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Today is arbitration salary exchange day

Jan 17, 2012, 9:50 AM EDT

Tim Lincecum

You probably noticed yesterday that there were a lot of “so-and-so-avoids arbitration-by-signing-a-one-year-deal” posts.  Those all happened yesterday — and will continue in to trickle in today — because today is the day arbitration-eligible teams and player exchange salary proposals.

Once numbers are exchanged, negotiation becomes way more constrained, as people are sort of pegged at a high and low. Obviously most arbitration cases settle, but they do a lot later after the exchange of numbers.

Notable arbitration cases this year whom we have yet to hear from: Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw, Andre Ethier, Cole Hamels, Hunter Pence, Mike Napoli, Matt Garza.

Alternative dispute resolution: Feel the excitement!

  1. phillieschamps2012 - Jan 17, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    The Cole Hamels arbitration situation has me a little concerned. If you recall a few years back, he accused the Phillies of being “cheapskates” when handling his contract before they gave him a raise and bought out a few arbitration years with a contract extension. I think he still has this in the back of his mind. So, I could see them possibly not coming to an agreement before the deadline and this going before an arbitrator. If that happens, more bad blood could ferment in Hamels’ mind and make a multi-year deal more difficult for the Phillies.

  2. jwbiii - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    Andre Ethier, $10,950,000. He’s signed? Cross him off the list.

  3. stex52 - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Hunter Pence, eh? That will be interesting for the Phillies. I liked him with the Astros. An extremely solid and dependable player. He is due a big raise. But he is also a player it is easy to fall too much in love with. If you look at his WAR he is more of a very good starter than a perennial All Star or MVP. Buying out the arbitration and year or so free agency might make some sense, but they are going to have to make up their minds soon how much he is worth in the long run.

    Of course, he may have crossed over to the next level next year and all I just said is bull. But as the Phillies look at how to get younger over the next two years he may become part of the challenge.

  4. natstowngreg - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    I didn’t get an invitation to the arbitration salary exchange day party. 😦

    The Nats avoided arbitration with Jordan Zimmerman and Tom Gorzelanny. Next up, buying out his remaining arbitration years and at least one free agent year, as was done with Gio Gonzalez. Not to mention the ongoing issue of extending Ryan Zimmerman.

    Obviously, extending Gorzelanny is not an issue. He will be overpaid as a long reliever, but Davey Johnson wants a couple of long relievers (one lefty, one righty) to take a few innings from the workloads of Storen, Clippard, Henry Rodriguez, and the lefty setup guy (probably Sean Burnett). Gorzelanny did a good job in that role after being demoted from the rotation.

    • natstowngreg - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      Jesus Flores also avoided arbitration.

      Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post notes the Nats’ policy of going to arbitration if they exchange figures. However, it’s unclear that they will do the same with Michael Morse, Tyler Clippard, and John Lannan. Closing off the option of compromising before an arbitration hearing seems like something the Lerners would do, but doesn’t sound like a strategy designed to encourage players to stick with the team in the longer term.

  5. uyf1950 - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    This just in:

    Phillies Avoid Arbitration With Cole Hamels
    By Tim Dierkes [January 17 at 11:15am CST]
    The Phillies avoided arbitration with Cole Hamels, agreeing to a $15MM deal, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. MLBTR had projected $14MM for the John Boggs & Associates client, who received one of the largest arbitration salaries ever given to a pitcher.

  6. Max Power - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    If I could establish a practice conducting mediations for pre-arbitration negotiations, I would be the ultimate alternative dispute resolver!

  7. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Brewers win arbitration signing of the year with K-Rod today, in my opinion.

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