SoSH Glossary: MLB Salary Arbitration

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SoSH Baseball Glossary

Baseball is filled with statistics, rules, and archaic terms that can often form what sounds like a foreign language. Sons of Sam Horn’s glossary provides a better understanding of these terms through straightforward definitions, clear explanations, and examples pulled straight from the baseball world. If there is anything you would like us to add to our glossary, please contact us.

MLB Salary Arbitration

When a player has accumulated more than three but less than six years of service time, he has the ability to negotiate his salary with his team. If the two sides cannot come to an agreement, the player may enter Salary Arbitration. At the outset of arbitration (held between February 1 and February 20), each party submits a salary to an independent arbitration panel. The panel reviews the case of each party and then awards the player the salary that they feel better represents that player’s value.

What Are Players Judged On?

  • The player’s performance during the past season, his leadership qualities, and public appeal
  • The length and consistency of the player’s career including his injury history
  • The player’s past salaries and the salaries of comparable players
  • The performance of the team including its League standing and attendance

How It Works:

Once a player chooses to enter arbitration, he notifies the MLB Players’ Association (MLBPA), which in turn notifies the MLB Labor Relations Board (MLBLRB) in writing. The MLBPA is then responsible for obtaining the figure that the player would like to submit to the panel and the MLBLRB is responsible for submitting the team’s figure. The player and team may agree upon a contract at any time before the arbitration date to avoid arbitration. Each side lays out its case for the panel on the date of arbitration, and the panel chooses one of the two figures within 24 hours of the hearing.

Pete Hodges has written about the call up of a top prospect, an odd tradition, and Leo the Lip.

Follow Pete on Twitter @PeterWHodges.

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