Stewart, Hammel exchange salary figures with Rockies

January 18, 2011 | 7:51 pm | 18  

Third baseman Ian Stewart and pitcher Jason Hammel exchanged salary figures Tuesday with the Colorado Rockies, giving both sides negotiating parameters in the arbitration process.

Stewart, who made $408,000 last year, filed for $2.6 million, and the Rockies offered $2.15 million. That resulted in a midpoint of $2.375 million, the area where an agreement for one year is likely to be reached. Stewart is arbitration eligible for the first time by virtue of being a Super 2 player. His 2 years, 154 days of big league service time put Stewart in the top 17 percent of players with less than 3 years of service time, the cutoff to determine Super 2 players.

Hammel filed for $3.7 million, while the Rockies offered $3.1 million, creating a $3.4 million midpoint. Hammel ended up with a $1.9 million salary in 2010 after being arbitration eligible for the first time a year ago.

History suggests the Rockies will settle with Stewart and Hammel, since the club has only had three arbitration hearings in its history. The Rockies lost to left-handed pitcher Dennys Reyes in 2002 ($900,000 asked, $700,000 offered) and beat right-handed pitcher Sun-Woo Kim in 2006 ($800,000 asked, $600,000 offered) and left-handed pitcher Brian Fuentes in 2008 ($6.5 million asked, $5.05 million offered).

Before Tuesday’s exchange of salary figures, the Rockies struck deals with pitchers Matt Belisle ($2.35 million), Matt Lindstrom (2 years, $6.6 million) and Felipe Paulino ($790,000), their other three arbitration-eligible players.

Stewart and Hammel were among 34 of 119 eligible players who exchanged figures with their clubs this year. Hearings are scheduled for Feb. 1-21 in front of three-person panels that choose either the club’s or the player’s figure. Hence, in any case that goes to a hearing, the panel must decide the player is worth $1 above the mid-point for the player to win and $1 dollar below the mid-point for the club to prevail. Even when a hearing is scheduled, the two sides can keep negotiating up to the start of the hearing.


  • David Martin | January 18, 2011 | 7:59 pm

    I’m sure Ian Stewart isn’t going to be too happy with his agent on that one. Usually players OVERestimate their worth so that the mid-point is higher. His asking price being lower than what the Rockies offered is pretty bad.

  • Jack Etkin | January 18, 2011 | 8:18 pm


    It’s likely Stewart is happy with Larry Reynolds, who has been his agent since he was drafted. But Stewart might not be too happy with me, since I typed the numbers in wrong _ he asked for $2.6 M and the Rockies offered $2.15M.

  • Bill | January 18, 2011 | 9:42 pm

    I guess there is no recession in baseball. Stewart batted 252 with 17 HR and 52 RBI’s and turns down a 5 fold increase! Hammel won 10 games and will receive over 3 million a year!

    I know it’s not my money but the fan will eventually pay at the box office or at the concession stand. I’ve actually stopped buying beer at games (at least most of the time). Part of it’s the cost and part of me is saying, “do I sound as stupid as the guy who’s been drinking a beer a inning”.

    I realize that salaries in baseball (in all sports) are crazy and I usually don’t let in bother me. But Ian Stewart has immense talent and doesn’t use it. He should be a star and I’ve been a defender of him, but I don’t think he cares enough. And Hammel is our #4 or 5 starter. His 10 wins is about all we can expect.

  • KuJo | January 18, 2011 | 9:48 pm

    In Defense of Hammel look at what he asking for vs what Cook is going to be paid. I get it that Cook is the veteran and has earned his contract but if you are Hammel you have to feel you deserve a third of what Cook is going to make considering you were as good if not better then him last year.

  • Dylan M. | January 18, 2011 | 10:22 pm

    Sorry about this Jack, but I’m having a tough time here. When you said Stewart “last year filed for $2.6 million”, is that the figure he filed for the 2011 season? Sorry, just trying to clear up any confusion people (myself included obviously) might have.

  • jjoey | January 18, 2011 | 11:42 pm

    Actually Hammel pitched better than record indicated, bullpen was merciless to him and he probably threw well enough to win 15.

  • Swam | January 19, 2011 | 1:09 am

    Hey Bill,
    I liked reading your post but keep in mind that the NYY will pay $10MM for 10 wins a year from a fifth starter so Hammel is still a bargain in that regard. I just hope we can expect 8 wins from him at $3MM and let the bullpen do its job after that.

  • Britbronco22 | January 19, 2011 | 3:32 am

    Dylan, the comma is in the wrong place.
    It should read:
    Stewart, who made $408,000 last year, filed for $2.6 million…

  • Trip | January 19, 2011 | 8:36 am

    Just curious. In the case of Stewart, he is a Super-2, which qualifies him to file for arbitration a year early. Does this mean he will be a free agent a year earlier as well or does he have 4 years of arbitration?

  • Steve Foster | January 19, 2011 | 8:42 am

    Stewart won’t be a free agent a year early. Being a Super Two only means getting an extra year of arbitration eligibility. He still needs six years of major-league service time to be a free agent.

  • Trip | January 19, 2011 | 8:51 am

    Thanks Steve.
    I’m really hoping Stewart has a break out year, as this will be his third year. His defense is good enough to make him one of the top third basemen if his bat can get him to .280-.290 and above. We keep seeing glimpses of it, but nothing sustained over a long period.

  • Mike Raysfan | January 19, 2011 | 9:20 am

    I wonder how many twitter’s are heading to Smash Burger today?

    I guess I saw a different Hammel than some others last season. Just my opinion, but I don’t think the BP was his problem. He did ok on his own imploding in the 3rd or 6th innings. Then there was the last month of the season.

  • Eric G. | January 19, 2011 | 9:52 am

    Hmmm…just read that the Tigers are looking to trade Armando Galarraga. Do any of you writers on this site know if the Rockies would be interested in trading for this guy?

  • Steve Foster | January 19, 2011 | 9:59 am

    I don’t see it with Galarraga. Despite his imperfect perfect game and a couple other good starts in 2010, I don’t see him as enough of an upgrade over the Rockies’ current options to prompt a deal.

  • robba | January 19, 2011 | 1:37 pm

    Steve & Jack,

    Off the current topic, but is there any chance you could establish a “sticky” thread for everyone interested in going to spring training, and potentially getting together with other ITR posters? It’d give us a chance to post our schedules and see what other folks are planning.


  • Mike Raysfan | January 19, 2011 | 1:38 pm

    I don’t do twitter but I guess Mr. O’Dowd does? Based on all the news reports this morning, Stewart definitely does. I guess the Rockies are close to signing Hammel but still a work in progress for Stewart.

  • Steve Foster | January 19, 2011 | 2:20 pm

    Robba, good suggestion. You’ll see a box just below the top headlines where you can do so.

  • Eric G. | January 19, 2011 | 2:35 pm

    Heard the Rockies signed Joe Crede. Is it true?