Nearly A Third Of All Shortstops Are Eligible For Arbitration For the 2017 Season

If the teams are unable to offer a contract acceptable to their young players, both sides of course go to arbitration. Few parties ever have to take negotiations that far, but this winter it is likely that players from one position will find themselves in that situation.The arbiters who decide the cases will need to really familiarize themselves with shortstops, since nearly one third of the starters at that position are eligible for arbitration heading into the 2017 season. The odds are that not all seven of those are going to settle with their clubs before the date for the process to begin.Not among them is Alcides Escobar of the Kansas City Royals, who is facing a team option that would pay him $6.5 million or allow them to buy out of the contract for a half million. The latter option will likely be the route Kansas City takes, given the fact that Escobar hit only seven home runs with a .261 batting average. Besides, the Royals have young Raul Mondesi, Jr. ready to take over at a middle infield spot.Here is the septet of starting shortstops who are all eligible for arbitration, a process in which their stats will be scrupulously analyzed. The plethora of them makes it difficult for the current team to trade them, thereby leaving no choice but to offer a contract.Zach Cozart of the Cincinnati RedsSuffering injuries for the last two seasons, Cozart’s numbers do not impress the way they did when he was healthy. For his career the 31 year old has averaged twelve home runs with a .248 bating average per year. Cincinnati will be looking to swap Cozart, since they have top prospects as well as Major League-ready Jose Peraza to take over.Adeiny Hechavarria of the Miami MarlinsHe is considered among the young core of the club, along with Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon and Christian Yellich. Still, he has averaged just four home runs and hit at a .254 clip per season for his career.Danny Espinosa of the Washington NationalsHis power was impressive, as he slugged 24 home runs last season. On the other hand, he batted just .208.Freddy Galvis of the Philadelphia PhilliesHe helped carry the Phils to a strong first half before the youth of the club caught up with it, but overall he hit 20 home runs with a .241 batting average.Jordy Mercer of the Pittsburgh PiratesThe steady glove man had an average offensive season, finishing at .256 with eleven home runs.Xander Bogaerts of the Boston Red SoxThe All-Star is the most likely of this bunch to get a long term contract offer from his club, after hitting .294 with 24 home runs for the East Division champions.Didi Gregorius of the New York YankeesDerek Jeter’s replacement is starting to live up to that honor, blasting 20 home runs with a .276 batting average.