Notice that was "pre-arb", because Balfour, Bartlett, Gross, Jackson, Gomes, and Navarro are all eligible for arbitration. I'm assuming an increase for each of them, although Gomes could be non-tendered I assume. Here's how I would present the cases FOR each of these players at their arb hearing:
Do note: I'm taking the role of the agents here, therefore my statements are not going to be from the analyst point of view.
Balfour - Amazing ERA/FIP/tRA, one of the 10 best relievers in the league, perhaps the third best reliever in the American league East.
Bartlett - Team MVP (per experts!), defensive wizard.
Gross - Big hits propelled the Rays into the playoffs.
Jackson - Tied for team lead with 14 wins, showed improvement.
Navarro - All star catcher. Case closed.
/Agent speak (although if any agent reading wants help in preparing an arbitration binder...)
I'm not going to do a team perspective on these cases because that's pointless. Simply put, the Rays are going to increase payroll by quite a bit just through their own 25, so without knowing how many season ticket deposits were placed and how much money is in fluxing from the playoff run, I'm guessing the Rays will begin the 2009 season with around 60 million in payroll.
Now, let's get started on that re-sign B.J. Upton fund.