Almost All Baseball Stars Choose Free Agency Over Arbitration

Colorado Rockies Jorge De La RosaDe La Rosa rejected arbitration and is on the verge of signing a 3-year $32M deal with the Rockies

Photo: Flickr/jkonrath

The deadline to accept arbitration passed at 11:59 p.m. yesterday, and just two of the 27 Type A and B free agents accepted their arbitration offers.Relievers Jason Frasor of the Blue Jays and Frank Francisco of the Rangers accepted and are committed to remaining with their current teams at a one year deal.

The remaining players will test the free agent market and try and earn large, multi-year deals. Last season, the three players who accepted arbitration experienced a collective $10.1 million increase in salary.

While players put themselves at risk for smaller salaries by rejecting arbitration, it appears most want the security of a longer term deal.

But Frasor and Francisco, both Type A free agents and both relief pitchers, feared teams would be reluctant to forfeit first-round draft picks to sign them to lucrative contracts. Plus, the two players’ numbers regressed, albeit slightly, from previous years. They’ll take a big money, one-year deal, and try and pitch to their potential – and warrant major, multi-year deals.

As expected, top free agents Cliff Lee, Jayson Werth, and Carl Crawford all rejected arbitration.

Get more of free agency news on the Sports Page >

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