Players with at least two years and 125 days but less than six years of Major League service time are arbitration eligible. A player usually goes to arbitration three times in his career, though those classified as Super Two go four times.
On December 2nd, each team will decide whether to tender contracts to their arbitration eligible players. Those who are non-tendered become free agents. Players who are tendered contracts are automatically under team control for 2011 at a yet to be determined salary. Many players will reach an agreement before exchanging salary figures, which is formally done in mid-January. Others will exchange figures and meet somewhere in the middle. A handful of players will fail to reach an agreement with the team, resulting in an arbitration hearing in February. In an arbitration hearing, an independent three-person panel hears cases from both sides and picks which of the two salary submissions they find appropriate.
MLBTR's arbitration eligibles series examines all 30 teams; links are below. By our count there are 227 arbitration eligible players. Click here to download an Excel spreadsheet listing all of them. The Blue Jays lead with 14; the Cardinals trail with two. Our speculative non-tender candidate list will come later, but that group should contain around 90 players.