Orioles' Gunnar Henderson projected to top pre-arbitration bonus pool at $1.3 million

NEW YORK (AP) — Baltimore shortstop Gunnar Henderson is projected to receive the largest amount from this season’s $50 million pre-arbitration bonus pool based on his regular-season statistics.

Henderson is on track to get $1,325,021, according to WAR calculations through July 7 that Major League Baseball sent to teams, players and agents in a memo Thursday that was obtained by The Associated Press.

Kansas City shortstop Bobby Witt Jr, is second at $1,192,410. He is followed by Cincinnati shortstop Elly De La Cruz ($846,669), Cleveland outfielder Steven Kwan ($820,588), Boston outfielder Jarren Duran ($711,444) and right-hander Tanner Houck ($658,258). Royals left-hander Cole Ragans ($657,138), Philadelphia left-hander Cristopher Sánchez ($587,189), Baltimore infielder Jordan Westburg ($580,918) and Texas infielder Josh Smith ($574,067) are next on the list.

New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe is 16th at $545,241, and Pittsburgh right-hander Paul Skenes is 32nd at $436,485.

Witt, De La Cruz, Henderson, Kwan, Duran, Houck, Ragans, Westburg and Skenes have all been picked for Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

A total of 100 players will receive the payments, established as part of the 2022 collective bargaining agreement and aimed to get more money to players without sufficient service time for salary arbitration eligibility. The cutoff for 2024 was 2 years, 118 days of major league service.

Players who signed as foreign professionals are excluded.

Henderson was eighth in last year’s pool at $1,428,001 and Witt 11th at $836,848. Kwan earned $477,103, Ragans $381,333, Duran $338,012, De La Cruz $269,377 and Volpe $246,549.

Baltimore catcher Adley Rutschman is on track to earn $543,319 after finishing with the third-highest amount last year at $1,798,439. He trailed Seattle outfielder Julio Rodríguez ($1,865,349) and Arizona outfielder Corbin Carroll ($1,812,337).

Rodríguez is projected at $234,935. He has a $10 million salary as part of a $209.3 million, 12-year deal.

Most young players have salaries just above this year’s major league minimum of $740,000: Henderson has a $756,200 salary this year, De La Cruz $742,500, Kwan $757,600 and Duran $760,000.

Witt has an 11-year contract worth more than $288.7 million and Sánchez has a contract for 2025-28 guaranteeing $22.5 million, though his salary this season is $753,500.

As part of the labor agreement, a management-union committee was established that determined the WAR formula. The agreement calls for an interim report to be distributed the week before the All-Star Game.

Based on 2022 and last year, MLB anticipates $10.25 million of the pool will go to award winners and $39.75 million will be distributed based on WAR.

A player earns $2.5 million for winning an MVP or Cy Young Award, $1.75 million for finishing second, $1.5 million for third, $1 million for fourth or fifth, or for making the all-MLB first team. A player also gets $750,000 for winning Rookie of the Year and $500,000 for second, or for making the all-MLB second team.