A Padres primer for arbitration …

It’s time to turn an eye toward one of the Padres important off-season tasks: Deciding what to do with their four arbitration-eligible players: Pitchers Heath Bell, Kevin Correia, Mike Adams and third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff.

I should rephrase that a little. The decision isn’t so much what to do with these guys, as I think it’s pretty obvious the team will tender each of them. But it stands to reason that several of these guys, especially Bell, Correia and Kouzmanoff, are likely in line for significant raises.

The reason you tender all of these guys, of course, is because they all factor in the future of the team. And none of the four players are going to break the bank, with Bell in line for the biggest bump.

How does arbitration work? Basically, players with three to six years of Major League service time are
in their arbitration years. Once they reach six years, they can qualify
for free agency.

Here’s a look at the service time (years and days) of the Padres up for arbitration and what they made last season (base contract):

Mike Adams, 3 years, 19 days ($414,800)

Heath Bell, 4 years, 99 days ($1.255 million)

Kevin Correia, 5 years, 27 days ($750,000)

Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3 years, 3 days ($432,000)

I will say the Padres will probably save some money with Kouzmanoff because he didn’t win the Gold Glove this week. We’re not talking a lot here, but I’m sure that would have been good for a bump, even more so if the team went to arbitration with him.

Want more information on how this process works? Padres exec Paul DePodesta tackled it last year and did a far better job explaining it than I can, and, of course, it has a Padres slant.

My guess? None of these guys make it to arbitration and deals get done before the start of Spring Training. Bell might be a little sticky, but he wants to be here and is thankful for the opportunity the team has given him.

— Corey Brock

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