The Baltimore Orioles currently have three players with whom they haven’t reached agreement on a salary for 2017: Kevin Gausman, Brad Brach, and Caleb Joseph. The club and each player will set a date and time for an arbitration hearing at some point in the near future. Those hearings will in theory occur prior to the beginning of Grapefruit League play.
I say in theory, because in general the parties come to an agreement before the hearing. If that happens, the hearing is canceled. There are times that’s happened literally the morning of the arbitration hearing itself – it’s an ongoing process.
However I think it’s one that needs to stop. This is one area where sports such as the NFL do things much more efficiently than they’re done in MLB. I get the whole point of the big league clock starting on a player once he comes up from the minors and so forth – which is part of why arbitration exists. However can we not all agree that it’s a fruitless process?
In saying that, I’m suggesting that it causes unnecessary ill will at times. Think about it; the player of course goes to arbitration to argue that he’s worth the salary he’s proposing he should make. The team however is going there to argue against that view. Basically, they’re saying this guy isn’t all he’s cracked up to be.
So again, could that not cause ill will down the line? Let’s say you as the team win your arbitration hearing, which incidentally is how it usually goes across the board – especially with the Orioles. When it comes time to re-sign that player as his rookie contract is expiring, he may well remember that the team didn’t think he was all that. So maybe the cash didn’t flow at that time, but in order to keep that player it may have to do so down the line.
Would both teams and players not be better served by srapping that entire system and just signing contracts worth x-amount of dollars for x-number of years? Yes, that sounds very simplistic, and for the most part I’m not the most simplistic of guys. However in this case I think that would work better.
To say the least, it would take a bit of money out of the pockets of agents and lawyers. But hey, what do I know?! As I said, I expect these three Orioles to be signed well before their arbitration hearings. They’ll be on the team, it’s just unclear how much they’ll be making.