Yesterday, the Rays avoided arbitration with three of their final four arbitration-eligible players. While most teams will continue to negotiate with players up until the hearings in February, the Rays have a team policy of cutting off negotiations once salary proposals have been submitted by both sides.
“With respect to the file-to-go strategy, or the file-and-trial strategy, the [players] union has long believed, and has expressed to the commissioner’s office, that that strategy stands the purpose of salary arbitration on its head. Years ago, many clubs took the view that it didn’t make sense to talk until after we exchanged numbers, and to say that we won’t talk if you exchange numbers in our view is not consistent with the way the system was designed to operate. But clubs are entitled to negotiate as they see fit.’’
The problem with Michael Weiner’s (above) complaint is that there is no evidence that arbitration-eligible players for the Rays are making less in this process than players from other teams.
Not that it is scientific by any means, but based on arbitration cases from previous years, we projected this year’s crop of arbitration-eligibles to make $17.6 million in 2010. Those eight players will make $17.45 million*.
Meanwhile, the policy does help to avoid potentially contentious arbitration hearings, as BJ Upton will mark just the fourth such situation in Andrew Friedman’s five seasons.
*Figures do not include BJ Upton whose salary is yet to be determined.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Marc Topkin reports that the gap between BJ Upton and the Rays may only be $300K, with Upton asking for $3.3 million and the Rays offering $3.0 million. [Twitter]
- Has Carlos Pena shed a few pounds? [Rays Revolutionary]
- Joe Henderson on Desmond Jennings. [Tampa Tribune]
- Joe Henderson looks at how the Rays manage to build a team that is ready to win now and yet still build the team for the future. [Tampa Tribune]