Just 14 of the 29 Type A free agents – those deemed to be among the top 20 per cent of players in baseball – were offered salary arbitration, according to Major League Baseball. Teams that offer arbitration to their Type A free agents are awarded two top picks should the player sign elsewhere.
But often arbitration forces teams to pay up more than they might otherwise, as arbitrators consider a player’s most recent salary when making a decision.
Sure the potential draft picks are nice, but teams tend to offer arbitration only when they think a player will reject it. Clubs would rather work out a contract they like than risk overpaying a player who accepts arbitration.
For example, had the Yankees offered Derek Jeter arbitration, they would likely be forced to pay more than the $21M he earned last season. And the Yankees have made it clear they don’t intend to offer more than $15M per season.
Type A Free Agents Offered Arbitration Type A Not Offered Arbitration Grant Balfour Vladimir Guerrero Adrian Beltre Matt GuerrierCarl Crawford
Derek Jeter Jorge De La Rosa Derek Lee Scott Downs Bengie Molina Adam Dunn Magglio Ordonez Frank Francisco Andy Pettitte Jason Frasor AJ Pierzynski Paul Konerko Manny Ramirez Cliff Lee Arthur Rhodes Victor Martinez Mariano Rivera Carl Pavano Takashi Saito Rafael Soriano Miguel Tejada Jayson Werth Billy Wagner Dan Wheeler
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