The folks over at MLB Trade Rumors have a pretty accurate model they use to predict the salaries of arbitration-eligible players. Today they released their predictions for the Yankees seven arb-eligible players. These are the MLBTR predictions, with the 2013 salaries in parenthesis.
David Robertson — $5.5M — ($3.1M)
Brett Gardner — $4M — ($3.0M)
Ivan Nova — $2.8M — ($576,000)
Shawn Kelley — $1.5M — ($935,000)
Jayson Nix — $1.4M — ($900,000)
Francisco Cervelli — $1M — ($515,350)
Chris Stewart — $1M — ($515,100)
The top three — and probably the top four — on this list are basically locks to return regardless of projected salary.
Looks like a significant jump for Nova, but that’s to be expected for a starting pitcher coming off a 3.10 ERA, and Robertson is on pace to be legitimately compensated as a top setup man (which could still leave him as a legitimate bargain if he’s able to succeed as a closer). Not an overwhelming raise projected for Gardner, but as MLBTR points out, he could be in line for a significant bump if/when he hits the open market next year. Kelley gets a mild raise, which he earned through most of the season, and given the Yankees lack of bullpen options, he’s a safe bet to return.
The bottom three bring a few more questions.
Nix, Cervelli and Stewart are each projected to be fairly cheap and affordable, but the Yankees 40-man crunch — and abundance of needs — could led at least one or two to being non-tendered. Last year, the Yankees managed to give Nix a new contract and then pass him through waivers to get him off the 40-man roster. They could try that again. They could also give both Cervelli and Stewart a contract for 2014, then DFA one of them if they sign another catcher. I suppose that depends on the way they view Austin Romine and J.R. Murphy as immediate big league options.
Associated Press photo