Friday, January 23, 2004

Arbitration Scoreboard 

2/18 UPDATE: Albert Pujols signs megadeal, and Pierzynski wins his case.

26 players have filed for salary arbitration in 2004.

Here is the list of 2004 arbitration filings with repeat offenders highlighted. I attempt to offer a prediction if it were to go to arbitration and highlight a key reason for my pick. I will maintain the results as they occur.

Player Team 2003 Salary 2004 Asked 2004 Offered DiffPredicted ResultActual Result
Kevin MillwoodPHI9,90012,50010,0002,500Loss (ERA up)Signed/Lost(1yr/$11M)
Albert PujolsSTL90010,5007,0003,500Win (Long-term Contract)Signed/Big Win(7yr/$100M)
Eric GagneLA5508,0005,0003,000Win(Cy Young)
David OrtizBOS1,2505,0004,200750Loss(< 450 ABs)Signed/Split ($4.5875 + 50K for 525 ABs)
Placido PolancoPHI2,8754,5003,4001,100Loss(So will Split again)Signed/Split
Doug MientkiewiczMIN1,7503,6002,5001,100Win(OBP=.393)Signed/Won(2-yr/$7M + $3.35M option)
A.J. PierzynskiSF3653,5002,2501,250Win(OPS=824 for C)Win
Melvin MoraBAL1,7253,3002,400900Win(OPS>900)Signed/Win (3yr/$10.5M)
Vicente PadillaPHI4252,9502,350600Win(Consistent)Signed/Loss (2.6M is below midpoint)
Shea HillenbrandARI4082,8752,400475Loss(OBP <.320)Signed/Lost($2.6M)
Jay GibbonsBAL3752,8002,400400Win(780 OPS)Signed/Split
Gabe WhiteNYY3,3172,7001,825875Win(not that bad)Signed/Lost(1yr/$2.125 with club option for 2005)
Johan SantanaMIN3352,4501,600850Win(Flat Out Stud)Lost(bad yr for pitchers)
Darrell MayKC4502,2001,850350Win(K/BB improving)Signed/Win (2yr/$4,950)
David EcksteinANA4252,1501,600550Loss(.325 SLG,OBP)Win(big 2002, injured 2003?)
Shawn ChaconCOL3002,1001,650450Win(named closer)Signed/Split(1yr/$1.85M with closer 100K incentives)
Jack WilsonPIT3351,8501,400450Loss(or is Released!)Win(Pirates Mgmt is inept)
Guillermo MotaLA6751,7501,200550Win(Top reliever)Signed/Split
Kyle FarnsworthCHC6001,7001,100600Win(K/BB up)Signed/Split
Nick JohnsonMON3641,6801,250400Loss(<350 ABs 2 yrs)Lost
B.J. RyanBAL7631,5501,000550Loss(1BB / 2inn)Signed/Split
Chris ReitsmaCIN3501,450950500Win(saves overrated)LOST (not closer any longer?)
Jolbert CabreraLA4351,350850500PLAYER RELEASED(see Giovanni)Signed/Split ($1.1M w/$1.4M-2.4M Option)
Chad BradfordOAK3311,125850275Win(tough)Signed/Lost($965K)
J.C. RomeroMIN325925650275Loss(K/BB = 1)Signed/Win(1yr/820K)
Damian RollsTB300900700200Win(TB luck)Signed/Split

I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the 2003 salary arbitrations and then use that information to make a guess as to how the 2004 arbitration proceedings will go. If nothing else, its interesting to see the arbitration requests and results in 2003. All of my information comes from Doug Pappas, SABR Business of Baseball Committee, and I highly recommend bookmarking his site since the only place I know of to get all this information.

In 2003, 42 players filed for salary arbitration, but only 7 players went to arbitration. Of those seven, only two players won - Mark Redman and Freddy Garcia. Amazingly, an arbiter decided that Freddy was worth 6.875M and not 5.9M while Carlos Beltran was given 6M instead of the 6.95M he asked for. Arbitration appears to be a bit of a crapshoot. Here's the full list...

Player Team 2002 Salary 2003 Asked 2003 Offered 2003 Salary Won/Lost/Sign
Greg MadduxATL13,10016,00013,50014,750Signed/Split
Javier VazquezMON4,7757,1506,0006,000Lost
Carlos BeltranKC3,5006,9006,0006,000Lost
Freddy GarciaSEA3,8006,8755,9006,875Won
Billy KochCHW2,4335,9004,2504,250Signed/Multiyear
Sidney PonsonBAL2,6504,7503,9004,250Signed/Lost
Kelvim EscobarTOR2,3004,6003,5003,900Signed/Multiyear
Orlando HernandezMON3,2004,5004,0004,100Signed/Lost
Jose JimenezCOL1,9383,9003,2003,600Signed/Won
Raul IbanezKC8003,4002,7503,000Signed/Lost
Terry AdamsPHI2,7003,3952,7002,900Signed/Lost
Placido PolancoPHI1,7503,2502,5002,875Signed/Split
Jacque JonesMIN3133,2002,7502,750Signed/Multiyear
A.J. BurnettFLA3683,0752,5002,500Lost
Mark RedmanFLA3002,1501,8002,150Won
Doug MientkiewiczMIN2852,0501,4501,750Signed/Split
Melvin MoraBAL3502,0001,4501,725Signed/Split
Julio LugoHOU3251,8001,5001,575Signed/Lost
Jerry HairstonBAL3001,8001,1501,550Signed/Won
Randall SimonPIT2901,8001,3001,475Signed/Lost
Vladamir NunezFLA3601,7501,4001,400Lost
Scott SchoenweisANA3251,5501,2501,425Signed/Won
Erubiel DurazoOAK3751,4009001,065Signed/Lost
Scott StricklandNYM3551,175875950Signed/Lost
Francisco CorderoTEX2781,175775900Signed/Lost
Ben DavisSEA3501,1258751,000Signed/Split
Giovanni CarraraLA360880725400RELEASED/OUCH
Joey EischenMON215875725750Signed/Lost
Bruce ChenCIN300830700700Lost
B.J. RyanBAL300825700762.5Signed/Split
Doug MirabelliBAL650950660805Signed/Split
Lou MerloniBOS290625450560Signed/Won
Dan ReichertTB265600450525Signed/Split

Interestingly, the salary gaps in 2004 are MUCH wider than in 2003. The average difference between owner and player is $1,000,000. In 2004, the average difference was around $440,000.
The top three requests are more than $2.5 million apart. In 2003, only Greg Maddux was separated by that much.
Take those three players out of the mix, and the average gap is still $700,000 while removing Maddux drops the 2003 average to $375,000, which could account for how few players actually went to arbitration.
In 2003, six players asked for $800,000 or more greater than the owners were willing to spend and that is the same as in 2004.
The main difference seems to be a great reduction in the number of filings that are $300,000 or less apart. 11 filed for this "pittance" in 2003 while only 3 in 2004.

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