More than 200 arbitration-eligible players — a record-high — entered Friday with the hopes of settling on a contract figure for 2023. The vast majority got their wish, agreeing to a salary for the upcoming season.
A total of 33 players did not come to an agreement with their clubs, exchanging salary figures with the expectation of heading to an arbitration hearing.
Here are some takeaways from this year’s arbitration deadline:
Nobody was going to set a record for the biggest contract for a player in his final year of eligibility, one established earlier this offseason when Shohei Ohtani agreed to a $30 million deal for 2023.
Juan Soto’s $23 million deal topped the list Friday, exceeding the next-highest agreement by $8.5 million. For Soto, whose production in 2022 wasn’t up to his typically lofty standards, the deal still represented a $5.9 million raise.
Prior to Friday, this is what the list of the 10 biggest one-year contracts ever given to arbitration-eligible players looked like:
Shohei Ohtani $30M (2023)
Mookie Betts $27M (2020)
Nolan Arenado $26M (2019)
Josh Donaldson $23M (2018)
Bryce Harper $21.625M (2018)
Francisco Lindor $21.3 (2021)
Mookie Betts $20M (2019)
David Price $19.75M (2015)
Aaron Judge $19M (2022)
Anthony Rendon $18.8M (2019)
Nine of those deals remain on that list following Friday’s action, as Soto matched Josh Donaldson for the fourth-highest contract agreed to by an arbitration-eligible player, knocking Rendon’s $18.8 million contract from 2019 out of the Top 10.
Eleven teams were able to come to terms with all of their arbitration-eligible players by Friday: Athletics, Cubs, Giants, Guardians, Padres, Rangers, Red Sox, Reds, Rockies, Tigers and White Sox.
Of the 19 clubs that exchanged numbers with at least one player, the Rays had the most with seven. The Mariners and Angels were the only other teams to exchange numbers with as many as three players.
Teoscar Hernández is seeking the biggest salary of those players who filed, asking for $16 million from the Mariners, who filed at $14 million.
Bo Bichette and Kyle Tucker each filed at $7.5 million, while their respective clubs each filed at $5 million. The $2.5 million spread between them is tied for the largest among the 33 players who exchanged figures Friday. The smallest spread? Tampa Bay’s Colin Poche, whose $1.3 million filing was just $125,000 higher than the Rays’ filing of $1.175 million.
Here’s a complete list of the 33 players who exchanged figures with their clubs, broken down by team. Both the player’s and the team’s filed salaries are in parentheses:
Bo Bichette ($7.5 million), Blue Jays ($5 million)
Max Fried ($15 million), Braves ($13.5 million)
Corbin Burnes ($10.75 million), Brewers ($10.01 million)
Josh Rojas ($2.9 million), D-backs ($2.575 million)
Jeff McNeil ($7.75 million), Mets ($6.25 million)
Victor Robles ($2.6 million), Nationals ($2.3 million)
Austin Voth ($2 million), Orioles ($1.7 million)
Ji-Man Choi ($5.4 million), Pirates ($4.65 million)
Brady Singer ($3.325 million), Royals ($2.95 million)
Luis Arraez ($6.1 million), Twins ($5 million)
Of the 33 players that didn’t come to an agreement Friday, the most notable was Max Fried, who could be headed to an arbitration hearing for the second straight season.
Fried won his case against the Braves last year, earning $6.85 million after Atlanta had filed at $6.6 million. This year’s spread is $1.5 million, as Fried filed for $15 million and the Braves at $13.5 million.
In addition to Soto, eight others agreed to terms on deals worth more than $10 million. Joining the group of players earning eight figures in 2023: