lost), and given what it did to the relationship with Keith Foulke, a combined $1.1 million difference probably isn’t worth potentially alienating two of the team’s talented young players. It’s worth discussing now that we’re actually in hearing season, although it’s possible one or both players have deals in place that haven’t been announced yet.
Oscar Gamble, 1949-2018
We learned Wednesday morning that former White Sox outfielder and DH Oscar Gamble passed away from a tumor at 68. Gamble made two one-year stops with the Sox in 1977 and 1985, and hit .297/.386/.588 and 31 home runs for that ‘77 South Side Hit Men team. He’ll be remembered as much for his bold personality as for his performance on the field, as well as his giant afro that flattened under his hat.
Gamble’s career was well before my time, so I won’t pretend to be able to cover it better than several of the tributes that have already come about. The Associated Press (via ESPN) has a great overview of his career, while Bruce Miles at the Daily Herald has a closer look at his White Sox tenure.