MLB…Pay The Man.

So on the first day that Major League players were eligible to do so, 175 of the filed for salary arbitration. That is a lot of players asking for a wage adjustment. Do some of these guys deserve a little more lettuce? Yes. Do some of them not deserve it? Probably, but there is an old business axiom that comes to play here… It is that people will pay whatever price the market will bear. Does a utility infielder deserve $5M per season? If his team thinks he does, then they are going to pay the man. If that same utility infielder gets an offer of $5M per season, but he thinks that his bench-warming is of an outstanding nature, he will ask for salary arbitration where he will ask for $6.25M. The team and the player and his agent will exchange figures and they will try to come to some kind of compromise. If they can’t, the argument will be settled by an independent arbitrator. It should be noted that last season, of all the potential cases, only 3 actually went before an arbitrator, and in 2013, no cases went that far. Now don’t get me wrong here. I am in favor of players getting paid whatever they are worth. The career of a professional ballplayer can be really long, really short, or somewhere in between. They know this, and they also know that they need to make the most money that they can while they can, because once their playing days are over, the gravy train skids to an abrupt halt, and sometimes it is with a sickening thud. I really don’t blame them.
I also want to make very clear at this point that I am not going to engage in a debate about whether or not professional athletes are overpaid. That is strictly a matter of opinion and personal perspective, and is best left to another forum. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the filers for this season…Players such as David Price, Stephen Strasburg, Jeff Samardjzija, Rick Porcello, Doug Fister, and Ian Kennedy were among the players filing for arbitration. David Price made $14M last year, and he obviously thinks that he can get more. Baltimore’s Chris Davis was also among the filers. He made $10.35M last season, and also reached a performance bonus of $150,000. Remember that he also served a 25-game ban for violating the MLB banned substance (Adderall) policy.
For some players, the process ends as quickly as it begins. The Dodgers and catcher A.J. Ellis settled very quickly, as the Dodgers bumped Ellis up $700,000 to $4.25M. There will be a lot of discussion between now and Friday, which is the date that figures are exchanged. Any cases that need to go before and arbitrator will do so between February 1st and February 20th.
On other baseball news, The Kansas City Royals extended manager Ned Yost for 1 year thru 2016.
The Boston Red Sox have promoted Raquel Ferreira to vice president of baseball administration. She is only the third woman to be a Vice-President in a major league baseball operations department. I say good for her!
Over the last few days as the opening of spring training nears, several clubs are signing players to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training. This is always interesting to see which players get offers like this. So far, the list includes Mike Carp, Jose Valverde, Wandy Rodriguez, and Nick Masset.

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