The Major League Baseball Players Association has issued a press release announcing that 146 players have officially filed for salary arbitration. Among them are many outstanding players (and some fascinating arbitration cases), including Clayton Kershaw, Craig Kimbrel, Chris Davis, Max Scherzer, David Price, and Giancarlo Stanton.
Let's take a quick look at what this means, and how MLBTR will guide you through the arbitration happenings soon to come:
Upcoming Arbitration Period
Today's deadline is largely a formality. Teams were required to make decisions on tendering arbitration by December 2nd, and players file as a matter of course when arbitration is offered.
But with the announcement, the clock is now ticking down to Friday at noon central, when players and teams will formally exchange and submit salary figures. As a result, we can expect a flurry of new deals to avoid arbitration between now and then.
Though a hearing can still be avoided after the Friday's exchange, several teams tie their bargaining position to the deadline. As MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has explained, so-called "file and trial" teams refuse to negotiate after the exchange deadline in any case, taking the stance that they will go to a hearing if agreement has not been reached. The Blue Jays, Braves, Marlins, Rays, and White Sox are the clubs that maintain such a policy. Meanwhile, at least four other clubs — the Brewers, Pirates, Nationals, and Indians — take the file and trial approach in some circumstances, and have shown a particular willingness to go to a hearing.
On a league-wide basis, of course, hearings are an increasing rarity. For the first time ever, there were none last year. Hearings will be scheduled over the period of February 1st through 21st this year.
How To Keep Tabs On Arbitration Situations
With so many players' situations still to be resolved, how can you keep track? MLBTR has you covered as the flow of arbitration settlements increases:
- First, you'll want to take a look back at the arbitration projections of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz. Swartz has also provided some excellent arbitration breakdown pieces, in which he takes a closer look at the cases of certain key players.
- Second, as always, be sure to keep a close eye on MLBTR's pages, whether by the classic means of regular browser refreshing or — if you prefer — through a more modern mechanism. Remember, news will always appear on the site first.
- Third, MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker will carry the latest updates while maintaining all arbitration information in one spot. Our writing team will do its best to keep the tracker fresh troughout the coming days and weeks.
Of course, the Arb Tracker also allows you to filter amongst the players within it based upon such factors as team, service time, settled amount, and (eventually) player and team submission amounts.
Looking at the tracker now, 34 players have already reached agreement on a contract for 2014. Among them, only Seth Smith, Stephen Strasburg, and Brad Ziegler have broken the $3MM barrier, so most of the big spending is still to come.
Indians reliever Josh Outman just became the first of the 146 players who technically filed today to reach an agreement with his club. Click here to take a look at the other filing players whose cases are still outstanding.