Mark Sheldon reports that all seven Reds eligible for arbitration have filed.. Sheldon also states it should be no surprise that all did. It is their right after all.
Here’s the list of the players that filed along with the amount of which Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors believes each player could fetch in the process.
If you followed along, did the math in your head and came up with a total of $23.5MM, you are correct. Numbers will be exchanged between player agents and the team on Friday. That’s the easy part. After Friday is where the work begins.
If you are unfamiliar with the arbitration process, this is the part of that process where you can get a “quick and dirty” explanation.
A player and his agent submit to the team what they feel is a fair salary for the player. The team will have a salary of what it believes is a fair salary for that same player and provide the player and his agent their number. That’s the short version of “exchanging numbers”. Now, if the numbers don’t match, it goes to arbitration and date is set for a hearing.
Prior to the date of that hearing, the team and the player along with his agent can work on a new contract. Sometimes, there is a “middle ground” reached between the two sides. It could be the exact middle of the exchanged numbers and if isn’t, it is often extremely close to that. Most deals are for one year. There are also cases of where the team and player(s) work out a long-term deal (not just one-year contracts), such as currently being rumored in regards to Latos and Bailey.
If there can be no agreement on a new contract reached, the hearing will go on as scheduled. During the hearing, there is no middle ground. An arbitration panel of three will rule either on behalf of the player or the team. Their decision is final.
It is preferred that it doesn’t get this far. In the arbitration hearing, the gloves could come off as the team will make every attempt to persuade the arbitrator to rule in its favor. The team will explain as to why the player isn’t worthy of the salary he is seeking. The player’s agent will defend his client’s value and all he is worth. In the past, there could be hard feelings as the process had been known to become contentious. It’s not like that as much these days (or even in 2008 as this interview with an arbitrator attests).
I do suggest reading the linked article even though it is from 2008. It is informative and provides a little more background into the process of an arbitration hearing. It is honestly interesting provided this is your sort of thing.
If you want to delve a little more into this, you could look at the exchanging of numbers and the hearing in this context. The player will look to get as much cash as possible while the team will look to “lowball” the player at every possible turn. It is advantageous for the team to go low and the player to go high so that middle ground can be a nice place for the sides to meet.
And every one is in their happy place…