Baltimore Orioles: Arbitration avoided with Jonathan Schoop
In some good news about the Baltimore Orioles and their All-Star second baseman, the two parties have agreed to an $8.5 million contract for 2018.
With this contract signed, the Baltimore Orioles now have one remaining contract left to settle with Kevin Gausman.
The news about Jonathan Schoop and the Orioles came from Ken Rosenthal via Twitter:
An arbitration hearing was originally scheduled for Thursday as the two sides had a $1.5 million difference. Schoop wanted $9 million and the O’s wanted to pay him $7.5 million. Today’s agreement per the Tweet from Rosenthal is for $8.5 million.
Factoring WAR into salaries
For a player of Schoop’s caliber, this dollar amount seems low. He has just over four years of service time and in 2017, his WAR was 5.1. Of course, WAR should not be the only statistic used when calculating the value of a player. But a 5.1 WAR for a position player is substantial.
Discussing dollars per WAR is a thing and Fangraphs has an interesting article about it. In 2017, Matt Swartz wrote about the value of a win and through his research, he found that free agents were earning about $10.5 million per WAR. If this number were used to calculate Schoop’s value, he should be making significantly more per season. But, then again, so should Manny Machado who is scheduled to make $16 million in 2018. Machado has a less than one year more of service time than Schoop and he has better numbers in his previous seasons, too.
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How much does the AL MVP make?
But, if you look outside of the Orioles organization, other second basemen with outstanding numbers are actually making less than Schoop is. Take the reigning AL MVP for example. In 2018, Jose Altuve, who had a WAR of 8.3 in 2017, will only make $6 million in 2018. Altuve has 6.072 years of service time, which is more than both Machado and Schoop have. And, Altuve has five appearances at All-Star games as well as a handful of batting titles to his name. Altuve also has played an average of 154 games per season since he started full time with the Astros.
I’m going out on a limb and making an educated guess that Schoop’s agent was well aware of the Altuve salary. With Altuve making only $6 million in 2018, the Orioles had a better chance of winning their arbitration case than Schoop did. Looking at the numbers alone, Altuve should be making significantly more.
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From the looks of it, Schoop made a wise move in settling for a little less. At $8.5 million, he is making more than the AL MVP and he could potentially be involved in a season that could set records with his new double-play partner. Life looks pretty darn good for Mamba.