It’s a procedural thing, something that happens with every major league club: This is the date players can file for salary arbitration.
Three Dodgers did so Tuesday, all expected, but all noteworthy in their way – catcher A.J. Ellis, closer Kenley Jansen and starting left-hander Clayton Kershaw.
Players and teams are scheduled to exchange salary figures Friday, but none of the 146 total players who filed Tuesday figure to be as interesting to watch as Kershaw.
Kershaw, 25, won his second National League Cy Young Award last season and will be looking for a record salary arbitration figure; Prince Fielder got $15.5 million in 2011. Estimates for Kershaw – who made $11.5 million last season – have his arbitration figure approaching $20 million.
Kershaw, of course, has had off-and-on talks with the Dodgers over a long-term deal that could eclipse the record $252-million Alex Rodriguez contract. This is the last year Kershaw is eligible for arbitration; he could become a free agent at the end of the 2014 season.
The last starting pitcher to go into a third year of arbitration with two Cy Young Awards in his pocket was the Giants’ Tim Lincecum. He ultimately signed a two-year, $40-million deal.
Teams have been steering away from having to go to an arbitration hearing. Last year, 133 players filed for arbitration and all were signed before making it to a hearing.
Ellis made $2 million last season and figures to get at least a 50% bump in 2014, while Jansen earned just $512,000 and will be looking at a significant raise in his first season of arbitration eligibility; some projections have him signing for close to $5 million.
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