Arbitration Hearing Decisions: J.D. Davis, Choi, Santander (

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This year’s round of (virtual) arbitration hearings kicked off earlier this week. While a perhaps surprising number of players agreed to one-year deals to avoid arbitration last month rather than risk a hearing, we’ll still have a handful of cases heard by a three-person panel of arbitrators over the next couple of weeks. Some results from the first wave of hearings…

  • Mets third baseman/outfielder J.D. Davis lost his arbitration hearing and will earn $2.1MM in 2021 rather than the $2.475MM at which he filed, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports (Twitter link). The 27-year-old has proven to be a good find for the now-former front office regime, hitting .288/.370/.483 with 28 homers and 31 doubles through 682 plate appearances since debuting with the Mets. Davis figures to see action at third base and perhaps in left field again in 2021, and he’ll be eligible for arbitration three more times due to his status as a Super Two player.
  • Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi won an arbitration hearing against the club and will be paid $2.45MM in 2021, reports Mark Feinsand of (via Twitter). The team had filed for a $1.85MM salary. Choi, 29, has spent the past three seasons with the Rays, batting a combined .257/.359/.461 with 30 homers, 45 doubles and three triples in 821 trips to the plate. He slashed .230/.331/.410 in 42 games last year and is controllable through 2023. Choi was one of two outstanding arbitration cases for the Rays — the other being left-hander Ryan Yarbrough, whose trial has not yet taken place.
  • The Orioles won their arbitration hearing over outfielder Anthony Santander, tweets Feinsand. Santander, like Davis, filed at $2.475MM with his club countering at $2.1MM. He’ll earn the lesser of those two sums. The 26-year-old is a former Rule 5 pick who had a solid showing in 2019 before breaking out with a huge performance in 2020. This past season, Santander batted .261/.315/.575 with 11 homers and 13 doubles in just 165 plate appearances. On the whole, he’s given the O’s a .261/.302/.505 slash with 31 homers and 33 doubles in his past 570 plate appearances. There are some obvious OBP question marks, but the power has prompted teams to look at Santander as a possible trade option. He’s also a Super Two player and is controlled through 2024.

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