order cheap buy bystolic pharmacy precio viagra en farmacias sin receta buy rogaine 2 bulk brand nizagara buy is there a drug comparative to flagyl er buy sumycin without augmentin duo 400 syrup side effects orlistat where to buy in canada medrol overnight shipping cheap how much will ranbaxy lipitor cost buy voveran sr astrailia us pharmacy online finax where can i get digoxin without a prescription crestor canada does taking crestor cause weight gain buy actonel cheap now company kamagra online erythromycin better than amoxicillin tenormin mg canadian rx bactroban components lek zentel ulotka best online overseas pharmacy avalide rx tesco pharmacy falkirk opening times depo provera use in canada carbozyne brand positioning national shortage of levaquin cialis 5 mg. buy on line singulair coupon for refills can you take cialis viagra together doxycycline dosage for anti malaria buy cipro online from uk aspirin usage finax delivery uk generic pills for xenical ramipril dosage for dogs buy elimite bulk buy aldactone online cheap spironolactone where do you inject imitrex mexican pharmacy no prescription shuddha guggulu metformin prescription uk genuine brafix best price chloroquine plus proguanil prices where can you buy genuine viagra online where to buy neurontin online buying allegra in manchester mometasone furoate ointment 0.1 what does ginseng look like in the woods vpxl noprescrition needed usa online pharmacy buy crestor from india buy aricept new zealand online dramamine patch rx what is quinine used to treat original finast online college of medicine and allied health sciences university of sierra leone levitra canadian pharmacy fucidin pills online in the canada buy betoptic online no prescription us viagra sublingual drug store online allisport ebay store cost of leukeran viagra jelly doctors online estrace back order pletal tablets for sale what does relafen tesco online pharmacy malarone is effexor xr generic teva glucophage echeck penegra results forum getting cardura in australia astelin in canada buying alprazolam no prescription inderal la for migraines side effects of zofran in toddlers buy finax 40 what is amoxil tablets for mexican meds overnight zetia discount card requip xl reviews prednisolone 5mg 1000 naprosyn ec 500mg side effects lady era from europe bentyl without prescription canada order diclofenac online prednisone uses in cats over the counter zantac 75 how long does it take for synthroid to cause weight loss motilium canada no prescription pyridium no prescription fedex ups buy used books online australia propranolol tablets online purchase diflucan mg viagra plus brands india ayurslim limited india is there a cvs pharmacy in canada imuran user reviews sialia sialis song seroflo ordering online pharmacy yagara from india glucotrol xl 10mg no prescription mexican pharmacy no prescription glucophage cheap amantadine buy canada order calan how are alligators and crocodiles different why is there a shortage of levitra plus nitroglycerin ointment cost brand levitra discount voucher cheap cialis professional sale uk buying cialis sublingual from canada no prescription cephalexin birth control online india generic tretinoin 0,025 buy canada online sale of zebeta cytotec drugs canadian pharmacy maxalt how much does the yasmin pill cost in australia us online pharmacy no prescription viagra jelly order non generic speman accutane not generic how to use lisinopril eriacta 100 tablets buy allegra with visa kaiser mail order pharmacy southern california keppra visa how much does a drug sales rep make what are common side effects of zoloft drugstore online buy cheap allegra bactroban ointment over the counter australia ciprofloxacino cinfa prospecto generic uk paypal bactroban how to join class action lawsuit against lipitor is it safe to order grifulvin v buy lithium in australia craigslist glasgow cas order vytorin tablets cheapest online antibiotic overnight shipping cost of tulasi l-tryptophan online forum nitrofurantoin medicine children prescription nexium buy abana australia pharmacy finpecia suppositories buy buy floxin tablets online protonix coupons rebates what is retin-a ge pills used for safe place order celexa online pharmacy testosterone enanthate where to buy albuterol for nebulizer coming off topamax weight gain prevacid from colic imitrex online cheap lipitor drugstore cheap glycomet buy online renova energia sa brazil promethazine buy canada comprar inderal pela internet rumalaya forte 50mg tablets what is diclofenac misoprostol used ondansetron hcl 8 mg safe pregnancy astelin sale clomid hcg iui success stories overnight erection packs 4 cialis what are the side effects of crestor tablets paroxetine generic prozac km online pharmacy terramycin no script buy viagra super active have no prescription can you buy aldactone pharmacy cheapest is valtrex available on line in canada lasix, where to buy overseas silagra online pharmacy buy brand cialis tablets usa viagra purchase online in india cheapest canada drugs.com non prescription levita parlodel max dose what does bactroban ointment do cabgolin .25 kamagra jelly 100mg aygestin dose what does the pill fluoxetine do boots pharmacy jobs in dubai what is cytotec pill cost of diflucan 150 mg does ciprofloxacin affect birth control pills lopressor uk brand name what does propranolol comprar cialis online opiniones where to buy viagra in united states how to order diabecon acyclovir dose for cold sores accutane before and after photo sildenafil side effects vision dosis cefixime 100 mg no rx flovent online toradol by mail pharmacy store inventory management software how to order vasotec online alphagan no prescription reviews vermox prices generic levothroid safe top 10 online actoplus met sites zofran generic available strattera 40 mg side effects cholestoplex pharmacies in menosan online usa no prescription vasotec indications switching from zoloft to wellbutrin dizziness elimite rx list will generic celebrex available us pill rx health order zithromax products omifin clomifeno tabletas 50 mg viagra vs cialis vs levitra comparison cheapest renagel buy wellbutrin perth australia order wellbutrin sr medication by mail methotrexate side effects cancer promethazine buy on line 365 pills mobi brafix prescription coupon clozaril purchase in canada no prescription buy metoclopramide next day drugstore estrogen pills differin gel price uk canadian alliance of dance artists professional association generic pills for tretinoin 0,025 himplasia buy canada paroxetine generic india sertraline india price get viagra brisbane equine drug sales rep vermox recommended dosage seroquel side effects in women brittle asthma in children do you gain weight taking crestor luvox over counter uk beconase aq discount medications generic lipothin post cycle therapy cialis sublingual does viagra work on girls online el omifin o citrato de clomifeno diovan hct wikipedia acheter batterie lithium ion levothyroxine synthroid tinidazole weight gain voveran sr with american express plendil online pay paypal worldwide pharmacy maxalt atorlip-20 sublingual dosage stats 19 contributory factors is there a generic medicine for celebrex where do i suhagra in canada how to make 100 mg ml ampicillin baclofen no prescription reviews american ventolin methotrexate prescription help generic from unisom mixing keflex alcohol get precose las vegas best site get isoniazid prednisone online without prescription omnicef in italia trazodone from mylan ndc comprar ashwagandha original can you order parlodel buy entocort hong kong 200mcg budecort betapace shortage 2012 150 mg clomid success rate side effects of singulair in kids kosovarja revista numri i fundit crestor sublingual dosage cipla ltd patalganga panvel daily dosage of cialis is it safe to take generic lexapro propecia price increase buy minocin online at canada pharmacy discount coupon for nexium plendil mg tablet valtrex from usa dormidina kaufen mobic prescription drug ciprofloxacin eye drops for pink eye generic famvir overnite shipping best over the counter lasix zolpidem tartrate cialis compared to viagra get viagra boots no prescription rogaine 2 lexus rx 350 canada erexin-v sold over counter flonase pas cher italie order viagra online overnight i want to buy periactin cardizem dosage iv himcolin gel himalaya health canada levitra plus robaxin canadian pharmacy best place to buy cephalexin in mexico tinidazole online canadian will flonase make you gain weight aristocort generic name pharmacie de garde bruxelles ixelles myambutol order by phone viagra online canadian pharmacy reviews how much does lamisil cost without insurance can you buy alli in australia levitra pharmacy prescription levitra professional generic mexico lanoxin dose in children generic allegra 60 mg pilex to purchase without a prescription prescription without health insurance is maxalt over the counter colchicine usa premium drugs for viagra ordering phenergan shipping cash us online pharmacy no prescription isoniazid side effects of trazodone 100 mg the online drugstore prednisolone recommended dose of valtrex for cold sores lexapro uk lopressor next day delivery canada drugs topamax with prescription buy over the counter minomycin online metoclopramide canada head office alli slimming pills to buy uk effexor xr sale buying compazine can order l-tryptophan canada what is albuterol sulfate prescribed for entocort enema dosage generic actos 145 mg xeloda colon cancer reviews research grade viagra super active list of tesco stores selling buspar one guy one jar video iphone how to buy abana in canada generic tadalafil online non prescription hyzaar pharmacy buy tenormin next day benadryl dosage instructions rosuvastatin looking for avandamet discounts mail order generic coreg order proscar uk costco pharmacy micardis price buy cheap olanzapine premarin weight gain or loss haldol 1mg tablet medicine coumadin used januvia medication where can i buy hyaluronic acid purchase nitroglycerin dilantin costco purchase brand amoxil in canada generic aspirin switzerland letrozole dosage bodybuilding my pravachol coupons dutas generic how to buy toradol in london combivent for discount cheap flea and tick meds for cats where can i buy auto-rx cleaner voveran sr over counter uk mobic tablet exelon sublingual dosage purchase generic benadryl side effects of yasmin weight gain topamax comprare tenormin atenolol anxiety tesco pharmacy summer placement 2011 buy brafix online usa cheap kamagra supplier reviews sildenafil buy elocon online in usa cheap generic baclofen over the counter prescription buy allopurinol maxifort seeds for sale chloromycetin generic wikipedia drugs femara online pharmacy purchasing avodart online uk mexico amitriptyline prescription wellbutrin costa rica cytoxan without a script methotrexate mg tablet forzest without a script atorlip-20 spain lisinopril buy uk is it illegal to buy pain meds online cialis super active free shipping buy xenical bulk how many prescription drugs can you bring back from mexico buy inderal no prescription acheter inderal pas cher average cost of asacol myambutol without a prescription wholesale drugs canada benicar without a script furosemide buy online india kamagra oral jelly next day delivery cozaar tablets 50mg rocaltrol discount voucher buy neurontin pills in the uk zerit online usa no prescription amaryl for purchase synthroid pharmacies prices what types of bactroban are there how to buy l-tryptophan in london craigslist new york tickets canadian baclofen tablet zebeta 100mg cheep diabecon online in usa rumalaya tablets uses 100mg minocycline side effects generic innopran xl india precio del redustat en mexico research grade suhagra non prescription methotrexate pharmacy malarone tablets tesco price nolvadex mg price seroquel coupons card canadian nitrofurantoin tablet drugs similar to aciphex generic isoptin us 1 pound fish wiki levitra professional discounts codes valaciclovir prescription zoster novo trazodone weight gain cheap lipitor 80 mg furosemide pill canadian buy imitrex overseas zovirax mg buy sinemet maximum dosage maximum ibuprofen dosage buy doxazosin pills online viagra sublingual without a script what headache medicine can i take with zoloft buy drugs online using tor lipitor 20 mg original abilify online requip where can i buy metronidazole flagyl otc price of promethazine without insurance us online pharmacy no prescription cordarone what are some over the counter pills to help get pregnant generic for toprol xl recall mobic shoppers drug mart entocort coupon code buying isoniazid in manchester is generic ethionamide available in usa buy liposafe boots pharmacy betnovate rd cream is used for tofranil dosage too high fertility drugs nhs where to buy korean red ginseng in singapore estrace no prescription canada allopurinol no prescription compare prices comprar revista capricho online no prescription indian pharmacy levitra online prescription tetracycline in the uk what are the side effects of amitriptyline tablets buy lotrel with a mastercard citalopram cost at walmart price of augmentin 625mg in india nizagara reviews and dosage prescription finpecia minocin online pharmacy uk ditropan fast uk deltasone without rx comprar aciphex en argentina diflucan 150 mg prospect amitriptyline now generic from glucotrol xl combivent without script generic uk paypal midamor st nirvana herbal slimming tablets reviews coversyl plus generic australia buy valtrex tablets in australia real viagra vs generic viagra ventolin sale canadian what does zocor 20 mg look like non prescription meclizine purchase strattera in australia benadryl syrup price in india flonase usa order acivir pills tablets dipyridamole 20 mg is generic viagra from india safe atarax 100 review side effects of motrin 600 mg zovirax 200 mg dispersible tablets buy maxalt from canada original cleocin online ortho tri-cyclen limited india safely buy viagra online uk where can i buy femcare feldene gel wiki how to take erythromycin tablets brahmi gadi katha telugu movie online watch buy freshwater fish online australia cialis 40 mg daily no prescription haldol sale how old do u have to be to buy claritin d 1xtra listen live mirtazapine reviews depression cialis jelly not generic yasmin medicine wiki citalopram sold over counter levitra online in usa where kamagra differin sold over counter buy viagra online cheap us pariet visa what is advair diskus 100 50 used for what is red ginseng tea good for levlen birth control pills revia online usa free samples of viagra canada import cialis exelon medication dementia flovent pills sweat rhinocort next day delivery best kamagra supplier uk costco pharmacy pyridium price buy motrin inhaler canada best gasex prices doxocycline in canada over the counter which uk site to buy cefixime flagyl dosage for cats zetia to buy top 10 post cycle therapy supplements best prices pill generic cialis professional premarin discontinued is it safe to buy viagra online approved cheap grifulvin v uk
Home All Articles By the Numbers: A Breakdown of the '08 Salary Arbitration

Like Shoot to Thrill - An AC/DC Tribute on Facebook!

An authentic tribute of AC/DC that covers the best of the Bon Scott era and the best of Brian Johnson's material

Who's Online?

We have 1222 guests online

Atom RSS

By the Numbers: A Breakdown of the '08 Salary Arbitration PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 4
PoorBest 
Articles & Opinion
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 25 February 2008 22:00

A Biz of Baseball ExclusiveA Look Inside Salary Arbitration. Who Won. Who Lost. And, How Players Nearly Always Come Out Ahead

Most would say 1974 or 1975 was the most important for the players.

’74 represents the year that Jim “Catfish” Hunter was declared a free agent after Charlie Finley was found to be in breach of contract after not deferring part of Hunter’s salary and placing it in an annuity. The ensuing bidding war for Hunter showed just how much money owners were willing to throw at a free agent, if the shackles of the reserve system were thrown off.

’75 represents the year that Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally played their part in the historic Peter Seitz ruling in which the reserve clause was removed from baseball, and free agency became what is now, a permanent part of Major League Baseball.

Both are key points in history. Both are defined by Marvin Miller, Dick Moss and the Players’ Association. Both are watershed moments that redefined the rights of players, and by extension, the amount of money in salaries they would make. But, it is really 1973 that is Miller’s defining moment.

In 1973 salary arbitration was implemented in MLB, and since then has been a boon to the players, a thorn in the side of general managers, and a drain on owners’ wallets.

The system works thusly:

A player of over 2 years of service time (the CBA defines one full year as a total of 172 days of Major League credited service) can file for salary arbitration (see a listing of those that filed for salary arbitration this year), and at a given date on the calendar (this year it was January 18), if the parties have not yet reached a deal, the club and player exchange salary figures for what they wish to pay, or be paid, for the following year (see all the figures exchanged for 2008). If a deal is not reached by the club and player, then both sides present their case at a hearing before a panel of three arbitrators, which then rules whether the player figure or the club figure will be paid to the player over the next season. There is no in-between. It is either one, or the other.

Against that backdrop, more and more, deals are struck before hearings take place. In either case, the clubs almost always come out on the bad side of the deals.

Each year, I go through and examine all players that exchanged figures with the respective clubs and see who won, who lost, and when you think about it, who really lost while winning. Here are some details around the 2008 salary arbitration class:

Select Read More to see a Breakdown of this Year's Salary Arbitration Class

Salary Arbitration Details2008 Salary Arbitration Facts and Figures

Here’s some raw figures regarding the arbitration class of 2008. The figures are based on my analysis of the 48 players that exchanged figures with their clubs, with some additional data through The Associated Press.

(select the image to the left to see details for the 48 players that exchanged figures):

  • Increase in Salaries for the 110 players that Filed for Arbitration from Last Season: 120 percent.
  • Average Salary Increase for all 110 Players that Filed for Arbitration: An increase from $1.38 million to $3.04 million, was up from 106 percent last year and the highest since a 123 percent rise in 2005. The average rose from $3.01 million last year but was below the record $3.26 million set in 2004.
  • Multi-year Contracts for the 110 players that Filed for Arbitration: Sixteen players received multiyear contracts, two more than last year and the most since 17 in 2002.
  • Multi-year contracts for the 48 players the Exchanged Figures: Out of the sixteen total players that got multi-year contracts, ten of them were part of the pool that exchanged figures (Betancourt, Cano, Chavez, Cuddyer, Greene, Molina, Phillips, Rauch, Sanchez, Soriano)
  • Increase in salaries for the 48 players that filed for arbitration from last season: 220 percent.
  • Total salaries paid out to the 48 players that exchanged figures: $136,075,000
  • Average salary of the 48 players that exchanged figures for 2008: $2,834,896 , down from $2,853,214 last season.
  • Number of players that went hearing with their clubs: 8 (Clubs winning 6)
  • Historical Scorecard (From 1974, current to 2008): 485 hearings with owners winning 280 compared to players winning 205 case, or 57.73 percent of hearings in favor of owners.
  • Largest salary increases from last year (base salary):

Ryan Howard whose 2007 salary was $900,000, but sees it skyrocket to $10,000,000 by his winning salary arbitration hearing with the Phillies, an increase of 1,011 percent from last season. Howard is followed by Garrett Atkins (2007 salary: $400,000, 2008 salary $4,387,500, or an increase of 997 percent), and Brad Hawpe of the Rockies (2007 salary: $403,000, 2008 salary $3,925,000, or an increase of 874 percent) Chien-Ming Wang of the Yankees (2007 salary: $489,500, 2008 salary $4,000,000, or an increase of 717 percent by way of Yankees winning salary arbitration hearing), and Kevin Youkilis of the Red Sox (2007 salary: $424,500, 2008 salary $3,000,000, or an increase of 607 percent)

  • Largest increase of a multi-year deal based on average salary:

Brandon Phillips, whose salary went up 1,556 percent, from $407,500 to an average of $6.75 million under his $27 million, four-year contract. Followed by Robinson Cano, whose salary rose 1,428 percent, from $490,800 to an average of $7.5 million in his $30 million, four-year deal.

For the 48 players that exchanged figures, total amount of salary by position (base salary), along with player that had highest salary for that position:

  • SP (8 players): $26,780,000 (Highest: Erik Bedard at $7,000,000)
  • RP (19 players): $40,272,500 (Highest: Francisco Rodriguez at $10,000,000)
  • 1B (2 players): $13,000,000 (Highest: Ryan Howard at $10,000,000)
  • 2B (5 players): $13,500,000 (Highest: Robinson Cano at $3,000,000)
  • 3B (2 players): $10,487,500 (Highest: Casey Blake at $6,100,000)
  • C (2 players): $3,987,500 (Highest: Josh Bard at $2,237,500)
  • OF (6 players): $16,397,500 (Highest: Michael Cuddyer at $5,000,000)
  • SS (4 players): $11,850,000 (Highest: Felipe Lopez at $4,900,000)

For the 48 players that exchanged figures, total amount of salary by service time (base salary):

  • Under 3 years (6 players): $22,062,500 (Highest: Ryan Howard at $10,000,000)
  • 3-4 years (22 players): $37,815,000 (Highest: Garrett Atkins at $4,387,500)
  • 4-5 years (9 players): $31,322,500 (Highest: Erik Bedard at $7,000,000)
  • 5-6 years (9 players): $40,675,000 (Highest: Francisco Rodriguez at $10,000,000)
  • Above 6 years (1 player): $2,750,000 (Mark Loretta, 12.011 of service time)

The 48 players that exchanged figures, by club:

  • Atlanta (1): Soriano
  • Baltimore (1): Cabrera 
  • Boston (2): Snyder, Youkilis
  • Chicago Cubs (1): Wuertz
  • Cincinnati (2): Belisle, Phillips
  • Cleveland (2): Betancourt, Blake
  • Colorado (3): Atkins, Fuentes, Hawpe
  • Houston (4): Borkowski, Geary, Loretta, Valverde
  • Kansas City (3): German, Greinke, Teahen
  • Los Angeles Dodgers (2): Beimel, Proctor
  • Los Angeles Angels (1): Rodriguez
  • Milwaukee (2): Bush, Hardy
  • Minnesota (2): Cuddyer, Guerrier
  • New York Mets (5): Chavez, Church, Feliciano, Perez, Sosa
  • New York Yankees (3): Bruney, Cano, Wang
  • Oakland (1): Gaudin
  • Philadelphia (2): Bruntlett, Howard
  • Pittsburgh (1): Sanchez
  • San Diego (2): Bard, Greene
  • San Francisco (2): Chulk, Correia 
  • Seattle (1): Bedard
  • St. Louis (2): Molina, Wellemeyer
  • Toronto (1): Rios
  • Washington (2): Lopez, Rauch 

“What’s to like about it?”

To place the arbitration process in perspective, there is a reason that so few clubs and players go all the way to hearing. The stakes are too high. That and the clubs really lose even when they win. Whether a deal is struck before hearing, or if a club wins at hearing, the player nearly always gets a hefty raise.

Case in point, of the 48 players that exchanged figures, all of them but two sees raises this coming season when looking at just base salary. The exceptions are SS Mark Loretta, who lost his salary arbitration hearing with the Astros, and Alex Rios, who signed a one year deal with the Blue Jays. In Loretta’s case, there are no other figures that go with. He lost the case, and gets the salary. In Rios’ case, his base salary might be lower than he made last season, but he gets a $3.5 million signing bonus to go along with his salary of $1,335,000, and he would make an additional $15,000 if he is selected for the All-Star game. So, Rios is guaranteed $4,835,000 this year, an increase of $2,300,000 from last season.

So, it’s understandable that general managers aren’t exactly keen on the process. Asked to comment off the record, here’s what some had to say.

“It’s a way of life, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it,” said one “The player wins, even if we win. And even then, the process of hearings can build tension between us and the player.” Maybe, this reply said it all: “Honestly? What’s to like about it?”

So, is it any wonder that the parties work to get a deal done in advance of going to hearing? At least then they might be able to save a smidgen of the owner’s money.

The Mid-Point

Comparing the offer figure by the club and the requested figure by the player, we can derive the mid-point in-between what the club thinks the player is worth, and what the player and agent think he is worth. Of the 48 players that exchanged figures with their clubs, five of them reached base-salary deals for 2008 at this mid-point:

  • Garrett Atkins (Rockies): $4,387,500
  • Erik Bedard (Mariners after trade from Orioles): $7,000,000
  • Joe Beimel (Dodgers): $1,925,000
  • Kevin Correia (Giants): $1,075,000
  • Matt Guerrier (Twins): $950,000

As mentioned, the vast majority of players will receive a salary below the mid-point in-between the offered and requested salaries. Some, however, will receive salaries above the mid-point. Those seven players are:

  • Josh Bard (Padres): $2,237,500, or $62,500 (2.79 percent) above the mid-point ($2,175,000)  
  • Eric Bruntlett (Phillies): $800,000, or $125,000 (15.63 percent) above the mid-point ($675,000)
  • Geoff Geary (Astros): $1,125,000 or $25,000 (2.22 percent) above the mid-point ($1,100,000)
  • Khalil Green (Padres): $4,500,000 or $50,000 (1.11 percent) above the mid-point ($4,450,000)
  • Ryan Howard (Phillies): $10,000,000 or $1,500,000 (15 percent) above the mid-point ($8,500,000). Note: Howard won his salary arbitration hearing with the Phillies.
  • Oliver Perez (Mets): $6,500,000 or $887,500 (13.65 percent) above the mid-point ($5,612,500). Note: Perez won his salary arbitration hearing with the Mets.
  • Scott Proctor (Dodgers): $1,150,000 or $35,000 (3.04 percent) above the mid-point ($1,115,000).

The rest of the players that exchanged figures (35), reached deals that were below the mid-point, which explains why clubs work to reach the deals in advance of hearing, knowing that they could lose their case.

The following is a listing of players that had the largest decrease in salary when compared to the mid-point (base salary, no bonuses included):

  • Alex Rios (Blue Jays): $3,757,500 below the mid-point ($5,092,500) or -73.78 percent.
  • J.J. Hardy (Brewers): $1,075,000 below the mid-point ($2,725,000) or -39.45 percent.
  • Mark Loretta (Astros): $1,075,000 below the mid-point ($3,825,000) or -28.10 percent.
  • Yadier Molina (Cardinals): $550,000 below the mid-point ($2,300,000) or -23.91 percent.

Remember, Molina reached a 4-year deal that will see him earning an average salary of $3,625,000 over the life of his contract with the Cardinals, so the decline in salary this year will be made up in subsequent years ($3.25M in 2009, $4.24M in 2010, and $5.25M in 2010).

As for Loretta, his decrease is based in losing in salary arbitration.

What Can We Learn From the Hearings?

 This year will most likely be remembered for the Ryan Howard ruling. Howard beat the Phillies in arbitration, which was a feat unto itself. Consider, the following:

  • The Phillies had been 7-0 in salary arbitration up to the Howard case (Jerry Koosman, Alan Knicely, Kevin Gross, Dickie Thon, Dale Sveum, Willie Banks and Travis Lee). The last case the Phillies won was 2001 with Travis Lee.
  • Tal Smith, who has represented nearly every club in his long tenure as a representative for management, was representing the Phillies.
  • The gap between offering figure ($7,000,000) and requesting figure ($10,000,000) was the largest gap between the sides for the 2008 class that exchanged figures.
  • Howard’s requesting figure was the highest ever for a player with his level of service time, under 3 years (2.145).

With Howard’s win, he becomes the player with the highest winning award figure since Andruw Jones won his case with the Braves in 2001 ($8,200,000) and ties for the all-time award with Alfonso Soriano who lost his case with the Nationals in 2006 (he had requested $12,000,000). In winning, he sets the bar exceptionally high for young players (under 3 years of ST), or Super Twos.

Other factoids:

  • There were 8 hearings this year, with the owners winning 6-2. The last time there was that many players that went to hearing was 2001 when 14 players had their cases heard.
  • While Howard’s gap between offering and requesting figures seems high ($3 million), it isn’t the largest. The $4,475,000 gap between the Cubs offering figure ($11,025,000) and Carlos Zambrano requested figure ($15,500,000) last year is the largest gap ever. 

Conclusions

The owners have beaten the players in salary arbitration for 12 consecutive years, but players still enjoy incredible salary increases through the arbitration process. The last time the players won was in 1996 when Steve Avery (Braves), Jeff Fassero (Expos), Chuck Knoblauch (Twins), Mark Lewis (Tigers), Mike Stanton (Red Sox), Rick Wilkins (Astros), and Bernie Williams (Yankees) took 7 of the 10 cases heard. With Ryan Howard winning his hearing this year, he sets the table for other young players that enter salary arbitration, raising the bar exceptionally high.

Clubs are wrapping up players earlier and earlier, in many instances through the some of their free agency years. The best example of this was the unprecedented deal the Rockies gave to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, a six-year, $31 million contract. It was the largest contract awarded to a player with under 2 years of service time (1.033). Dan O’Dowd and the Monforts clearly see the investment in the players that got them into the World Series last season as cornerstones to build off of. But, the question is, did his deal set a bad precedent? As one high-ranking executive said, “Tulowitzki appears to be special and his signing to a multi-year contract at this stage may very well work out to be of benefit to the Rockies.  But, frankly I would have waited. He wasn't even arbitration eligible until 2010.”

The landscape with free agency and arbitration has altered the face of Major League Baseball forever since they were instituted in the early ‘70s. But, as I have outlined, it is clearly salary arbitration that increases the size of the players’ wallets more than free agency. In that, salary arbitration should be seen as Marvin Miller’s pride and joy.

Select the image above to see details of the 48 players that exchanged figures with their clubs, agents (where they could be found) along with contract information. Please contact Maury Brown to fill in gaps in the agent register

Media and clubs can contact Maury Brown for an even further detailed accounting of these players, as well.

Sources: The Biz of Baseball's historical arbitration research, The AP, Jayson Stark


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network

 
 
Banner

Poll

Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?