The day for the Texas Rangers and their two arbitration-eligible players to exchange 2019 salaries arrived Friday, and general manager Jon Daniels’ perfect streak has survived yet another off-season.
Never in Daniels’ long stint as Rangers GM has a player gone to a trial to determine his salary for the season, and that didn’t change Friday as outfielders Delino DeShields and Nomar Mazara agreed to contracts to avoid salary arbitration.
Daniels hit 14 straight years of avoiding an arbitration hearing. They could have continued to negotiate with the players until a potential hearing in February if an agreement hadn’t been reached. But both players settled with the club, and there will be no hearings again.
“That’s always the goal,” Daniels said Thursday. “All things being equal, you’d rather have a negotiated settlement.”
Mazara will make $3.3 million in 2019, and DeShields will bank $1.4 million. MLB Trade Rumors projected that Mazara would make $3.7 million and DeShields $1.9 million.
In the arbitration process, the club and the players exchange figures they believe they should make, and if middle ground can’t be found, a panel would hear arguments from the team and the player.
The Rangers never got that far.
Arbirtation hearings are not pleasant, and twice the Rangers have traveled to appear before a a three-person arbirtation panel before an agreement was reached – in 2012 with Mike Napoli and 2016 with Mitch Moreland.
Shiraz Rehman, hired as an assistant GM in October, and two others in the front office, Ben Baroody and Mike Parnell, did the heavy lifting with the players’ agents to avoid a hearing.
DeShields and Mazara figure to be regulars in the Rangers’ outfield, along with Joey Gallo. Daniels reiterated that Gallo will not play third base, but he could get some time at first base.
The Rangers haven’t gone to arbitration since Lee Stevens beat them in 2000. He was traded to Montreal only a six weeks later.