3 Phillies get raises thanks to MLB's pre-arbitration bonus pool

Three pre-arbitration Phillies players get pay raises from the new bonus pool added in the most recent collective bargaining agreement.
Philadelphia Phillies Brandon Marsh and Bryson Stott both earned pre-arbitration bonuses
Philadelphia Phillies Brandon Marsh and Bryson Stott both earned pre-arbitration bonuses / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Bryson Stott, Brandon Marsh, and Cristopher Sánchez are each recipients of bonus money this offseason. Part of the most recent collective bargaining agreement allotted $50 million to be dispersed among 100 pre-arbitration players.

The money in the bonus pool is given out based on merit. Per Corey Seidman of NBC Sports Philadelphia, players who finish first or second in Rookie of the Year voting, in the top-five of MVP or Cy Young voting, or are placed on the first or second All-MLB teams receive a bonus. The remaining pool money is given out based on the players' WAR.

All three Phillies players earned their bonuses based on their 2023 WAR. Stott finished the season with 4.2 bWAR, Marsh collected 3.4 bWAR, and Sánchez netted 2.2 bWAR. Based on those numbers, Stott earned a $628,380 bonus, Marsh earned $530,749 extra, and Sánchez picked up an additional $279,152.

The bonuses are considerable for pre-arbitration players who outperform their lower-valued contracts. Both Stott and Marsh made $734,500 in 2023, and Sánchez made $725,000. It's unlikely that MLB players get any sympathy from fans on how much they make per season; however, players who have performed well can now get bonuses for their efforts.

Bryson Stott

Each Phillies player who received money from the bonus pool outperformed their contract and many expectations. Stott led all Phillies position players in WAR in 2023. He slashed .280/.329/.419 and swiped 31 bases — the second most on the team behind Trea Turner. The Phillies' second baseman was also a finalist for the Gold Glove Award. Stott's impact on the field was a major reason why the Phillies were able to reach the NLCS for the second consecutive year.

Brandon Marsh

Marsh also outperformed expectations. Prior to the season, it appeared that he would platoon in center field and only play against right-handed pitching. The 26-year-old ended up hitting left-handed pitching better than many expected and garnered more playing time against them. The outfielder also finished second on the team with a .829 OPS. He has likely earned a regular spot in the Phillies' outfield heading into 2024. Bryce Harper is officially playing first base full-time, allowing Kyle Schwarber to become the full-time designated hitter.

Cristopher Sánchez

Sánchez wound up being an integral piece of the Phillies' rotation last season. Once it was decided that Matt Strahm would move to the bullpen, the club was in a position in which they needed a fifth starter. The 27-year-old left-hander stepped up. Over 18 starts and just under 100 innings, Sánchez logged a 3.44 ERA and posted a 1.05 WHIP. He was steady in the backend of the rotation once he consistently began picking up starts in June.

One reason for the left-hander's improvement was his usage of the changeup. In 2023 the pitch had a 43 percent whiff rate. That topped the 2022 rate of 29.8 percent. Sánchez's changeup was so good it ranked third among all pitchers who faced at least 100 batters last season in strikeout percentage.

The Phillies expect each of these players to continue to improve in 2024. Stott and Marsh will become arbitration-eligible in 2025, while Sánchez has one more pre-arbitration year left. While each will be slated for pay raises next year, having affordable, viable options is important for the Phillies to keep their payroll from getting too far into the luxury tax thresholds.

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