In his fourth arbitration year, Jose Bautista is expecting a raise from his 2010 salary of $2.4 million. Some have said his salary will be in the $6-11 million range. Seeing as noone in baseball has ever had such a huge jump in power numbers from one season to the next, (Bautista went from 13 homeruns in 404 PA in 2009 to 54 HR in 683 PA in 2010) an arbitration case can be very difficult to estimate. There has not really been a comparable case go to arbitration, so my guess is as good as yours. Seeing as the Jays haven’t gone to arbitration in over a decade, I wouldn’t be surprised if they came to an agreement before Anthopolous’s set deadline for the seven remaining players who are arbitration eligible. Another thing that could happen would be that the Jays lock him up long term, and considering how AA likes to keep things so close to his chest, who really knows if these talks are in progress.
Ryan Howard received $10M in his first arbitration year, which was a record at the time. Could Joey Bats get this much? I doubt it. Howard had 129 HR, NL Rookie of the Year, and an MVP in the 2.5 seasons he played in the MLB leading up to that record salary. Prince Fielder got $7M in his first year eligible for arbitration, and that was as a 25 year old with over 100 homeruns in his first 3 years.
Judging a case like this is so difficult, but my guess is that if they do go to arbitration, Bautista’s camp will request in the neighbourhood of $10.5M and Anthopolous will counter with $7.5-8M.
I also think that Anthopolous will capitalize on a huge return at the deadline if Bautista comes even close to his production up until the trade deadline. Two top 100 prospects (possibly corner infield spots) and a young arm could maybe get the deal done.