Predicting Final 2014 Salaries for Top 10 Arbitration-Eligible MLB Players

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Predicting Final 2014 Salaries for Top 10 Arbitration-Eligible MLB Players
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

Today is the day that players love and teams dread. It's the deadline for arbitration-eligible players to officially exchange proposed salaries for the 2014 season with their clubs. 

Players, traditionally, will make a high offer, while teams, unsurprisingly, counter with a lower number. If the cases go to arbitration, which will take place from February 1-21, a judge will decide which side is right. 

The important thing to remember when cases go to arbitration is that there is no middle ground for the judge to decide on; either the team or player will win. 

In some cases, these players won't even make it to arbitration. Just because the two sides have sent out numbers, they are allowed to negotiate and can agree to a contract at any point. Often you will see the two sides work together and meet in the middle on a deal. 

Some teams, like the Braves, employ a "file and trial" stance. That means, more often than not, when players file for arbitration, the team will take it to court. It's not a surprise in the case of Atlanta, which is owned by a corporation that sets strict limits on the payroll with no wiggle room.

Keep in mind that even though I, like many of you, follow new-age stats (WAR, FIP, etc.), arbitration is still an old-school process that relies heavily on traditional counting stats (RBI, Wins, etc.) to determine value. That's the measure we have to follow, too. 

Here are our official salary predictions for the top 10 remaining arbitration-eligible stars who have yet to sign a contract for the 2014 season. 

Note: All stats and salaries courtesy of Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted. 

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