September 4, 2011; St. Louis, MO. USA; Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jose Arredondo (33) throws to a St. Louis Cardinals batter at Busch Stadium. Cincinnati defeated St. Louis 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

Arbitration Agitation

Last night the Cincinnati Reds came to an agreement with Jose Arredondo to again avoid sitting in front of an arbitrator.  Cincinnati hasn’t had to face an arbitration case since 2004 and from a management and morale standpoint this is an excellent business decision.  The very process of arbitration serves a purpose, but to actually move into the hearing is bound to damage the relationship between the player and the team.

Consider the situation, before the hearing both the player and his representatives submit the figure they  feel the player has earned based on service time and performance.  The team also submits a number that they believe is fair.  If these numbers are used as a guide then the two sides can sit down before the hearing and find a middle ground so both sides come away from the process feeling that they were successful and a satisfied player reports to spring training.  If no agreement is reached the two sides must make the case, before an arbitrator, why their offer is reasonable.  The player’s representatives magnify the positives while the team exposes weaknesses in the players game.  No employee wants to hear their own employer discuss why they aren’t good enough.  Can you imagine Nick Masset‘s agent extolling the virtues of his client?  Or the devastating litany of failures the team would present from the ashes of the 2011 season?  Not a morale builder to air these true feelings…

Chris Reitsma was the last player in a Reds uniform to attend an arbitration hearing, in 2004.  The Reds won the case and then traded Reitsma immediately to the Atlanta Braves for Jung Bong and Bubba Nelson.  By 2009, none of these players were still playing professional baseball.

With the Arredondo deal now complete and the addition of lefty reliever Jeff Francis to a minor league contract the Reds can now devote all of their energies on the Major League level to the contracts of Joey Votto and Brandon PhillipsMark Sheldon reported today that Bob Castellini is still interested in Votto in light of the long term deals removing Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder from the National League Central.  Hope they can find a way…

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Tags: Arbitration Brandon Phillips Chris Reitsma Cincinnati Reds Joey Votto Jose Arredondo Nick Massett

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