Three young Phillies received significant and well-deserved bumps in pay via MLB's pre-arbitration bonus pool.
Bryson Stott earned an additional $628,380, Brandon Marsh earned $530,749 and Cristopher Sanchez was awarded $279,152, per the Associated Press.
The pre-arbitration bonus pool, a new component of MLB's current Collective Bargaining Agreement, includes $50 million and is divvied up among the top 100 players with less than three years of service time. Eligibility is based on awards voting and player performance the prior season.
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Bonuses are earned if a player finishes first or second in Rookie of the Year voting, Top 5 for MVP or Cy Young, or places on the first or second All-MLB teams.
Beyond that, the list is determined by a version of WAR (Wins Above Replacement) created by MLB and the players' association. This was the avenue through which all three Phillies earned more money.
With the bonuses, Stott, Marsh and Sanchez each went from earning approximately $730,000 in 2023 to $1.36 million, $1.27 million and $1 million, respectively.
Stott took big steps forward offensively and defensively in 2023, his second season as a big-leaguer. He hit .280/.329/.419 compared to .234/.295/.358 as a rookie. He was better able to handle velocity, particularly up in the zone. He led the majors with 82 two-strike hits. He was one of three finalists for the National League Gold Glove at second base after moving over from shortstop when Trea Turner arrived.
Marsh hit .277/.372/.458 in 472 plate appearances. He fell 30 shy of qualifying for end-of-season leaderboards but his OBP would have ranked in the Top 10 in the National League. He was extremely productive for two-thirds of the season with a standout month of April and a .305 batting average with a .388 OBP from June 1 through August 30. He showed improvement against same-handed pitching, much better control of the strike zone and was a plus defender in left field after moving for Johan Rojas.
Sanchez in some ways saved the Phillies' regular season by filling a rotation spot that had been problematic for nearly three months. He was called up from Triple A to start in Oakland on June 17 and pitched four scoreless innings. "OK, it was the lowly A's," was the instant reaction of many.
Then Sanchez did it again. And again. And again. There were 16 more agains. In 17 starts from his call-up through Game 162, Sanchez delivered a 3.35 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with 90 strikeouts and just 14 walks in 94 innings. He wasn't just the best No. 5 starter in the National League over that span, he was one of the most effective starting pitchers, period. The 27-year-old left-hander enters 2024 as the Phillies' fifth starter, barring injury.
The five largest pre-arb bonuses, leaguewide, went to Julio Rodriguez, Corbin Carroll, Adley Rutschman, Spencer Strider and Justin Steele, ranging from $1.7M to $1.9M.