The Braves have won their arbitration hearing against right-handed reliever Shane Greene, the Associated Press reports. He’ll now earn the $6.25MM salary figure submitted by the Braves rather than the $6.75MM salary for which he filed.
Acquired in a deadline deal that sent prospects Joey Wentz and Travis Demeritte to the Tigers, Greene was unable to replicate the dominance he’d shown in Detroit in his new setting. The 1.18 ERA he posted in 38 innings as a Tiger last year never appeared close to sustainable, as it was largely predicated on a .178 average on balls in play and a sky-high 85.2 percent strand rate, but the extent to which Greene regressed in Atlanta was nevertheless a bit surprising.
That’s not to say that Greene wasn’t a useful bullpen piece, but he punched out 28.5 percent of the hitters he faced with Detroit, only to see that number plummet to 20.8 percent with the Braves. Greene still notched a respectable 4.01 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 24 2/3 innings with the Braves, adding in another run allowed in 2 2/3 postseason frames in the NLDS.
This will be the final trip through the arbitration process for Greene, who is set to become a free agent at season’s end. The $500K gap over which the two sides argued seems trivial to most fans but is viewed in a vastly different light by teams and agencies. Hearings such as this one serve as a reminder that the actual immediate cost savings are typically trivial; rather, it’s in teams’ best interest to try to fight for every last dollar rather than make concessions, as future arbitration cases for similar players are based upon the cases of today. Conversely, if an agency is able to even push a client’s salary forward by a couple hundred thousand dollars, that becomes a data point for future comparables. MLBTR spoke to several league execs about the intricacies of arbitration a few years back, and the points discussed still ring true in 2020.