Players with three years of MLB service time have the ability to go to arbitration for their yearly salary for the following three years. In those three years the players normally receive an increase in pay after every year and if the two parties cannot agree to a number, they will take their own figures to arbitration.
This year the Nationals have three players that can go into arbitration. Josh Bell is going into his second year of arbitration while Trea Turner is going into his third and Juan Soto is going into his first. Soto and Turner both will receive four years of arbitration as they both qualified as Super 2 players.
This means that they had very close to the three years of service time needed and met the MLBs Super 2 qualifications. Normally the calculations for salary are pretty clear and teams and players can go up and down from there. However, this year teams had to deal with how a 60 game season would factor into those calculations.
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Any other year Juan Soto would have certainly broken the record for highest year one arbitration deal, but now having to deal with new calculations could keep Cody Bellingers 11.5 million dollar record safe. MLB Trade Rumors calculated arbitration projections in three ways this year.
Those three methods are calculations based purely on a 60 game season, calculations based on if all counting stats were extrapolated out to a 162 game season and for players not going into the first arbitration a calculation that gives them a 37% raise based on playing 37% of the previous season.
Josh Bell’s numbers according to MLBTR for those three projections were $5.1MM / $7.2MM / $5.7MM. Bell agreed with the Nationals at $6.35 Million. This is good news for both Josh and the team as they were able to find some common ground in between those calculations.
According to MLBTRs calculations Trea Turner is expected to receive the highest arbitration amount for the Nationals this year. Their three projections for him were $9.4MM / $16.6MM / $10.8MM and he settled with the Nationals at 13 million. Again settling in between the first two numbers. Hopefully these talks will continue and lead to an extension.
Finally, Juan Soto who is entering his first arbitration year was expected to receive either 4.5 or 8.5 million dollars based on MLBTRs calculations. He settled right at 8.5 million and that’s it, all three of the big Nats that were eligible are locked up.