The Mets and Orioles will adopt a “file-and-trial” approach to their arbitration-eligible players this year, as Marc Carig of Newsday (via Twitter) and Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun (also on Twitter) report. That means that the organizations will only negotiate with players up until tomorrow’s 1pm EST deadline to exchange filing figures; if no deal is found with a given player, they’ll take the case to arbitration.
MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes explained the “file-and-trial” stance a few years back. Some organizations adopt it as a blanket rule, with at least some of those willing to make exceptions only in cases of multi-year arrangements. Others will utilize it on a case-by-case basis, notifying certain players of that intention in the course of negotiations.
It’s always tough to keep tabs on precisely which teams utilize this strategy, and it can certainly change — especially with front office turnover. At last check, though, file-and-trial teams include the Astros, Blue Jays, Braves, Marlins, Rays, and White Sox. And there are at least five others that seem to take that approach with some players: the Brewers, Indians, Nationals, Pirates, and Reds.
By adopting this approach, the New York and Baltimore organizations have turned up the heat on their final talks with arb-eligible players. As things stand, the O’s have yet to reach terms with a variety of notable players, led by Zach Britton, Manny Machado, Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman, and Jonathan Schoop. The club also has to work out salaries with Brad Brach and Caleb Joseph. It’s not an easy season for the Mets, either; they have yet to settle with Addison Reed, Jeurys Familia, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Wilmer Flores, Travis d’Arnaud, and Josh Edgin.