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(Mercury News)   Giants and Belt reach deal to avoid arbitration, beatings   ( mercurynews.com) divider line
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252 clicks; posted to Sports » on 19 Feb 2014 at 10:19 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2014-02-19 02:43:45 PM  
As amusing as a 0 post thread is, I actually do have something to say about this:

I'm fairly sure this means that no player will go to arb this year. Doesn't that sort of suggest that the arb system is completely broken, when neither side wants to go?

(Because the arb system is seriously broken)
2014-02-19 02:58:16 PM  

DeWayne Mann: Doesn't that sort of suggest that the arb system is completely broken, when neither side wants to go?

I don't know much/anything about the specifics of baseball's arbitration system, but... to be fair, no one should -ever- want to go to -any- arbitration.  If the arbitrator does their job, *both* sides get screwed, *neither* gets what they want, and they'll both feel wronged and hate each other forever because of it.  At least according to the arbitrator I knew, once upon a time.  I can't see how an organization that fundamentally relies on trust and good teamwork would want the word ever even mentioned.  Much better for all involved either to come to a mutually-pleasing independent agreement or part ways.  But maybe baseball's implementation somehow avoids the common pitfalls?

This, of course, is why businesses, particularly insurance, *really* like binding arbitration clauses in contracts, and why one should not sign an employment agreement with one.
2014-02-19 03:28:45 PM  

SFSailor: But maybe baseball's implementation somehow avoids the common pitfalls?

No, baseball's implementation makes all of those things worse, and then adds in a little extra stupidity. Here's a quick rundown of things that seem to do nothing but make the process worse:

1. The player & team each submit a dollar amount. The arbitrators have to choose one or the other; there are no other options. Even allowing them to choose the midpoint would go a long way to fixing things.
2. You can only use traditional stats like batting average, wins, RBIs, etc. It's probably somewhat obvious why this annoys me. But don't worry, you can also use things like "leadership" and "special accomplishments."
3. The hearings are often done during the first week of spring training, but must be attended in person. This year, they're in Florida, which is fine if you're in the Grapefruit League. But Justin Masterson supposedly settled solely so he didn't have to fly from Arizona to Florida and back in a day.
4. Arb-awarded contracts aren't guaranteed right away. If the team loses and doesn't want to pay the player's amount, they can immediately cut the player and give him just 30 days pay. It only becomes fully guaranteed on opening day.

Does any of that seem right?
2014-02-19 04:00:42 PM  

DeWayne Mann: I'm fairly sure this means that no player will go to arb this year

Andrew Cashner (Padres) went to arbitration and won.
2014-02-19 04:05:25 PM  

booztravlr: Andrew Cashner (Padres) went to arbitration and won.

Yep, you're right. And now I see that the Indians won two cases. But those three are it.

I got some bad info last night, then.
2014-02-19 04:23:09 PM  
The Giants haven't gone to arbitration in something like a decade; this is the closest they've gotten that I can remember from that period of time. Belt was asking for quite a bit more than the Giants were offering. The fact that the team and the player settled suggests that arbitration, the threat of the "Final Offer Arbritration" (FOA) process, forced the team and player to the negotiating table. Is that a bad thing? I don't think so; in fact that is exactly what FOA is intended to do - force both sides to negotiate.   The Giants were clearly low-balling with their offer and I think Belt did well in the deal.

Contract negotiations for ball players involving millions of dollars are not carried out by innocent children. Could the process be improved? The MLBPA and MLB have to agree to change the process. Neither side seems willing to allow the arbitrator to exercise his discretion in setting a monetary compromise. The method of arbitration is defined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which has been approved by both sides until December 12, 2016. I doubt arbitration will undergo a change when the CBA comes up for renewal in 2016.
2014-02-19 11:25:18 PM  
Nice headline.
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