The Yankees settled nearly all their eligible players before the arbitration deadline, but still have one major question mark left as Dellin Betances appears to be headed toward arbitration.
As expected, Michael Pineda and Didi Gregorius got the biggest paydays Friday, as the Yankees’ mercurial righthander settled for $7.3 million, according to published reports — a $3-million pay bump. Gregorius, 26, got $5.1 million out of the deal, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports; the shortstop made $2.425 million last season. The Yankees also signed catcher Austin Romine to an $805,000 deal, according to reports, as well as pitcher Adam Warren, who will make $2.29 million.
Outfielder Aaron Hicks and lefty Tommy Layne also settled, the team announced, though the terms were not disclosed. All six deals are one-year, non-guaranteed contracts, the team confirmed.
Betances remains the biggest unknown for the Yankees; the 27-year-old made $507,000 last year and is first-year arbitration eligible. He’s projected to get a nearly $3-million pay hike in arbitration, according to MLB Trade Rumors projections. He was 3-6 last year, when he made the All-Star team for the third season in a row, with a 3.08 ERA; he struck out 126 over 73.0 innings and took on closer duties after the Yankees cleaned house in the second half of the season.
Pineda was 6-12 last year, with a 4.82 ERA. Despite showing flashes of true ability, he continued to struggle to live up to the expectations he established in his 2011 rookie year, when he was an All-Star. He did strike out an average of 10.6 over nine innings, an American League best among qualifiers. Gregorius, meanwhile, spent last year establishing himself as a leader on and off the field, compiling a slash line of .276/.304/.447 with 20 homers, 70 RBIs and seven stolen bases.