The Colorado Rockies and third baseman Nolan Arenado did not reach a settlement on a one-year deal for the 2019 season on Friday, but league sources told ESPN there is a strong sense that the two sides will reach an agreement before an arbitration hearing.
Arenado, a four-time All-Star selection who is seen as the gem of the 2019-20 free-agent class, requested $30 million. The Rockies, meanwhile, offered $24 million. Sources told ESPN that it’s likely that they will settle in the $27 million range.
Wherever he does settle, it’ll be a single-season arbitration record, breaking the mark of $23 million set by Josh Donaldson with the Toronto Blue Jays last year.
Arenado, a slick-fielding, slugging 27-year-old, is coming off a season in which he hit .297 an led the National League with 38 home runs and was second with 110 RBIs and a .935 OPS.
Meanwhile, his teammate with the Rockies, shortstop Trevor Story, was one of the many players to reach a post-deadline settlement. After originally appearing like he was headed to an arbitration hearing, Story, who made $555,000 last season, settled on a $5 million salary for 2019.
The 26-year-old Story hit .291 with 37 home runs, 108 RBIs and 27 stolen bases for the Rockies last season.
The non-settlements capped a wild morning in which more than 100 eligible players negotiated their contracts.
There were, however, some record settlements reached Friday.
• American League MVP Mookie Betts set a new standard for players with four or more years of service by settling with the Boston Red Soxfor $20 million — a raise of $9.5 million over 2017, when he beat the Red Sox in an arbitration hearing.
• National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom more than doubled his salary with the New York Mets, jumping from $7.4 million to $17 million to set a record for the highest raise in arbitration, which had been set just hours earlier by Betts.
• Khris Davis, who led the majors with 48 home runs and was second with 123 RBIs last season, settled with the Oakland Athletics for $16.5 million — a raise of $6 million.
Nearly 200 players are in the arbitration system, which covers every player who has spent three, four or five full seasons in the major leagues and a small percentage of those with the most service days in the class of two-year players. Once a player reaches six full seasons of service time, he can become a free agent the following winter.
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