A familiar story for Robles, on the field and in arbitration

robles looks skyward gray

Less than one year ago, Victor Robles and the Nationals were unable to come to terms on a salary figure for the 2022 season, so the two sides filed for arbitration. This was after the lockout-delayed spring training had begun, creating a very narrow window for negotiations and for a hearing to be scheduled.

The disparity between the two sides’ official arbitration filings ($500,000) wasn’t nothing. Robles was seeking $2.1 million, while the Nats countered at $1.6 million. He was the team’s only arbitration-eligible player who didn’t sign before the deadline.

But as so often is the case in these matters, they did ultimately agree to a deal before ever setting foot in an arbitration hearing. Twelve days later, just as camp was about to wrap up, Robles and the Nationals agreed to a one-year, $1.65 million contract.

That’s right, Robles accepted an amount that was only $50,000 greater than the team’s official arbitration offer.

It was with that prior negotiation in mind that the two sides once again were unable to work out a deal prior to this year’s deadline, which came Friday night. So once again, Robles was the Nationals’ lone arbitration-eligible player who did not come to terms in time and was forced to submit a formal offer to the league.

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Robles is lone Nats player to file for arbitration (updated)

harvey throws gray

It's deadline day for all major leaguers with more than three years and fewer than six years of service time to agree to terms with their clubs on 2023 salaries or else file for arbitration. The Nationals have six unsigned players facing today's deadline: Victor Robles, Kyle Finnegan, Lane Thomas, Carl Edwards Jr., Victor Arano and Hunter Harvey.

Bobby Blanco and I will be keeping track of any deals that come together over the course of the day, so check back for updates along the way ...

* Harvey is the first player to sign. The Nationals announced the right-hander has agreed to terms on his 2023 contract, avoiding arbitration. We don't have numbers yet, but MLB Trade Rumors projected a $1 million salary for him in his first year of arbitration eligibility.

Harvey, 28, had something of a breakthrough season out of the Nats bullpen after years of injuries with the Orioles. He did miss several months with an elbow strain, but he returned strong and finished the season healthy, with a 2.52 ERA and 1.144 WHIP, striking out 45 batters in 39 1/3 innings. He should enter the season at worst as the Nationals' seventh inning reliever, setting up Edwards and Finnegan.

* Next up is Edwards, who has avoided arbitration with his own one-year deal. The Washington Post reports he'll earn $2.25 million, which is a nice bump from his league minimum salary last season after he joined the club on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old right-hander was a revelation, producing a 2.76 ERA and 1.226 WHIP over 57 appearances, his best season since 2018 with the Cubs.

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Six Nationals face arbitration deadline today

Victor Robles swing gray

It’s another deadline day across Major League Baseball, this one for all arbitration-eligible players to either agree to terms on their 2023 salaries or exchange figures with their clubs and file for an arbitration hearing.

How does that work? This applies only to players with more than three years but fewer than six years of big league service time. (There are also a group of players with fewer than three years who qualify early for arbitration, the so-called “Super Two” players, but the Nationals have nobody in that category this year.)

These players don’t have the right to become free agents yet, but they do have the right to negotiate their salaries. It’s up to them and their teams to find common ground and agree to a dollar amount. If they can’t, each side submits an offer, then a hearing is set for February, at which time a three-judge panel will pick a winner and declare the player’s salary.

A couple of things that are important to remember: 1) If a player doesn’t agree to terms today, that doesn’t mean he’s no longer under contract. He’ll still be part of the team this season, it’s just going to take a while longer to determine his salary. 2) Players and teams who don’t strike a deal today must file for arbitration, but they’re still free to continue negotiating up until the hearing and could still work something out before ever appearing before the panel. This is actually quite common.

So, which players does this apply to? The Nationals have 10 players with three to six years of service time, but four of them have already agreed to 2023 salaries, either because they were cut loose by other organizations and signed as free agents (Jeimer Candelario, $5 million; Dominic Smith, $2 million) or because they negotiated deals prior to today’s deadline (Tanner Rainey, $1.5 million; Ildemaro Vargas, $975,000).

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Nationals face tender decisions with nine players today

Nationals face tender decisions with nine players today
After a frantic Monday that saw a handful of clubs handing out hundreds of millions of dollars to free agents like candy, every major league club now faces a busy Tuesday deciding whether or not to retain a bunch of its own players. By 8 p.m. today, teams must tender contracts to all arbitration-eligible players. Those who don't receive offers are non-tendered and immediately become free agents. So while the Nationals have been awfully quiet on the transaction front so far this winter, they...
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Stevenson avoids arbitration, agrees to 2022 contract

Stevenson avoids arbitration, agrees to 2022 contract
The Nationals got a jump start on what should be a hectic Tuesday in advance of Major League Baseball's non-tender deadline and Wednesday night's expiration of the collective bargaining agreement, agreeing to terms with Andrew Stevenson on a 2022 contract to avoid arbitration. Stevenson, who qualified for arbitration despite having not yet accrued three years of big league service time as a so-called Super Two player, stands to earn a modest raise from his 2021 salary of $579,100. The...
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Four Nats qualify for early arbitration as Super Two players

Four Nats qualify for early arbitration as Super Two players
Four Nationals players will qualify for salary arbitration this winter despite having yet to accrue three full years of major league service time because each has crossed the lower threshold used to designate each year's so-called Super Two players. MLBTradeRumors.com reported Saturday the cutoff for Super Two qualification this winter is 2 years, 116 days of service time. That means Ryne Harper (2 years, 135 days), Austin Voth (2 years, 127 days), Tanner Rainey (2 years, 127 days) and Andrew...
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Another look at arbitration-eligible Orioles

Another look at arbitration-eligible Orioles
The Orioles must tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players by Dec. 2, assuming they can conduct business on that date. The collective bargaining agreement expires the previous day. I yearn for the days when CBA made me think "Continental Basketball Association." Executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias has decisions pending on eight players - Trey Mancini, Anthony Santander, John Means, Jorge López, Pedro Severino, Pat Valaika, Paul Fry and Tanner Scott....
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Orioles preparing for arbitration hearing with Santander

Orioles preparing for arbitration hearing with Santander
The Orioles have ceased negotiations with the representatives for outfielder Anthony Santander and are preparing for an arbitration hearing next month. Executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias confirmed the team's stance this afternoon on a Zoom conference call with the local media. Both sides reached the 1 p.m. deadline without an agreement. Salary figures will be exchanged and a hearing date will be set for next month. "We have a file-to-go policy that I've been very consistent...
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Nats avoid arbitration with Soto, Turner and Bell (updated)

Nats avoid arbitration with Soto, Turner and Bell (updated)
The Nationals came to terms on 2021 salaries with Juan Soto, Trea Turner and Josh Bell today, avoiding arbitration with their three biggest offensive stars. Though the deadline for players and clubs to agree to salaries or file for arbitration was 1 p.m., it took hours for Major League Baseball to process the throng of cases that were submitted to league headquarters before many could be finalized. Turner, in his third of four seasons of arbitration eligibilty, got the biggest salary for the...
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Arbitration process is complicated for three Nats stars

Arbitration process is complicated for three Nats stars
The majority of arbitration cases are relatively simple. Players who have accrued between three and six years of big league service time and their clubs typically agree on a salary figure without ever needing to file for arbitration or have their cases heard before a panel. There are always a few complicated cases, though, usually involving big-name players whose salary requests go well beyond what the club has proposed. Now throw in the unprecedented nature of the 2020 season, and you've got...
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Ross agrees to $1.5 million salary, avoiding arbitration

Ross agrees to $1.5 million salary, avoiding arbitration
Joe Ross and the Nationals agreed to terms today on a one-year, $1.5 million contract, avoiding arbitration, a source familiar with the deal confirmed. With one day remaining before clubs are required to tender contracts to all of their arbitration-eligible players, the Nats managed to work out a deal with Ross that establishes his 2021 salary right now, though it was a fairly straightforward process. The right-hander's contract is for the same amount he was due to earn in 2020 before he...
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Turner, Elías, Ross sign deals to avoid arbitration (updated)

Turner, Elías, Ross sign deals to avoid arbitration (updated)
The Nationals worked out 2020 contracts with Trea Turner, Roenis Elías and Joe Ross before today's deadline, avoiding arbitration with all of their eligible players. Those three were the Nats' only remaining unsigned arbitration-eligible players entering today, the deadline for all such players across the sport to either agree to contract terms or submit competing offers for arbitration. Turner earned by far the biggest raise of the group, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $7.45 million,...
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Taylor avoids arbitration with $3.325 million deal

Taylor avoids arbitration with $3.325 million deal
The Nationals avoided arbitration with Michael A. Taylor this evening, agreeing to a one-year contract that will pay the outfielder $3.325 million plus incentives in 2020. The deal was announced by the club; terms were confirmed by a source. Taylor was one of four Nationals who was unsigned heading into Friday's deadline for all arbitration-eligible players and teams to either come to terms or submit competing offers to Major League Baseball to then be settled by a three-person judge in...
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Three Nationals head into arbitration deadline day

Three Nationals head into arbitration deadline day
This is going to be a busy day across baseball. A lot of news is going to come trickling out over the course of many hours as players from every club either agree to terms on 2020 salaries or file for arbitration. Hey, I only said it's going to be busy. I never said it was going to be exciting. Truthfully, this is one of the most annoying days of the baseball year. All the players involved are staying with their current clubs. These aren't free agents, they're merely players with at least...
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Nats sign Difo for $1 million, avoiding arbitration

Nats sign Difo for $1 million, avoiding arbitration
The Nationals have agreed to terms with Wilmer Difo on a 2020 contract that will pay the utility infielder $1 million if he's on the big league roster, a source familiar with the deal confirmed this afternoon. The signing, which was first reported by USA Today, comes one day before Major League Baseball's deadline for clubs to tender contracts to all arbitration-eligible players. It means Difo and the Nationals will avoid going to arbitration, but it doesn't guarantee him the full $1...
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Taylor loses arbitration case, will earn $3.25 million this season

Taylor loses arbitration case, will earn $3.25 million this season
Michael A. Taylor lost his arbitration case against the Nationals, with a panel of three independent judges ruling the outfielder will earn $3.25 million this season instead of the $3.5 million he was seeking, a source familiar with the decision confirmed. Taylor and the Nationals presented their cases before the panel Thursday in St. Petersburg, Fla., the first of 13 arbitration hearings between major league clubs and players currently scheduled to take place over the next two weeks. Kyle...
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Will Taylor and Barraclough actually get to arbitration?

Will Taylor and Barraclough actually get to arbitration?
Will the Nationals really go to arbitration with Michael A. Taylor and Kyle Barraclough over a combined $525,000? For now, yes, but the chances of the club and the two players settling salary figures on their own before engaging in a hearing next month would seem to be pretty strong, given the lack of difference in their dueling offers. Cases that go to arbitration typically involve a sizeable disparity between sides, almost always at least $1 million. The Nationals, Taylor and Barraclough...
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Dozier passes physical, Reynolds designated for assignment

Dozier passes physical, Reynolds designated for assignment
Brian Dozier has passed his physical, making his $9 million contract with the Nationals official, so the club formally announced it has signed the veteran second baseman in the latest move of a busy offseason. Dozier, a former All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner with the Twins, agreed to terms of the deal Thursday but still needed to pass a physical before it could be finalized. With that process now complete, the Nationals have themselves their new starting second baseman for the 2019...
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Rendon, Turner avoid arbitration; Taylor, Barraclough do not

Rendon, Turner avoid arbitration; Taylor, Barraclough do not
The Nationals were able to agree to terms on 2019 contracts with Anthony Rendon and Trea Turner before today's 1 p.m. Eastern time deadline, but couldn't complete negotiations with Michael A. Taylor and Kyle Barraclough, who now must file for arbitration, according to a source familiar with the decisions. Players across baseball with three to six years of big league service time were engaged in down-to-the-wire talks today, and there were so many submissions to Major League Baseball...
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Ross avoids arbitration with $1 million deal for 2019

Ross avoids arbitration with $1 million deal for 2019
The Nationals got a jump on Friday's arbitration deadline, agreeing to terms tonight with Joe Ross on a one-year contract that reportedly will pay him $1 million. Ross, who was eligible for arbitration for the first time, gets a raise from his 2018 salary of $567,900, though not nearly as much as some others with comparable big league service time will receive because he missed more than a calendar year while recovering from Tommy John surgery. The 25-year-old right-hander is 17-15 with a 4.01...
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