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Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Jay Reisinger Blog

Sports lawyer Jay Reisinger [at left in photo], who has represented Andy Pettitte and Sammy Sosa, among other big league players, has started a new blog, with an emphasis on sports law. Here are a couple of his first posts:

Debunking Salary Arbitration Myths - Part I. Excerpt: "Even more beneficial to the clubs is the fact that salary arbitration contracts can be non-guaranteed. The guarantee is matter of negotiation, but the majority of salary arbitration contracts are non-guaranteed. Thus, if a player fails to perform in spring training (or engages in some prohibited activity which results in injury), the club has the right to terminate the contract and pay 1/6 of the value of the contract to the player."

Adrian Mutu (Romanian soccer player who allegedly failed a drug test and has been punished by FIFA). Excerpt: "Mutu was not party to the contract between Chelsea and Parma, yet the CAS held that Mutu, as a result of his testing positive for cocaine, was liable for the amount of the transfer fee (and other related damages)."

For more, click here.


Jay Reisinger makes a number of outstanding points about the salary arbitration system in his new blog posting. I have a new article out in the Marquette Sports Law Review that highlights much of what took place last year, the 35th anniversary of the first year of arbitration. Jay notes that Maury Brown and Greg Lucas see the results as always producing a loss for management. That perspective looks at the increase from the salaries earned by non-eligible players in a group without any leverage and, thus, earn only the league minimum or slightly above that. Lincecum's modest $650,000 salary last year has to be looked at in that light. The owners "win" by an incredible amount with non-arbitration eligible players. That is unless you feel that all players are overpaid. I understand and appreciate the argument to a degree. However, if owning a baseball team was such a bad economic decision, owners can sell their teams and go into another business.

The salary-arbitration group has a chance to make a more competitive salary based on his performance on the field. It is a more appropriate market value although it is not nearly the same as a free agent. Jay goes into detail in his post. A salary arbitration-eligible player is still tied to one team. As Jay points out so well in his analysis of Matt Capps, if a team thinks that the projected figure through arbitration is one they are not happy with they can non-tender the player. The Pirates are paying Dotel $3,500,000. That is the same figure that the Nationals gave Capps plus Washington packaged incentives in the deal. Capps got a better deal as a non-tendered free agent than he probably would have gotten in arbitration.

Blogger Ed Edmonds -- 2/03/2010 10:15 PM  

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