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The Biz of Baseball :: Business of Sports Network
Detailed Salary Info for 142 MLB Salary Arbitration Players Available for Download PDF Print E-mail
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Salary Arbitration
Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 18 February 2012 00:00

Salary arb

For several years, The Biz of Baseball has provided detailed reports on salary arbitration in Major League Baseball. Whether it has been those reports, filing info, the historical salary arbitration scorecard that breaks down each hearing, or a scorecard that shows how each club has fared since 1974, we’ve been a clearinghouse for that data.

Today, we go one step further.

The analysis that drives our predictive analysis comes from hundreds of hours researching salary data. Now, you have that data at your disposal.... for free.

MORE DETAILS AVAILABLE ON BASEBALL PROSPECTUS MONDAY

Detailed information for the 142 players in the 2012 class of players is available for download. The spreadsheet (or CSV file) is broken into these 29 categories:

  1. Player
  2. DOB
  3. Age
  4. Throws/Bats
  5. Team
  6. Position
  7. Uni  #
  8. 2011 Major League Service Time (MLST)
  9. Arb
  10. Status (is 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. eligble)
  11. Super Two? (is the player a Super Two)
  12. Signed (Date signed)
  13. Filed? (Filed, Exchanged figures)
  14. Action (Avoided, Extension, Hearing outcome)
  15. Player Ask figure
  16. Club Offer figure
  17. Diff between ask and offer
  18. Mid-point between ask and offer
  19. 2011 Salary
  20. 2012
  21. Salary
  22. (subsequent salary for yrs in multi-yr deals)
  23. % (+/-) from '11-'12 salary
  24. mid (+/-) based on club #
  25. Increase ('11 to '12) in terms of dollars
  26. Term (Length of contract)
  27. Total contract dollars
  28. Annual Average Value (AAV)
  29. Details (player notes on performance, bonus info, etc)

While an expansive analysis of the data will be available via an article on Baseball Prospectus this Monday (link provided at that time), here are some key notes on the data:

  • Salaries for the 142 players increased 83 percent from what will be earned in 2011 and salaries in 2012 (not factoring bonuses or deferments).
  • Salaries in 2011 totaled $276,328,860 for the 142 compared to $504,847,000 for those same players.
  • The 83 percent increase is a decline from 2011 when salaries totaled $417,617,250 compared to $222,894,345 for the same players in 2010.
  • According to Ronald Blum of The Associated Press, using AAV in mult-year contracts, not actual salary in 2012, as defined in this study, “The 142 players who filed for arbitration last month averaged an 89 percent increase, according to a study of agreements by The Associated Press. That was down from an average jump of 123 percent last year and was the lowest increase since a 73 percent rise in 1996.”
  • The largest salary increase went to NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. As Kershaw was in his first year as salary arb eligible, he went from $500,000 in 2011 to $7.5 million in 2012 as part of his 2-year, $19 million extension, or an increase of 1400%
  • Two players saw salaries go down: Third-baseman Ian Stewart of the Cubs ($2.29 million down to $2.237 million) and Francisco Rodriguez of the Brewers who as a free agent that accepted salary arbitration went from $11.5 million in 2011 to $8 million in 2012 as part of changing from closer to reliever.
  • Nine players reached “mid-point deals” – deals that see their 2012 salary exactly between the figure the player was asking and the figure the club was offering. They were: Robert Andino, Daniel Bard, David Ortiz, Shaun Marcum, Brett Gardner, Hunter Pence, Casey McGehee, Jason Motte, Casey Janssen
  • In terms of multi-year extension there were seven 2-year contracts, three 3-year deals, and one 5-year deal (Gio Gonzalez)
  • The two largest contracts by total dollars were the 5-year/$42 million deal for Gio Gonzalez with the Nationals, and 2-year, $40.5 million deal between the Giants and Tim Lincecum.
  • Lincecum’s 2-year deal had the highest average annual value ($20.25 million)
  • The biggest single-year deal avoiding arbitration was with the Phillies and SP Cole Hamels ($15 million), followed by the FA arb deal between the Red Sox and DH David Ortiz ($14.575 million)
  • The clubs beat the players 5-2 in hearings this year. If not for the two losses by the Marlins (Anibal Sanchez and Emilio Bonifacio), the clubs would have had their first-ever clean sweep in hearings.
  • Overall, owners lead 291-214 in 505 cases (a 57.62% to 42.38% advantage) since arbitration began in 1974 (see the total scorecard)

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Last Week in Bizball: The Padres and Fox Sports San Diego, plus Tidbits PDF Print E-mail
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Pete Toms Article Archive
Written by Pete Toms   
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 10:34

Last Week in Bizball by Pete Toms

This week in “Last Week in Bizball”, the Padres and Fox Sports San Diego, plus tidbits.

PADRES & FOX SPORTS SAN DIEGO

The Padres have concluded an agreement with the soon-to-launch Fox Sports San Diego. As a result, the Padres are going to see a big boost in local TV revenues from the reported $15 million they received last season from Cox. Beyond that, reports on the details of the deal vary greatly.

As mentioned last week, Bob Nightengale reported in USA Today that the value of the Padres/FSN deal is $1.5 billion over 20 years. LWIB Jay Posner reported that Nightengale’s numbers are exaggerated. According to Posner, the Padres will receive a 20% equity stake in the new channel (common in recent local rights deals with RSNs). Posner reports the Padres rights fee in the initial year of the deal is $30 million, with a signing bonus boosting it to $40 million. Again, according to Posner, the value of the annual rights fee will escalate about 4% annually, bringing it to approximately $65 million in its final year.

LWIB, Bill Shaikin reported that the deal includes an upfront $150 million signing bonus for the Padres. According to Shaikin, Jeff Moorad intends to use Fox’s money to complete the purchase of the franchise from John Moores. You likely know that the owners recently, and surprisingly, delayed approval of the completion of the sale. Commissioner Selig, in the cases of Tom Hicks and Frank McCourt, has set a precedent of forbidding owners to invest Fox’s money outside their baseball franchises. And so, MLB’s approval of both the transfer of ownership of the Padres, and their pending deal with Fox, are in limbo.

LWIB, Barry Bloom reported that the Padres pending deal with Fox spans 20 years and is worth $1 billion. According to Bloom, the initial annual rights fee will be $30 million and by the end of the deal it will have climbed to $70 million. Bloom also reports that MLB is delaying approval of the deal over the aforementioned concerns as to how the signing bonus is invested. Bloom pegs the bonus amount at $200 million. What stands out in Bloom‘s piece is his reporting that the deal is being complicated by Moore’s desire to retain an interest in the new channel while simultaneously completing the sale of his remaining 51% stake in the Padres to Moorad.

Despite all this, it is expected that Fox Sports San Diego will broadcast the Padres Home Opener on April 5th.

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Closing of the $2.15 Billion Dodgers Sale Delayed PDF Print E-mail
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MLB Club Sales
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 30 April 2012 22:34

Sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers

The record $2.15 billion sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers will not close on time. As the clock continues to click, the April 30 date that had been targeted to match a $131 million divorce payment to Frank McCourt’s former wife Jamie will not happen, according to anonymous sources to the Los Angeles Times. McCourt had already got a $140 million “bridge loan” to ensure that if Guggenheim Baseball Management – the group led by Mark Walter, Magic Johnson, and Stan Kasten, missed the date; he could ensure payment to his former wife.

Exact reasons for why the deal did not close on time have not yet surfaced. A source to The Biz of Baseball would only say that closing the sale “hit a snag.”

While there is a delay, there is no sense from sources that the sale is in jeopardy. According to the LA Times article, the hope is that the deal will now close on Tuesday.

MORE DETAILS AS THEY BECOME AVAILABLE


Maury BrownMaury 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 writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He 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 (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Bob Costas and Jim Kaat Talk Braun, Phillies, Red Sox, Nationals, MLB Network PDF Print E-mail
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MLB Network / MLB Extra Innings
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 00:18

MLB NetworkYou know the season is getting fully underway when the annual conference calls with the various national broadcast teams occur. For MLB Network, this year takes on extra significance with the added playoff round being added into the mix.

On Tuesday, MLB Network host Bob Costas, analyst Jim Kaat and president and CEO Tony Petitti spoke on a media conference call leading up to the premiere of MLB Network Showcase this Thursday, April 12 with the Miami Marlins visiting the Philadelphia Phillies at 7:00 p.m. ET. The game marks the first time in 2012 that Costas and Kaat will call an MLB game and the start of the fourth season that Costas and Kaat have called games together for MLB Network.

Here’s the transcript of that call.

Tony Petitti on the next steps for MLB Network:

“I can’t say whether it will be the new Wild Card [games], but I think the right words are ‘exclusive content.’ We’ve talked about the next step for us being having some exclusive baseball content where we really are the place to go for that particular game, whether it’s Postseason or regular season. I think that’s the next step, whether that will happen in the short run or happen over time as [Major League Baseball] goes through the contract negotiation process, whenever they start that. I think what we’ve done is best position ourselves to have a seat at that table, that was our goal over the last four years and I think we’ve done a really good job of that and I think [Major League Baseball] feels the same way. We’re hoping that that next step, whatever it might be, will happen shortly.”

Bob Costas on whether the five-game suspension of Ozzie Guillen by the Miami Marlins is justified:

“I think the Marlins had to react. They had to react forcefully without any ambiguity. Their original statement had no wiggle room – ‘There’s no reason to respect or admire Castro…’ – this was even before they made the decision about the suspension. I think most people will view that as fair and appropriate and, if anything, I think there’s some people who probably would’ve thought that the suspension would last longer than that, but five games seems equitable to me. It seems reasonable to me. I think there’s also an implication here that regardless of Ozzie’s shoot-from-the-hip history, he better keep it holstered on anything that goes outside baseball. People will just say ‘Hey that’s Ozzie,” if he’s talking about something that happened on the ball field, or he gets mad at one of his players, or he gets mad at someone on the opposition and he speaks colorfully about that, fine. But just keep it between the lines. The other stuff, I don’t think he has very much wiggle room anymore. [Chicago White Sox owner] Jerry Reinsdorf was pretty indulgent through the years in Chicago, but Ozzie’s painted himself into a corner now.”

Costas on whether Ryan Braun can recover his reputation completely and the position MLB is in having its MVP calling into question its drug testing program:

“First of all, completely, there is always going to be somebody, even if [Braun] is a model citizen and a model ballplayer for the next 10, 15 years, there’s always going to be somebody who’s going to recall this and make it a defining issue, but can he regain his standing nearly completely? Yeah, if everything goes well from this point on. He’s still a relatively young player, he’s a very likeable guy, and I think in his defense, he was fine in his defense – and I said this on the air – until he threw the [drug] tester under the bus. That made no sense. There’s no plausible reason to believe that his sample was tampered with. It was triple-sealed. How in the world would A) someone have the motive to do it and risk being charged with a felony; B) skillfully break the triple seal and then reseal it three times; and then C) – and maybe this should be ‘A,’ – be such a skillful rogue chemist that he spiked both the ‘A’ and the ‘B’ sample identically? What Ryan could’ve said was, perhaps plausibly, ‘I have no idea how this test turned out the way it did. I tested negative many, many times before. As soon as I heard about it, I took another test. That came up negative. I never knowingly ingested anything. I have no idea how this happened, it’s an aberrant result.’ If he’d left it at that, given how articulate he is, how likeable he is, I think that would’ve been fine. When he went a step further with these kind of murky accusations, ‘We found out stuff about the tester’ and that sort of thing, I think that undermined his credibility. I don’t think many people believe just because Ryan Braun got off in this case on a technicality, that that calls into question the validity of MLB’s program and I think MLB themselves made that clear immediately and emphatically.”

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When MLB Gives Das the Boot PDF Print E-mail
Jordan Kobritz Article Archive
Written by Jordan Kobritz   
Monday, 28 May 2012 23:00
Das
MLB fired impartial arbitrator,
Shyam Das

“Off with their heads!”
The Queen of Hearts from the book
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

Shyam Das should have seen it coming.  His position as MLB’s independent arbitrator was in jeopardy from the moment he overturned the drug suspension of Ryan Braun.  And true to form, less than three months after Das ruled against the league, MLB exercised its right to terminate him after 13 years of service.

Das’ tenure as MLB’s independent arbitrator was longer than any of his 12 predecessors.  Several arbitrators have quit under pressure and others, like Das, have been fired by MLB for rulings that have raised the ire of management.  Peter Seitz was the first recipient of MLB’s wrath after his landmark decision in the Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally cases.

For almost a century prior to the Seitz decision, teams included the so-called reserve clause in player contracts that allowed them to renew expiring contracts for a period of one year.  Because teams refused to allow players to play without signing a new contract, the reserve clause had the effect of binding a player to one team during their entire career, thereby eliminating competition for the players’ services and keeping salaries low.

Messersmith and McNally refused to sign contracts for the 1975 season and thereafter claimed to be free agents.  MLB disagreed and the dispute was submitted to Seitz for a decision.  Seitz implored the parties to settle the dispute, but when they refused, he ruled in favor of the players.  MLB promptly fired Seitz and appealed his decision to the courts, where they fared no better.

Two other arbitrators were unilaterally dismissed for ruling against the teams in the infamous collusion cases.  First Tom Roberts – once - then George Nicolau – twice - found that the owners colluded against free agents during the three off seasons between 1985 and 1987.  The teams eventually agreed to a settlement of $280 million, plus interest, but not before summarily firing both arbitrators.

The list of arbitrators removed by MLB doesn’t end there.  Owners also fired Richard Bloch, who ruled against them in cases involving drug suspensions of Kansas City Royals players in the 1980’s, and Raymond Goetz who supported pitcher Ferguson Jenkins’ appeal of his 1980 drug suspension.

It should be pointed out that it is common practice in collective bargaining agreements to give either side the right to fire independent arbitrators.  However, that doesn’t make it ethical to fire someone just because you don’t agree with their decision.  Of course, MLB never gives that as the reason for terminating an arbitrator.  After notifying Das that he was being removed, Rob Manfred, MLB’s executive vice president for labor relations, said, “Shyam served for 13 years.  That’s a very long time.  He’s a very high-quality arbitrator.  We made a decision to exercise our contractual right to make a change.  There’s nothing more to that.”  Those comments beg the question:  If Das is such a “high-quality” arbitrator, why terminate him?

Manfred’s comments sound eerily similar to a statement made in 1995 by John Westoff, then a lawyer with MLB’s Player Relations Committee.  After notifying Nicolau that his nine-year term as the independent arbitrator was over, Westoff said, “It was not a reaction to any specific decisions.  We just felt it was time to move on.”  Manfred, who was the owners’ lead labor negotiator in 1995, added, “We were at the point in our relationship where we thought it was good to have someone with a fresh eye.”  Translation:  Nicolau ruled against us once too often.

The statements by Westoff and Manfred were mild – and almost certainly inaccurate – compared to Manfred’s comments immediately after Das’ decision in the Braun case.  Das ruled that the collector violated drug policy protocol by storing Braun’s specimen in his home for 48 hours when he should have sent it to the lab on the day it was collected.  Manfred said that while MLB agreed with the process of allowing a neutral third party to review disputes, “MLB vehemently disagrees with the decision rendered…by arbitrator Shyam Das.”

MLB’s recourse?  The same as it has been throughout the 40-plus years an independent arbitrator has been used:  Termination of the arbitrator, a less violent but equally effective variation of the Queen of Hearts’ famous cry.


Jordan Kobritz is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network. He is a former attorney, CPA, and Minor League Baseball team owner. He is an Assistant Professor of Sport Management at Eastern New Mexico University and teaches the Business of Sports at the University of Wyoming. He looks forward to your comments and can be contracted, here.

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