hangoverYesterday, 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.

Guess who is not a fan of the policy?

“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.


  • 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]




  1. Jim says:

    I'd say Pena looks the same. It's pretty hard to tell from those pics anyways...

    • The consensus after I posted those pictures was that he really hadn't lost any weight. I'm no expert on Pena's weight, so it's hard for me to tell. One of my co-workers (who's not a baseball fan) was jumping up and down about how skinny he looked. I figured it be worth putting out there.

      The reporter who went to the event and a twitter friend who was there both said he didn't look any smaller.

      • Ya looks about the same, I never thought weight was a problem with him to begin with, it's the fact that fastballs seek out his hands.

      • Don says:

        Maybe Pena is trying to get his weight down to his batting Avg. about .220.....I wish he was a fat ass.... about .275 would be right...
        Hey Pena how about some rice and beans and some pork....we could use the help (hits)...........

  2. Alex says:

    What is Upton thinking? He's probably going to lose soundly and look like a greedy idiot. Frankly as much as I love having BJ's talent on the team I can't wait till we rid ourselves of him. From his teaming up and complaining with Delmon Young, to his "jogging" on the field, to his I'm to good for a long term contract attitude.

    • Goo says:

      What has Upton ever complained about?

      • well there were a few incidents when he was in the minors. At first he wasn't crazy about moving away from shortstop and then he complained about not being in the majors. Later that week, the PA announcer in Durham refused to play his at bat music (bc of the complaining) and apparently Upton called up to the booth during the game to bitch the guy out.

        But, to be fair, he has been much better since he has been with the Rays, which says a lot, bc there have probably been times when I wouldn't have blamed him for complaining.

  3. Alex says:

    And lets not forget he has been benched two times already for dogging it.

  4. Rays Renegade says:

    What is the problem with the new MLBPA union honco. Is he afraid to call out the Marlins a second time in two weeks. Both the Washington Nationals and the Florida Marlins do the same as the Rays and stop negoiations at some point way before the arbitration hearing.
    Guess it was time for him to switch coasts and moan and groan towards Tampa Bay. If he is acting like this now.....I would love to be a fly on the wall during the collective bargaining agreements chats in a year or so....Fun, fun, fun!


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