While I'm in the "let's not overpay derek stepan" boat, I think I'm more in the "let's protect Kevin Hayes for another year or two" boat. Kid had a great first season, but we'd be lying if we said he was any good in the playoffs. I am not so sure we're ready to slot him in as our #2 center just yet for a whole season, so if Stepan is not going to come down from his max money demands, we're going to need to find a replacement for 1C or 2C. Hayes needs at least another year at the 3C spot to grow, at least in my opinion. Perhaps the arbitration deal might be fine for us in this regard, as it lets us reevaluate this problem when Hayes might be a more suitable replacement himself.