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Monday, July 13, 2009
Ryan Church - Jeff Francoeur Trade - Salary Arbitration

The Ryan Church - Jeff Francoeur trade between the Mets and the Braves on Friday involved two players among the 111 who filed for salary arbitration prior to this season. The Mets also received $270,218 to equalize the salaries. There is already plenty to read on the Internet about the deal, but since my contributions to the Sports Law Blog deal with salary arbitration, I will offer a bit of information and place the rest in comments if anyone is interested in further discussion.

Francoeur and the Braves swapped figures earlier this year while Church and the Mets agreed to a deal before exchanging numbers. Francoeur was offered $2,800,000, and he asked for $3,950,000. The two parties settled at the midpoint of $3,375,000. The raise amounted to 633.70% increase. Ryan Church signed for $2,800,000 for this season. The gap between the two salaries is $575,000. Church made $2,000,000 in 2008 while Francoeur played for $460,000 in Atlanta. Church’s salary increase was 40%. Francoeur’s 80 games played in 2005 beginning on July 7 did not place him in the Super Two category for 2008.

The few data elements listed above raise at least two points. The first is the difference in percentage increases. Many baseball executives dislike the system and argue that the figures produced for the players in their arbitration years drive salaries up more than salaries negotiated for free agents. Francoeur’s promotion in July of 2005 instead of earlier that season also kept him from becoming eligible for arbitration one year earlier. Management’s ability to control how soon a player becomes eligible is one of the tools they have to balance the overall salary structure that they manage.

The system of arbitration in baseball has not changed much in 35 years since first introduced in 1974. As we get closer to negotiating a new basic agreement, it will be interesting to see if any changes are seriously considered.


Exactly how important is a job salary anyways? Probably not that important to these guys, they already have the cash.

Anonymous salary of Facebook employees -- 7/23/2009 6:31 PM  

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