Saturday, January 22, 2005

Arbitration Nation

I must apologize -- my Armando Benitez analysis has hit a snag, and will have to wait until next week. What snag, you ask? Well, it's a bit difficult to finish something when you have yet to begin. Blame my funky work schedule and...Texas Hold 'Em. Have I ever mentioned my intense hatred of River cards?

So, until I get my act together, I decided to throw in some tidbits on arbitration -- with Clemens and the Houston Astros avoiding arbitration and agreeing on a one year, 18 million dollar contract, it seemed like a good time.

  • With Pedro Feliz' recent contract, I had neglected to mention Yorvit Torrealba. He and the Giants agreed to a one year, 700K deal, so arbitration won't be necessary. I have the feeling that this will be Torrealba's last season with the Giants, for better or worse. This offseason was the 2nd time the Giants had a chance to take a chance on Yorvit, and they passed on him again. I'm sure he may want to test the market next offseason, and see if he can find a team that will either give him a starting job, or at least the chance to compete for one.
  • Once again, Clemens, one year, 18 million. Clemens' arbitration request of 22 million broke an all-time record (Derek Jeter asked the Yankees for 18.5 mil one year), and now the new contract breaks the single season record for a pitcher's salary. Houston is now crossing their fingers, toes, legs, arms, and eyes that the Rocket can duplicate last season. Because if his 2005 looks more like his 2003 and 2002 (3.91 and 4.35 ERA's, respectively)...well, you know.
  • Lance Berkman and the 'Stros still have a little work to do, seeing as how they're still one million bucks apart -- Berkman asked for 11 million, Houston offered 10 million. Not a very big gap, and I'd assume they'll work it out soon.
  • The Tampa Bay Devil Rays have the...uh, lead...with six players still up for arbitration. I really don't know what this means, but why would Tampa, of all teams, have the most players remaining? Would any of these players make any difference in the fate of the Devil Rays? Just get it over with, already -- 2005 and last place are beckoning.
  • The strangest potential arbitration case, at least to me, seems to be Johan Santana and the Twins. Santana wants 6.8 million, the Twins have offered 5 million. Two words, Minnesota: pay him. He won the AL Cy Young last season, and he made all of 1.6 million. If the Twins get stubborn, these are the kinds of things that make players want to sign short contracts and leave as soon as the contract is up. The Twins should be looking to lock Santana up for at least 4 or 5 years.
  • The largest gap money-wise between a player and a team is Aramis Ramirez and the Chicago Cubs, who have a 2.25 million dollar gap between what Ramirez has asked for and what the Cubs have offered. With a line of .318/.373/.578 and 36 homers last season (with only 62 strikeouts!), and with his road splits proving he can hit well in any park (unlike Moises), my guess would be that Ramirez would win if it goes to arbitration. Another player that should be locked up long term, at least, if the Cubs feeling like having the best offensive 3rd baseman in the game outside of Scott Rolen and A-Rod, that is.

Well, that certainly seems like enough useless information. As today is Saturday (for another 12 minutes), it looks like my Streak of posting is now dun-duh-dun-dun-done. Cal Ripken can now sleep soundly. And I can celebrate my non-record with some coffee Haagen-Dasz. Mmmmm, Haagen-Dasz...


Anonymous said...

"[Johan Santana] should've won the AL Cy Young last season"Should have? Last I checked, he did...

Daniel said...

Oops. that's what I get for relying on my faulty memory, instead of checking up on things. That's what's good about doing this on a blog -- now, only about 50 or 60 people know I'm an idiot, instead of hundreds or thousands.

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Kevin said...

Well, you WERE right: Johan Santana definitely should've won the Cy Young.