Major League Baseball Wins Arbitration

MLB At Its Best

MLB At Its Best

Let’s just say I’m a huge baseball fan, a Cubs fan at that.  The lack of a salary cap is completly rediculous.  Teams such as the Kansas City Royals and the Pittsburgh Pirates are screwed when it comes to landing great or even good players.  Teams like the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees have all the $$$ in the world and are always loaded with talent year in and year out.  That sucks.  I’m a baseball fan that would like to see the playing field evened out and thus have different teams year to year rising to the top.  It would help bring back the integrity and enjoyment that is American baseball back to all the cities within what is Major League Baseball.  The following is something that puts a huge smile on my face.  Its the latest contract talks with Jason Varitek.  If you do not know, he’s previously been a catcher for the Boston Red Sox, with a lot of credentials on his wall….catching no hit games, winning the world series, you get my drift. 

Back in December, he turned down salary arbitration from the Red Sox.  With arbitration, the team negotiates with their eligible players and the starting point is their last year’s salary.  His was $10 million and players almost never get a reduction at the end of the arbitration hearing.  He would have probably had $10 to $11 million this year due to him as his salary.

Now that he and his agent have negated the salary arbitration process, he has in turn shot himself right in the foot.  The Red Sox now do not have to use his 2008 salary as a starting point for negotiation.  That’s gone out the window.  Making this further a bad situation for Varitek is the fact that now if another team would sign him to a contract for 2009, they would owe the Boston Red Sox a first round draft pick, being that Varitek is a type A free agent.  Please see Types of MLB Free Agents for more on that.

Basically, what’s going to happen now is that Varitek will be offered a contract from the Boston Red Sox, but at a substantially lower base salary than that he would have had if he had accepted his offered salary in December.  I  think this is great because it shows these high profile players and hot shot sports agents that they cannot keep pushing and pushing for more $$$ and get it.  I for one am tired of seeing their salaries go higher an higher, thus pushing ticket prices out of this world.  The ecomony is bad and people do not have limitless spending $$$ now days.  I hope this is the model all teams try to follow in dealing with arbitration, but it may also change the dealing strategies of the players’ agents.  We’ll see.

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