The Milwaukee Brewers have avoided arbitration with shortstop Orlando Arcia ahead of the non-tender deadline.
Orlando Arcia is going to be back in a Brewers uniform next year. Just hours ahead of the non-tender deadline on Wednesday, the Brewers reached an agreement with Arcia on a one year, $2MM deal to avoid arbitration.
Arcia is coming off his best offensive season of his career in 2020 and has been rewarded for it.
Tendering Orlando Arcia
While there was some thought that Arcia could end up getting non-tendered in 2020 after the addition of Luis Urias, Arcia ends up getting a contract from the Brewers. However, this is not the typical contract tender.
Orlando Arcia is taking a pay cut.
Last year, Arcia’s first in arbitration, he was slated for a $2.2MM salary prior to the pandemic shortening the season. He was projected to earn north of $3MM in arbitration this year after a strong offensive year, but will instead earn just $2MM next season.
The maximum pay cut a player can take in the arbitration process is 20% of the previous year’s salary. With Arcia dropping from $2.2MM down to $2MM, that represents a cut of about 9%.
Arcia’s defensive metrics slipped a bit in 2020, despite his offensive improvements. He still hasn’t reached the point where he’s been a league average hitter, posting a 94 OPS+ this year.
With Luis Urias in the picture, Arcia will once again be fighting for his job as the starting shortstop in 2021. He held his job this season, but it’s far from a guarantee he’ll have it next year. With Urias fully healthy for all of camp next time, it’ll be a real battle for the job.
Another interesting not from Robert Murray is that Arcia’s deal is not guaranteed. This means the Brewers would be able to cut Arcia any time before the season begins and they would not be on the hook for his $2MM salary.
So if Urias wins the starting shortstop job in camp outright and Arcia becomes the backup, they can release him and not owe him all that money.
The free agent market is going to be a bloodbath for players this year, and Arcia knows that. He signed on to a paycut and a non-guaranteed deal because his job is in jeopardy and he did not want to be put out on this free agent market.
This deal should motivate Arcia to continue to improve both offensively and defensively to win the starting shortstop job once again. That battle should be the big thing to watch at spring training in 2021.
The Brewers save some money in this deal, which is going to be helpful as they try to navigate a limited payroll next season after a year in which they had no fans. Every little bit helps.