Starting today, and ending on Jan. 15th, MLB's salary arbitration filing begins. Salary arbitration -- the collectively bargained process -- is almost exclusively an advantage to the players, and will continue to be the case when this' year's class is completed.
To give some background leading up to mid-Feb. when the process will be fully completed, here are the vital stats from the 2009 salary arbitration class:
As noted below, the increase in salary for these 111 players from 2008 to 2009 is 143 percent.
Here are some other vital stats on 2009’s salary arbitration class:
- Number of players that filed: 111 on 1/15/09
- Number of players exchanged figures with their clubs: 46 on the 1/20/09 deadline
- Amount in salaries for all 111 players for ’09: $298,891,250
- Amount in salaries for all 111 players (includes multi-year contracts) for '09: $580,816,250
- % of ’09 salary for the 46 players that exchanged figures against total: $136,275,000 or 46% of the total
- Total 2008 salaries for the 111 players that filed in 2009: $122,947,513
- Increase in salary from 2008 to 2009 for the 111 players that filed: 143%
- Total salaries for 48 players that exchanged figures in 2008: $136,275,000
- Avg. salary for the 48 players that exchanged figures in ’08: $2,839,063
- Avg. salary for the 46 that exchanged figures in ’09: $3,011,638
- Difference between avg. salary for exchange players from ’08-’09: $172,575 (an increase of 6 percent from the year prior)
- Of the 46 that exchanged figures, # of those reached mid-point deals: 12
- Number of mid-point contracts in 2008: 5
- Of the 111 in '09, number of multi-year contracts: 15
- Biggest contract in this year’s class: Nick Markakis of the Orioles (6-years, $66.1 million)
- Record deal: According to Jayson Stark of ESPN, Jonathan Papelbon's contract is the third highest in history by any first-time arbitration-eligible player. The only ones higher were Ryan Howard's $10 million arbitration award in 2008 and the $7.4 million that was awarded to Miguel Cabrera after he won his case in 2007. Papelbon's deal becomes the biggest ever by any first-time eligible pitcher -- starter or reliever.
- Arbitration hearings (1): Of the 46 players that exchanged salary figures, only three cases were ruled on by arbitration panels, the lowest number of cases since 2005 when Kyle Lohse, Jeremy Affeldt, and Juan Cruz had decisions rendered. In 2009, the players beat the clubs 2 to 1 in hearing, seeing SP Shawn Hill of the Nationals and 2B Dan Uggla of the Marlins winning their cases, while C Dioner Navarro of the Rays lost his case.
- Arbitration hearings (2): 2009 marked the first time since 1996 that the owners will not have a winning record in salary arbitration hearings. That year, 7 players (Steve Avery, Jeff Fassero, Chuck Knoblauch, Mark Lewis, Mike Stanton, Rick Wilkins, and Bernie Williams) won their cases, while 3 players (Willie Banks, Arthur Rhodes, and Ivan Rodriguez) lost.
- Historical Hearing Record: Of the 487 salary arbitration cases that have been heard since the process was collectively bargained into MLB in 1974, owners have won 280 (57%) to the players' 207 (43%) cases heard.
FOR MORE ON SALARY ARBITRATION SEE:
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.
Follow Maury Brown on Twitter
Follow The Biz of Baseball on Twitter
Follow the Business of Sports Network on Facebook