Blog Entry

Three arbitration cases that could get nasty

Posted on: January 19, 2011 1:23 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2011 12:19 pm
While 119 players filed for salary arbitration, by the time it came down to exchange salary numbers on Tuesday, only 37 players submitted numbers -- and three of those already have agreements.

Of the 34 remaining cases, only a handful will make it to the arbitration hearings, scheduled to begin Feb. 1. Last year, only eight hearings took place. The reason is that neither side wants to go in front of the three-person panels, not as much for the fear of losing, but more because of the process.

Deals can be made up until the point the parties enter the room, but once there, it's one number or the other, there's no more compromise or negotiation.

Once that door closes, a front-office member who has told me, it can get pretty nasty and hurt the relationship between a team and a player for years to come. Here's the three pending cases that could get the most contentious in this process:

Josh Hamilton 1. Josh Hamilton, Rangers -- Hamilton has requested $12 million, while the Rangers have offered $8.7 million. No player, perhaps, in the history of the game has done more to make the case for both sides easier. Hamilton can point to his MVP and associated numbers, while the Rangers don't have to do too much digging to get into Hamilton's past and find some demons. They can even point to his recent five-day stay in the hospital for pneumonia as a concern that he can stay healthy considering his past drug use and his own admitted depleted immune system.

Jose Bautista 2. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays -- Bautista has requested $10.5 million, while the Blue Jays have offered $7.6 million. Ryan Howard's $10 million decision in 2008 is the record judgement in arbitration, but he already had an MVP under his belt and was coming off a fifth-place finish in the award the season he became eligible for arbitration. Bautista has nowhere near the same track record, breaking out in 2010. There have been questions about the methods he used to improve so drastically in one season, and they will certainly be brought up in a hearing.

Edinson Volquez 3. Edinson Volquez, Reds -- Volquez has requested $2 million, while the Reds have offered $1.3 million. The fact that the difference is so small makes it even less likely the Reds and Volquez go to arbitration -- and the fact that Volquez was suspended 50 games for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs last season would make it more interesting than either side would like. The team publicly supported Volquez during his suspension (and coming off of Tommy John surgery, he didn't actually miss any time he would have played and actually ended up saving the Reds money because they didn't have to pay him during his suspension), but they may sing a different tune in an arbitration hearing.

Others to watch: Astros lefty Wandy Rodriguez has asked for $10.25 million, while the Astros countered with $8 million. Rodriguez lost his hearing last season. The process has already gotten some teeth with the Brewers and second baseman Rickie Weeks, who has asked for $7.2 million, with the Brewers offering $4.85 million.

Update: Volquez and the Reds agreed to a one-year contract worth $1,625,000 on Monday, Jan. 31.

Rodriguez and the Astros reached an agreement on a $34 million, three-year contract on Tuesday, Jan. 25.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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To see the full list of exchanged numbers, check out the arbitration scoreboard .

Since: Jun 5, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2011 7:16 pm

Three arbitration cases that could get nasty

Wandy has a case, he has posted 3 straight years with an ERA in the 3's and 200 or about 200 innings.
Now, he still is not worth that money, however this is exactly why we have to stop ovepaying the true stars.

I have seen many posters who agree with the 20 million dollar salaries of the stars like Halladay or Lee.

Well if they get that money then whats wrong with asking for half  of that when you have 190 strikeouts and a 3.50 ERA?

Such is the plight of the current economics of baseball.

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: January 22, 2011 4:15 pm

Three arbitration cases that could get nasty

Wandy Rodriguez has clearly lost his mind.  There is no way he deserves either one of those numbers.

Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: January 22, 2011 9:59 am

Three arbitration cases that could get nasty

I know in todays day and age with steriods always being mentioned it is hard to give any player the benefit of a doubt.  However, please don't go around accusing Jose Bautista of steriod use.  He finally got a chance to get consistent at-bats in the major league and credited Cito Gaston and Dwayne Murphy for giving him different mechanics at the plate, that is what helped him.  If you look at the Jays from the last couple years the hitting coaches have stressed being aggresive from the start, they swing at the first pitch almost all the time, therefore their getting a good pitch to hit.  If something comes out about Bautista, then fine, but leave the speculation out of it.

Since: May 18, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2011 9:34 am

Three arbitration cases that could get nasty

You know you determine the pays for guys like Bautista. Measure their heads from year to year. To heck with piss teasting and that kinda stuff. They can always get off that stuff when they are fore-warned. But! they cannot change the size of their heads in a matter of weeks...can they? They wanna act like retards, treat'em like retards, lol.

Since: Jan 2, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2011 9:22 am

Three arbitration cases that could get nasty

The reason why you pay Hamilton the money is that the Rangers will want to sign him to a long range deal (he is only 29). If you low ball him and he comes back with another great year, you just lost your home team discount, and risk him playing out the next couple of years and leaving as a free agent. He is not without risk, but his talent level can not be easily duplicated.

Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: January 22, 2011 5:06 am

Three arbitration cases that could get nasty

All I got to say is, looking at my beloved Cubs and see what stats that Soriano has had for his career and his achievements just says one thing: PAY HAMILTON THE MONEY.  In a short time he has accomplished a heck of a lot my awards and better stats-offensively and defensively better than Soriano ever has.  Heck better yet, have the Rangers front office contact Jim Hendry and see if there can be a trade for Hamiliton and take Sorryiano.

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2011 2:48 pm

Three arbitration cases that could get nasty

Hamilton should take the money offered and that's it.  His health is a definite question, while he had a great year there were missed games, and his past is no shinning example of what he can do.  These players need to learn that owners don't want to see one year numbers any more, they want to see consistance through out.  Albert is the perfect example.  Hell, he had Hamilton numbers for his entire career not just for one season.  Bautista can give it up, come on, these are Barry Bonds numbers, never hit more than 15 HR in any year of his career, and all of a sudden because he finds a new stance he whacks over 50, amazing how everything else stayed almost exactly the same but the HR numbers jumped to over three times his normal.  Take what's offered and sign a three year deal and let's see you hit over 40 HR each year.  If you do, then you can get the big bucks.

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