Diamondbacks avoid arbitration ace pitcher Zac Gallen
Jan 11, 2024, 7:15 PM | Updated: 8:27 pm
(Felisa Cardenas/Arizona Sports)
The Arizona Diamondbacks and All-Star starting pitcher Zac Gallen avoided arbitration ahead of Thursday’s deadline, settling at $10.011 million for the 2024 season, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand first reported.
The D-backs later announced they agreed to one-year contracts for Gallen, first baseman Christian Walker and relief pitchers Paul Sewald, Kevin Ginkel, Ryan Thompson and Joe Mantiply. That took care of all six arbitration-eligible players to avoid any trials.
Gallen, a client of agent Scott Boras, has one more year of arbitration eligibility before he becomes a free agent after 2025. The 28-year-old made $5.6 million last season, and Spotrac projected he would make $10.25 million in 2024.
He will be 30 by the time he reaches free agency — unless an extension is agreed on — and in line for a quite a payday should he continue pitching like he has.
The right-hander finished third in the National League Cy Young race in 2023 and became the first Diamondbacks pitcher with 210 innings and a sub-3.50 ERA in a season since 2011 (Daniel Hudson and Ian Kennedy). Over the past two seasons, Gallen’s 9.3 fWAR is fourth among MLB pitchers.
Gallen has made 65 starts in the past two years, staying relatively healthy after an injury-marred 2021.
MLB Network this week ranked him third among all starting pitchers only behind Gerrit Cole and Corbin Burnes.
Gallen and Merrill Kelly are both under team control through 2025, with Kelly having a club option after 2024. Eduardo Rodriguez joined the rotation this offseason on a four-year deal with a fifth-year option.
FanSided.com’s Robert Murray reported earlier reported Walker and Sewald’s settelments. Walker settled for $10.9 million in 2024 and Sewald for $7.35 million to avoid arbitration.
Walker and Sewald are entering their final years of team control. Walker won his second straight Gold Glove and produced his first 30-home run, 100-RBI campaign in 2023. Sewald was a midseason trade acquisition who stabilized the bullpen as an established closer.
Ginkel, Thompson and Mantiply won’t be free agents until 2027.
Six active Diamondbacks will make north of $10 million in 2024 with Walker and Gallen added to the group of Ketel Marte, Rodriguez, Eugenio Suarez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Last year, that group was only Marte and since-released Madison Bumgarner, who is still on the payroll.