Blog Entry

Arbitration season ends, owners win 5-2

Posted on: February 16, 2012 12:03 pm
Garrett Jones

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Pirates wrapped up arbitration season on Thursday, beating Garrett Jones and settling with Casey McGehee on a one-year deal before heading to the arbitration room.

Jones was the seventh and final player to head to his arbitration hearing this winter, with owners taking a decisive 5-2 victory in 2012. Last season only three cases went to arbitration, with the players winning two (both against the Marlins -- the arbitrators must have felt sorry for them having to wear those new uniforms).

In a nutshell, the way arbitration works is that the player and team swap demands and after both sides make their cases, three arbitrators pick one number or the other -- in Jones' case, the arbitrators picked the team's offer of $2.25 million instead of Jones' demand of $2.5 million. Or, at any point before the door closes on the hearing room, the two sides can compromise. That's what the Pirates did with McGehee, settling at $2.5375 million, more or less between his request of $2.75 million and the team's offer of $2.35 million.

Because the hearings are so late in the offseason, most teams budget for the worst-case scenario with their arbitration-eligible players and the final result really on effects the guy signing the check and the guy cashing the check.

But hey, what's the fun of having winners and losers if you don't have a scoreboard. So here's looking back at this year's arbitration cases.

Team victories
The Brewers ($2 million) beat Jose Veras ($2.35 million)
The Nationals ($5 million) beat John Lannan ($5.7 million)
The Orioles ($800,000) beat Brad Bergesen ($1.2 million)
The Rays ($2.75 million) beat Jeff Niemann ($3.2 million)
The Pirates ($2.25 million) beat Jones ($2.5 million).

Marlins lossesPlayer victories
Emilio Bonifacio ($2.2 million) beat the Marlins ($1.95 million)
Anibal Sanchez ($8 million) beat the Marlins ($6.9 million)

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Since: Aug 2, 2011
Posted on: February 16, 2012 7:11 pm

Arbitration season ends, owners win 5-2

I wouldn't say so much the players' won their arbitration cases, more a case the Marlins totally undervalued and to a degree under appreciated the efforts and consistency Bonifacio and Sanchez had last year.

Since: Apr 1, 2009
Posted on: February 16, 2012 3:27 pm

Arbitration season ends, owners win 5-2

Sanchez could really put up some good numbers this year, as for the past few years he has been solid. Win total should go up with a much better team.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: February 16, 2012 1:55 pm

Arbitration season ends, owners win 5-2

Well the Miami Marlins are made of $ for now...until the next fire sale.  MLB "arbitration" is such a joke the salarie$ are ridiculous.
Of course the cheap skate Pirates celebrate that victory as they pocket revenue sharing loot.  Terrible franchise in a great sports town...shameful. 

Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: February 16, 2012 1:46 pm

Arbitration season ends, owners win 5-2

To be honest. I believe that Bonifacio and Sanchez were the only players to outplay their salary last year out of that group of 7

Since: Jan 11, 2012
Posted on: February 16, 2012 1:13 pm

Arbitration season ends, owners win 5-2

Wow, how will these poor fellas that lost arbitration eat this year, let alone pay their winter heating bills. You gotta love it!

Pat Gray
CAvendish, Vermont

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: February 16, 2012 12:52 pm

Arbitration season ends, owners win 5-2

Was this column so long and time-consuming to write that we couldn't have included a list of players that settled with management before their scheduled arbitration hearings?  I realize that many teams look to avoid this adversarial situation, but it would be nice to see an extension to this list showing who settled and for how much compared to the submitted numbers.

Since: Jul 8, 2009
Posted on: February 16, 2012 12:40 pm

Arbitration season ends, owners win 5-2

I kept looking for some sign that the use of "winners" and "losers" was sarcastic, and I think it was but describing the already alienating process of arbitration in such a way doesn't do much to help the cause of baseball's popularity.  (see another article on the site today).  Sure I like to see that the Marlins' expenses went "up" as a result of arbitration, but I don't like seeing half empty stadiums.  We all know that people making that kind of money is really a winner at the end of the day anyway. P.S. How many "draws" were there?  

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