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Saturday, February 14, 2009
Two Arbitration Hearings Postponed

The Associated Press reported yesterday that the arbitration hearings for Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Ervin Santana and Tampa Bay Rays infielder Willy Aybar were postponed. I cannot remember a postponement of a hearing in recent years, but the general consensus is that the Angels and Rays are close to a settlement with Santana and Aybar. That leaves 11 players and teams scheduled for hearings next week as salary arbitration will come to an end for 2009.

38 Comments: is reporting that Santana agreed to a 4-year, $30,000,000 deal with the Angels.

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Anonymous wikiplugs -- 2/16/2009 6:25 AM  

sounds like W. Aybar signed a long-term deal with the Rays as well.

"Infielder Willy Aybar was here and underwent his physical exam; once all results are back in the next day or so, the Rays will finalize his new contract, for two years plus a 2011 option."


Anonymous Anonymous -- 2/16/2009 9:29 AM  

Ryan Ludwick flew over to Phoenix on Sunday afternoon in preparation for his Tuesday arbitration hearing. He is still hopeful, according to's Matthew Leach, that a deal can be reached.

The Cardinals settled on a last minute agreement with fellow outfielder Rick Ankiel on Thursday. Ludwick is hoping for a similar push, but his gap is fairly large. He requested $4.25MM and the Cards made a $2.8MM bid back when arbitration figures were due.

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/16/2009 10:31 AM  

According to's Steve Gilbert, the Diamondbacks are not close to a contract with arbitration-eligible outfielder Conor Jackson.

Jackson requested $3.65MM and the club countered with a $2.45MM figure back when arbitration numbers were due. That gap has been a tough one to close and his hearing is looming. It is currently scheduled for Wednesday, February 18.

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/16/2009 10:31 AM  

On Saturday, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel learned that a new offer was made to Corey Hart for '09 and his agent turned it down. The sides remain $1.1MM apart ($3.8MM vs. $2.7MM) with a hearing scheduled for Wednesday. Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash thinks it will be difficult to avoid. Hart's comparables are said to be Andre Ethier (Tuesday hearing) and Josh Willingham.

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/16/2009 10:32 AM  

How odd. This kind of blows a hole in the Rays' "file-and-go" position, doesn't it?

Anonymous Tom Flesher -- 2/16/2009 12:59 PM  

Bill Chastain has also reported that Aybar is in Port Charlotte and confirmed that an announcement of his two year deal will be forthcoming as soon as the results of his physical are finalized. Certainly the two numbers were close, but it does make you wonder what this says about their file-and-go protocol. I also think that it is interesting that they ended up with a multiyear deal for Aybar when they were not able to meet the earlier deadline. It will be interesting to see how they negotiate next year.

Of the 32 settled cases (total of 46 with three hearings), 9 are multiyear deals.

It does appear that a deal is close for Ryan Ludwick. He was set for a hearing tomorrow.

Others with hearing dates tomorrow are: Edwin Encarnacion and the Reds, Andre Ethier and the Dodgers, and Nate McLouth and the Pirates. I will be really surprised if the Dodgers avoid a hearing with Ethier. It does not sound like they are close. The Dodgers last hearing was with Joe Beimel in 2007. Ditto for the Reds and Encarnacion. The Reds last hearing was 2004 (Chris Reitsma). Jenifer Langosch hinted in her article on Friday that McLouth is optimistic that a deal can be worked out. All three are over $1,000,000 apart.

There are four hearings set for Wednesday and one on Thursday and two on Friday.

Blogger Ed Edmonds -- 2/16/2009 3:38 PM  

How odd. This kind of blows a hole in the Rays' "file-and-go" position, doesn't it?

No. an exception they have is for long term contracts

Anonymous Anonymous -- 2/16/2009 5:11 PM  

I do not recall that the Rays said anything about an exception for long-term deals and that would not be what the file-and-go philosophy is set to do. Supposedly the teams with this philosophy (Rays, Marlins, Astros) said that if you do not reach a settlement, long-term or otherwise, by the deadline for filing numbers (Marlins, Rays) or some club announced deadline after the exchange (Astros), negotiations STOP, and we will see you at the hearing. Here that is not what happened because the Rays obviously continued to negotiate and ultimately postponed the hearing to finalize a deal. Maybe their strategy had been to force Aybar's agent to pick an even lower number to exchange. Anyway, I think it makes it harder to take this stance next year.

Jenifer Langosch posted an article at 3:40 today saying that the Pirates and McLouth appear to be headed for a hearing.

Blogger Ed Edmonds -- 2/16/2009 5:41 PM  

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals have reached agreement with Ryan Ludwick on a one-year deal.'s Jayson Stark has learned that the deal is worth $3.7MM and carries another $100K in incentives.

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/16/2009 7:24 PM  

Also Ed, I don't know if you're interested in any of this, but below I've posted below some thoughts about Type A free agents and how the MLB might help them and some teams out to get them off the market.

MONDAY: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has more on the topic. He says:

Major League Baseball, the players' union, the Diamondbacks and Cruz's agents are in discussions to facilitate a sign-and-trade involving Cruz that adheres to the collective-bargaining agreement. Free agents cannot be traded before June 15 without their consent, but the union will permit Cruz and other Type A players to waive that right, according to Rob Manfred, baseball's executive vice-president of labor relations.

Rosenthal says the D'Backs are not discussing this kind of scenario with Hudson's agents, and it's unknown whether Cabrera and the White Sox are talking about it. Rosenthal says there would be a window, perhaps 48 hours, for the team to make a deal. If no deal is made then the player would remain a free agent.

SUNDAY: La Velle E. Neal of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune suggests MLB might allow for a workaround for Type A free agents:

There have been rumblings that Major League Baseball, which is aware that Type A free agents like Juan Cruz and infielders Orlando Hudson and Orlando Cabrera have been hindered by the compensation rules, are willing to make it easier for teams to sign then trade those free agents. For example, Arizona could sign Cruz to a contract that the Twins are willing to take on. The Twins and Diamondbacks would then work out a trade for Cruz. The Twins could land Cruz without losing a draft pick.

No word on what MLB would do to facilitate these sign n' trades. Perhaps they'd just give their approval.

Neal notes that the Twins have discussed Cruz internally, but wouldn't be willing to give up their #23 pick in the June draft for him. Also keep in mind that the Twins just brought in reliever Luis Ayala.

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/16/2009 7:27 PM  

First, let me respond to the Ludwick post from pbenn001. The $3,700,000 plus incentives does put the deal above the midpoint of $3,525,000. That is the fifth deal in this class above the midpoint.

Blogger Ed Edmonds -- 2/16/2009 8:03 PM  

There were 24 free agents tendered an offer back in December. Fifteen were classified as Type A free agents by Elias: Burnett, Cabrera, Cruz, Fuentes, Hudson, Ibanez, Lowe, Oliver, Perez, Ramirez, Rodriguez, Sabathia, Sheets, Teixeira, Varitek.

The compensation for a Type-A free agent is as follows: The team losing that player receives two compensatory draft picks. If the signing teams first-round pick is below the top fifteen picks in the draft, the signing team loses that pick to the free agent’s former team plus a supplemental or sandwich pick between the first and second rounds. If the signing team has a choice in the first fifteen, the free agent’s former team receives the signing team’s second-round choice plus the sandwich pick.

Today in my Sports Law class, we discussed the Alvin "Junior" Moore arbitration from 1977. I use Weiler & Roberts' casebook. The Atlanta Braves had granted Moore a special covenant that allowed him to force a trade if he was not satisfied with his amount of playing time although he was not yet a six-year veteran eligible for free agency. The arbitrator allowed the Braves to make this move, but the arbitrator did not feel that the Braves should be allowed to circumvent the re-entry process. The reasons offered were that the Braves could give away their right to keep Moore because the rule was established for the protection of the club, but the re-entry rules benefited all of the other teams.

We also discussed the Chris Dudley/NBA deals that allowed him to circumvent the NBA's soft cap and sign a lucrative deal after accepting a lower salary for the first year with the new team.

The sign n' trade process might be seen as a way to circumvent the compensation system. The union certainly has an incentive to not press this because they want to see these free agents move to a team that wants them, but would all of the teams who must give up draft choices this year be willing to go along? This is really an interesting question. Thanks for bringing it up. I hope we can keep this discussion going.

Blogger Ed Edmonds -- 2/16/2009 8:29 PM  

As's Ken Gurnick reports, the Dodgers and outfielder Andre Ethier are on the eve of an arbitration hearing. The two sides have less than 24 hours to work out a deal, and it doesn't look promising.

"There's no way to handicap it," general manager Ned Colletti said Monday afternoon. "The time is right to do it when both sides can't agree. We've tried to avoid it and we will the next 24 hours. We all love Andre. He was the first player I traded for when I came here."

Ethier asked for $3.75MM and the Dodgers offered $2.65MM back when figures were due. The 26-year-old hit .305/.375/.510 with 20 home runs and 77 RBI last season.

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/16/2009 8:43 PM  

Ed, I figured you'd just be interested in the way that the MLB seems to be trying to circumvent the process as you said. I understand how the process works since I follow baseball religiously, but it definitely is quite an interesting process. It certainly does seem like something the MLBPA would be against though, I'll give you that.

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/16/2009 8:44 PM  

According to Steve Gilbert of, the Diamondbacks could be hammering out a sign-and-trade deal with reliever Juan Cruz.

"I can't say too much," Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes said Monday. "But of late, they've talked to the union, we have talked to the Commissioner's Office to see if there is a way where they could sign through us and then we would receive in trade what we would deem as enough value."

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/16/2009 8:49 PM  

I was certain that you were aware of the compensation scheme, etc. I just thought that I would add that for context for other readers.

Blogger Ed Edmonds -- 2/16/2009 10:16 PM  

That's understandable. No harm, no foul.

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/16/2009 11:39 PM  

Also, the Cardinals have officially finished all of their arbitration cases.

Chris Duncan 1/$825K

Todd Wellemeyer 1/$4.05M

Brad Thompson 1/$650K

Rick Ankiel 1/$975K

Ryan Ludwick 1/$3.7M

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/16/2009 11:42 PM  

Oops, that figure for Ankiel should be 1/$2.85

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/16/2009 11:52 PM  

Yahoo's Jeff Passan says the D'Backs and Jackson have been discussing a long-term deal for nearly eight months. Though they're struggling just to agree on his '09 salary, the D'Backs would like to buy out Jackson's three arb years and get a club option on his first free agent season.

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/17/2009 12:05 AM  

I remember reading that the Rays had an exception to their file-and-go strategy which allowed negotiating for long-term deals (not just one year). however, i can't find it now after a quick google search.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 2/17/2009 9:24 AM  

I will also look into finding out something about an exception to the Rays rule about multiyear deals. The Encarncion and McLouth hearings scheduled for today were avoided with both players receiving multiyear deals.

Blogger Ed Edmonds -- 2/17/2009 9:50 AM  

9:58am: The AP says McLouth's deal is worth $15.75MM over three years.

6:49am: According to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates have agreed to a three-year contract with Nate McLouth, avoiding arbitration. There is a team option for 2012. No other details are available at this time.

McLouth was eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason. This deal buys out all three arbitration years and gives the Pirates control of McLouth's first season of free agency.

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/17/2009 11:08 AM  

9:32am: Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News believes the deal is worth $5MM.

8:30am: According to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Reds agreed to a two-year deal with third baseman Edwin Encarnacion. The sides had been $1.15MM apart on his '09 salary. He'll still have one arb year (2011) before free agency.

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/17/2009 11:09 AM  

10:24am: Troy Renck of the Denver Post has details:

Encarnacion will receive $2MM this season and $4.75MM in 2010 with an $850K signing bonus payable between March 29 and November 2009. Also will get $25K for 600 plate appearances.

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/17/2009 11:59 AM  


10:24am: Troy Renck of the Denver Post has the breakdown:

$2MM in 2009; $4.5MM in 2010; $6.5MM in 2011 with club option 2012 for $10.65MM or $1.25MM buyout. His $1.5MM signing bonus is payable between March 2009 and July 2009. His base salary in 2010 increases by $200K for All Star in 2009; $200K for GoldGlove in 2009; $100K for Silver Slugger in 2009. His base in 2011 increases by $200Kfor All Star in 2010; $200K for Gold Glove in 2010; $100K for Silver Slugger in 2010. His base in 2012 increases by $300K for All Star in 2011; $300K for Gold Glove in 2011; $150K for Silver Slugger in 2011.

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/17/2009 12:01 PM  

Discussing long-term extensions is not the same as negotiating for arbitration.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 2/17/2009 1:16 PM  

Yes, I am aware of that. Just passing along the news that these players signed contracts instead of going to arbitration. I'm failing to see how that's not relevant.

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/17/2009 1:46 PM  

Josh Willingham's arbitration hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Ryan Zimmerman's for Saturday.

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/17/2009 1:47 PM  

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Dodgers avoided arbitration with outfielder Andre Ethier by signing him at $3.1MM for '09. He can earn another $100K in incentives. If Ethier gets those incentives he'll be at the midpoint of the two submissions. Perhaps the deal will help Corey Hart and Josh Willingham come to terms.

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/17/2009 1:48 PM  

Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Brewers have agreed to terms with Corey Hart on a one-year, $3.25MM contract.

Hart requested $3.8MM and the Brewers offered $2.7MM back when arbitration numbers were filed.

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/17/2009 7:20 PM  

8:51pm: Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic has the financial details; the contract is worth $3.05MM.

8:35pm:'s Steve Gilbert reports that the Diamondbacks have agreed to a one-year contract with outfielder Conor Jackson.

An arbitration hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, so the deal was struck just in time. Financial terms are not yet available, but the sides probably settled near the midpoint of the numbers that were filed at the end of January. The Diamondbacks submitted a $2.45MM bid and Jackson's representatives countered with a request for $3.65MM.

GM Josh Byrnes has not required an arbitration hearing in his time with the Diamondbacks.

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/17/2009 11:16 PM  

According to the Denver Post's Troy Renck, the Royals have agreed to a one-year, $3.25MM deal with first baseman Mike Jacobs.

Jacobs can make an additional $25K if he lands on the American League All-Star team. The 28-year-old hit .247/.299/.514 last season with 32 home runs and 93 RBI. He was acquired this offseason from the Marlins for reliever Leo Nunez.

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/17/2009 11:16 PM  

I think that we have only Willingham left on the schedule today. I suspect a settlement is in the works. We will see if they can get a deal done.

Blogger Ed Edmonds -- 2/18/2009 9:58 AM  

According to's Jon Heyman, the Nationals avoided arbitration with outfielder Josh Willingham by signing him at $2.95MM for '09. That's just a bit under the midpoint of the two filings. This is Willingham's first arbitration year, so he's under team control through 2011.

Blogger Pbenn001 -- 2/18/2009 6:52 PM  

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Blogger mint -- 4/07/2009 10:12 AM  

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