A total of 100 players received bonuses as part of the Pre-Arbitration Bonus Pool Program, a component of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA).
According to a source, 11 of those players earned more than $1 million. The bonuses accrued though their “Joint WAR” figure, as well as placement in year-end awards voting. “Joint WAR” is a unique Wins Above Replacement metric agreed upon by MLB and the MLBPA, with separate calculations for hitters and pitchers.
Three players topped the list with bonuses of at least $2 million:
Dylan Cease: $2,457,426
Yordan Alvarez: $2,381,143
Alek Manoah: $2,191,023
Eight others received bonuses worth at least $1 million:
Zac Gallen: $1,670,875
Julio Rodríguez : $1,550,850
Michael Harris II: $1,361,435
Emmanuel Clase: $1,354,962
Andrés Giménez: $1,308,805
Adley Rutschman: $1,177,555
Kyle Tucker: $1,146,555
Spencer Strider: $1,077,294
There is a pool of $50 million for this bonus program, which is reserved for players who began the season with fewer than three years of service time and had yet to qualify for arbitration via “Super Two” status. Of the $50 million, $38.75 million is reserved for statistical accomplishment (based on “Joint WAR”), with $11.25 million set aside for players who finished high in awards voting.
The 11 players who earned more than $1 million from the $50 million pool received bonuses for placing in year-end awards, as did two others (Will Smith, Ryan Helsley) who checked in just shy of $1 million. Sean Murphy and Tommy Edman didn’t receive any money for awards placement, but they ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Joint WAR ranking, earning them more than $700,000 apiece.
Eligible players will be paid by their clubs on or before Dec. 23; the clubs will subsequently be reimbursed by the Commissioner’s Office.