Players win record arbitration increase

Cole dominant in first start
Pictures from an Exhibition

Six-year veterans didn’t find a robust market this winter, but arbitration-eligible players did just fine. They went from an average $1.13 million salary to $3.07 million, a 172 percent increase and a new record. They didn’t hit the arbitration average salary record, $3.26 million, set in 2004. Also of note: only three cases went to arbitration this year, and the players went 2-1, their first winning record since 1996.

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Cole dominant in first start
Pictures from an Exhibition
  • Rich

    Steinbrenner always complained that the arbitration process was the driving force behind inflated salaries because historically it had raised the AAV bar that free agents could later use in the negotiating process.

    • Ed

      historically it had raised the AAV bar that free agents could later use in the negotiating process.

      Well, yeah, it raises the AAV compared to the old process of “You’ll take what we offer you or you aren’t eligible to play.”

      Otherwise, it shouldn’t be raising the bar unless you’re talking about the top players. But those players would usually be getting into free agent bidding wars, which is by far the biggest contributor to high salaries.

  • http://evilempire20.wordpress.com/ Ryan S.

    I’m curious … if FA market prices continue to stay depressed, how long will it take for arbitration salaries to go down as well?

    • Rich

      It’s part of the CBA; the MLBPA won’t give it up. But if salaries remain depressed, arbitrators will have to look at that deflation in determining their awards.

    • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      Good question, I was wondering the same thing myself.

      The fact that they always go up is no surprise. Until an arb player reaches something close to the market value at his position, it should go up regardless of how the player performs. Service time is the driving factor. Don’t forget, the process starts with players making the major league minimum of 450K.

      But WHAT the free market price is for player X is something that should change from year to year. Typically, it goes up. But I would imagine next year it will be adjusted downward. Players will still get increases in arb, but we likely won’t see the new levels set like what happened with Howard last year.

  • Mike Pop

    Putting in that late night work.