Sports Law Blog
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Friday, February 20, 2004

Baseball Arbitration Results: Via the Sports Economist, baseball arbitration ended today, and surprise, salaries are up. Although the average is a bit out of proportion due to the seven year, $100 million contract signed by Albert Pujols this week, the average annual salary of the 65 players who filed for arbitration is a record $3.26 million, up from $2.76 million last year.

Of the 65 players, all but seven reached an agreement before going to a hearing, including Pujols, Roy Halladay and Kevin Millwood. In baseball arbitrations, the team and the player each submit an amount and then make a case, complete with briefs, exhibits and complex statistical analyses. The three-member arbitration panel then makes a decision, and the winner's salary amount is selected. The player is bound to that amount in a one-year contract. The hearings take place over the course of a few weeks in a central location-- this year, Phoenix. Usually, the player's agent is his representation and teams are represented either by their general counsel or by an attorney who specializes in arbitration.

In this year's hearings, the owners won 4 of the cases, and players, most notably David Eckstein, won three. The best win for the owners was the Dodgers, whose $5 million figure was chosen by the arbitrators in the case of Eric Gagne, the NL Cy Young Award winner. Gagne sought a figure of $8 million.

You can see a complete list of the players and their final salary amounts here.


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