Three Texas Rangers players officially filed for arbitration today. First baseman Mitch Moreland, right-handed closer Neftali Feliz and right-handed reliever Ross Detwiler and the Rangers will begin salary negotiations on Friday when the parties exchange figures.
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Mitch Moreland is entering into his second season of arbitration eligibility. Last season the Texas Rangers offered him $2.025MM, but Moreland declined and asked for $3.25MM. Both sides came to an agreement of 1-year/$2.65MM in February to avoid arbitration. After suffering an injury to his left ankle (Os Trigonum Syndrome) Moreland was placed on the DL June 8, and had season-ending reconstructive surgery on June 28. He ended the season with a batting average of .246, 18 runs, 41 hits, 2 home runs, and 23 RBI in his 52 games played.
Moreland is projected to make $2.88MM in 2015.
Even after Neftali Feliz missed almost the entire 2013 season due to Tommy John Surgery in 2012 (only making 6 appearances), the Texas Rangers avoided arbitration when both parties agreed on a 1-year/$3MM with bonuses of $25,000 for 50/55 games finished. Feliz spent most of this season with the Round Rock Express (AAA) trying to eliminate some of the problems stemming from the surgery. For the most part it was the decline of velocity in Feliz’ fastball that was concerning,but his lack of self confidence also played a major role. However, with the trade of Joakim Soria glimpses of the 2010/2011 Feliz began to show. In his last 23 games Neftali Feliz posted a 1.69 ERA giving up 4 runs in 21.1 innings pitched. He also worked 11.1 scoreless innings in his last 12 games.
Feliz’ projected 2015 salary is $2.6MM.
The Texas Rangers acquired Detwiler from the Washington Nationals in exchange for Chris Bostick and Abel de los Santos in December. In 2014 Detwiler had a 2-3 record, 4.00 ERA and one save over 47 games (15 GF). He is eligible for free agency after the 2015 season. His projected salary this season is $3.3M.
Arbitration hearings will be held Februrary 1-21 if the club and players cannot come to an agreement by then. However, the Texas Rangers have not been to arbitration since 2000 with Lee Stevens. And assistant general manager Thad Levine remains hopeful they will avoid it once again
"We’ve got some ground to cover, but I think we should avoid an arbitration hearing,” assistant general manager Thad Levine said. “Everything looks positive, but things could take an about-face with the next phone call.” (via T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com)"
I hope Levine is correct and they can avoid a hearing because, I’m ready for baseball not negotiations talk.
*All projected salaries from Matt Swartz of MLB Trade Rumors*