Ryan Zimmerman of
the Nationals was the
last player in salary
arbitration this year.
Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and the Washington Nationals have reached a 1-year, $3.325 million contract, thus avoiding salary arbitration. Of the 111 players that filed for salary arbitration in mid-Jan., Zimmerman was the last remaining player to reach agreement or have his case ruled on by a panel of arbitrators.
Zimmerman had been seeking $3.9 million while the Nationals were offering $2.75 million, a difference of $1.15 million. Zimmerman’s $3.325 million contract is the mid-point between asking and offering figures.
Zimmerman can earn extra performance bonuses of $75,000 for 500 plate appearances, and $50,000 each for 550 and 600 plate appearances. His 2009 salary of $3.325 million is a 615 percent increase from his 2008 salary of $465,000.
Zimmerman’s settlement marks the end of this year’s salary arbitration hearings. Of the 46 players that exchanged salary figures, only three cases were ruled on by arbitration panels, the lowest number of cases since 2005 when Kyle Lohse, Jeremy Affeldt, and Juan Cruz had decisions rendered. This year, the players beat the clubs 2 to 1 in hearing, seeing SP Shawn Hill of the Nationals and 2B Dan Uggla of the Marlins winning their cases, while C Dioner Navarro of the Rays lost his case.
This year marks the first time since 1996 that the owners will not have a winning record in salary arbitration hearings. That year, 7 players (Steve Avery, Jeff Fassero, Chuck Knoblauch, Mark Lewis, Mike Stanton, Rick Wilkins, and Bernie Williams) won their cases, while 3 players (Willie Banks, Arthur Rhodes, and Ivan Rodriguez) lost.
Of the 487 salary arbitration cases that have been heard since the process was collectively bargained into MLB in 1974, owners have won 280 (57%) to the players' 207 (43%) cases heard.
Complete details for all the players that filed, all the players that exchanged figures, and the arbitration scorecard for this year’s salary arbitration class are now available on The Biz of Baseball. They include links to various sources reporting on each contract.
Look for an extensive article on this year’s salary arbitration class on Baseball Prospectus shortly, including a detailed break down of all 111 players that filed for arbitration, by club.
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 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.
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