Select the image above to see detals
of the 44 players that exchanged
salary arbitration figures with their
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The next phase of salary arbitration begins as the 128 players that filed has now been knocked down to 44 players that have exchanged their asking figure with their respective clubâ€™s offering figure.
For more on salary arbitration see Evolution of salary arbitration: an ironic tale by Maury Brown on Yahoo! Sports
Even as players and clubs exchanged figures, several deals were reached, including Jonathan Papelbon, Huston Street, Josh Johnson, Matt Garza, Andre Ethier, and Jonathan Broxton. Felix Hernandez is likely to be the next player to reach agreement after exchanging figures. His $11,500,000 asking figure was a difference of $4,300,000 from the Mariners $7,200,000 offering salary. The mid-point between the two was $9,350,000. Reports have Hernandez agreeing to an 5-year deal between $78-$80 million.
Other notes from the figures exchanged:
Garza and the Rays File Identical â€“ Itâ€™s not every day that the club and player file the exact same figure (OK, Iâ€™ve never seen it), but thatâ€™s what happened at the deadline. Â Garza and the Rays both filed a $3,350,000 figure. The reason? According to Marc Topkin of the St. Pete Times, it was due to both sides coming to an agreement on the salary just before the deadline.
Record On the Way? â€“ Tim Lincecum filed a record $13 million asking figure to the Giants $8 million. The mid-point between the two is $10.5 million. Should the sides meet in the middle, it would surpass Ryan Howardâ€™s record $10 million award in 2008 for a first time salary arbitration eligible player.
Meet Me in the Middle â€“ Jonathan Papelbon filed a $10,250,000 asking figure to the Red Soxâ€™ $8,450,000. What do you know? The contract that the sides reached was $9,350,000, the exact mid-point between the two figures. By the way, Papelbon now has the highest salary ever for a reliever with four years of major league service.
Four-on-the-Floor â€“ The clubs with the most players exchanging figures (4 each) are the Angels and Brewers.
â€śFile-To-Goâ€ť and the Rays â€“ Salary arbitration term comingâ€¦ â€śfile-to-goâ€ť is when a club says, â€śIf we file, we plan on going all the way to hearing. Forget negotiating.â€ť The Tampa Bay Rays have been known to conduct this practice in the five years since Tampa BayÂ executive VP Andrew Friedman took the helm. As Marc Topkin reports, the practice doesnâ€™t sit well with MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner.
â€śWith respect to the file-to-go strategy, or the file-and-trial strategy, the union has long believed, and has expressed to the commissionerâ€™s office, that that strategy stands the purpose of salary arbitration on its head. Years ago, many clubs took the view that it didnâ€™t make sense to talk until after we exchanged numbers, and to say that we wonâ€™t talk if you exchange numbers in our view is not consistent with the way the system was designed to operate. But clubs are entitled to negotiate as they see fit.â€™â€™
That leaves centerfielder B.J. Upton headed to hearings for the fourth time in five years.
Select the image above, or see The Biz of Baseballâ€™s Salary Arbitration Filing page for details on all 44 players, the figures they asked, the clubsâ€™ offering figures, the difference between them, and contract resolutions.
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 available for hire or freelance. 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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