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Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Felipe Lopez Hearing Today

Chris Needham noted that my earlier post today missed the first hearing of the season between the Washington Nationals and Felipe Lopez. Lopez and the Nationals presented their arguments to Christine Knowlton, Elliott Shriftman, and Steven Wolf today in St. Petersburg, Florida. According to my research, Christine Knowlton’s first case was in 2004, and she has five hearings to her credit. Four times her panel has sided with the team against one panel vote for a player. Elliott Shriftman’s first hearing was in 2000. His panel record is 9-5 in favor of the team's position. Only Steven Wolf has a panel record that favors the players. Wolf’s first hearing was in 2005, and his panel record is 2-1.

Lopez made $2.7 m in 2006 and $3.9 m in 2007. Last year, his batting average was .245, but his OBP was only .308. His strikeout to walk ratio was slightly over 2-1. He was third on the Nationals, however, in runs scored. He committed 20 errors in his 111 games at shortstop (.957) and 1 error in his 43 games at second base (.995).

Lopez requested a raise of $1.4 m to $5.2 m. The Nationals countered with $4.9 m. The midpoint is $5.05 m. The gap of only $300,000 make one wonder why go to the trouble of the hearing. It also makes the decision for the arbitrators easier in my opinion because the numbers are so close. It is often stated that arbitrators want to maintain a record that is close to .500. If that was main factor, Lopez would feel better about his chances. The Nationals have won 2 out of the 3 hearings since the Expos moved to D.C. The Expos won 18 and lost 8 for a .690 percentage. However, my prediction, for what it is worth, is that the Nationals will get the nod on this one.


I will try to add my comments tomorrow regarding the Brian Fuentes hearing that was held today before the decision is announced. I think that the Rockies will win this one.

Blogger Ed Edmonds -- 2/14/2008 11:07 PM  

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