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Monday, February 25, 2008
 
The Mets in Salary Arbitration

Marty Noble, the Mets beat reporter for MLB.com, posted an interesting story, "Perez wins arbitration case: Hearing was first for Mets since Cone’s 16 years ago" on Friday analyzing the Perez decision. Noble provided a chart with all of the Mets’ hearings while noting that the team had not participated in an arbitration hearing since 1992. Cleveland (7 team victories, 6 player victories) is the only team to have a longer streak avoiding arbitration. The Indians lost to Greg Swindell and defeated Jerry Browne in 1991. Stephen Goldberg decided the Swindell arbitration, and Gil Vernon handled the Browne arbitration.

Noble offered a glimpse inside the hearing room while also commenting on the efforts of agent Scott Boras on behalf of his clients. Boras squared off against Mets general counsel David Cohen. Noble also discussed both presentations, and I quote: "Boras, who now has prevailed in 19 of 45 cases, used Erik Bedard, recently traded from the Orioles to the Mariners, as a Perez comparable in his presentation. Bedard's salary at a corresponding career point, was $7 million. The Mets presented Tomo Ohka, Jason Marquis and, primarily, Brad Penny ($5.125 million) as Perez comparables." The comparable players chosen for the presentations are rarely presented in the newspaper/web articles covering the hearings. Convincing the arbitrators that you have selected the appropriate comparable players is a key factor in winning of losing. The panel of Robert Bailey, Elizabeth Neumeier, and Steven Wolf accepted the Boras presentation as better than Cohen’s list of pitchers and his overall argument.

So, according to Noble’s tally, Boras is now 19-26 in arbitration hearings. His winning percentage of .422 is only slightly lower than the overall players’ percentage of .423 (205 arbitrations won and 279 arbitrations lost since 1974). I knew from my research that Boras once had a lengthy losing streak so I was interested to see his record because I had not yet been able to compile that information. Given the critic’s position that he often overvalues the worth of his clients, I was somewhat surprised that his record is nearly identical to the 33-year record of the players (remember there were no hearings in 1976 and 1977).

I have added the names of the arbitrators from my research to the list of Mets players who have endured arbitration with the New York National League team.

Player - Year - Player Request - Team Offer - Win - Arbitrator

Dale Murray - 1979 - $100,000 - $72,000 - Team - Herbert Northrup
Joel Youngblood - 1979 - $91,000 - $78,000 - Team - Quinn Mills
Mookie Wilson - 1983 - $325,000 - $215,000 - Player - Robert Stutz
Jesse Orosco - 1985 - $850,000 - $650,000 - Team - Raymond Goetz
Doug Sisk - 1985 - $470,000 - $275,000 - Team - Arvid Anderson
Wally Backman - 1986 - $425,000 - $325,000 - Team - Richard Bloch
Ron Darling - 1986 - $615,000 - $440,000 - Team - Roger Abrams
Ed Lynch - 1986 - $530,000 - $400,000 - Player - Thomas Christenson
Tim Teufel - 1986 - $350,000 - $200,000 - Team - Frederick Reel
Ron Darling - 1987 - $1,050,000 - $800,000 - Player - John Sands
Kevin McReynolds- 1987 - $825,000 - $625,000 - Team - Thomas Christenson
Dwight Gooden - 1988 - $1,650,000 - $1,400,000 - Team - Richard Bloch
Len Dykstra - 1989 - $575,000 - $455,000 - Player - Frederick Reel
Tim Teufel - 1989 - $590,000 - $470,000 - Player - Richard Bloch
David Cone - 1990 - $1,300,0000 - $815,000 - Player - Raymond Goetz
Jeff Musselman - 1990 - $315,000 $220,000 - Player - Thomas Roberts
David Cone - 1992 - $4,250,000 - $3,000,000 - Player - Nicholas Zumas
Kevin Elster - 1992 - $1,350,000 - $760,000 - Team - Robert Creo
Jeff Innis - 1992 - $650,000 - $355,000 - Team - Richard Kasher
Oliver Perez - 2008 - $6,500,000 - $4,725,000 - Player - Robert Bailey, Elizabeth Neumeier, Steven Wolf

David Cone, Ron Darling, and Tim Teufel all went back for a second round with the Mets. Cone won twice while Darling and Teufel split their hearings with the team. Arbitrators with multiple Mets hearings include Richard Bloch (2-1 in favor of the Mets), Thomas Christenson (1-1), Raymond Goetz (1-1), and Frederick Reel (1-1).





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