Today's MLBTR Glossary entry:
Arbitration exists to help teams and players settle on contracts. The two sides usually come to an agrement without having to go to arbitration, but if they can't, each side submits a figure and a panel of three arbitrators chooses one of them. Arbitration occurs in two different situations.
First, when a player has between three and six years service time or qualifies as a Super Two, he's arbitration eligible, but isn't yet free to negotiate with others teams. Here's how arbitration works for players who have yet to hit free agency:
- Generally speaking, teams can't offer a player a deal worth less than 80% of the contract he had the year before.
- Teams must offer contracts to players under team control by December 12th or see them become free agents.
Second, teams have to decide whether to offer free agents arbitration:
- Teams must offer arbitration to departing free agents to receive compensation picks.
- Teams are under no obligation to offer their free agents deals comparable to the ones they had in the previous season.
- The deadline for offering arbitration to free agents is December 1st.
- If a player signs with another team before December 1st, his former team still receives compensation picks.
- If players don't accept by December 7th, they can negotiate with any of the 30 teams.
Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts.