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How Does David Ortiz Stack Up to Other Veterans That Went to Salary Arbitration Hearings? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 11 February 2012 16:06

Ortiz

The waiting game to see whether David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox will go to arbitration hearing is in its final hours. And while it could be rescheduled, the sides are scheduled to make their cases before a panel of arbitrators on Monday.

As detailed on Thursday, the odds of the sides going to hearing are slim based on the amount of money that could be lost:

[Ortiz is] seeking $16.5 million, which ranks as the fourth highest ever asking figure behind only Ryan Howard (2008 with the Phillies, $18 million as a second-time salary arb player), Derek Jeter (2000 with the Yankees, $18.5 million in his last year of salary arbitration eligibility), Tim Lincecum (this year with the Giants in his 3rd yr of salary arb eligibility, $21.5 million) and Roger Clemens (2004 with the Astros, $22 million as a free agent with 20.142 of MLST).

[....]

The amount the sides stand to lose is also something to consider. The gap between asking and offering is $3.85 million. Not exactly chump change.

Ortiz is sticking to wanting a multi-year deal (which the Red Sox, so far are balking at), and his exceptionally high asking figure work against the slugger. The fact that the Red Sox haven’t been to salary arbitration hearing since 2002 when Ronaldo Arrojo was asking $2.8 million, and the Red Sox were offering $1.9 million. The Sox won that case, and since, have avoided the process. To add, Boston only offered $150,000 more ($16.65 million) than Ortiz made last year. Put the two together (Ortiz seeking such a high amount while the Red Sox offering a lowish figure) and you get the stalemate that as of Saturday, remains.

But, what about those free agents that were offered salary arbitration and accepted, yet the sides went all the way to hearing? How does the Ortiz case stack up compared to those? The best way to describe it is, “Not even close”. Here are the six veterans since 1990 that have gone to hearing with their clubs:

Yr

Player

MLS

Club

Club Offer

Plyr Offer

Diff

Mid

Dec

Award Amt

2007

Loretta, Mark D.

12.011

HOU

$2,750,000

$4,900,000

$2,150,000

$3,825,000

Club

$2,750,000

2006

Walker, Todd  A.

9.057

CHC

$2,750,000

$3,950,000

$1,200,000

$3,350,000

Player

$3,950,000

1995

Stanton, Mike M.

6.039

ATL

$1,200,000

$1,750,000

$550,000

$1,475,000

Player

$1,750,000

1990

Gantner, Jim E.

13.056

MIL

$1,000,000

$2,000,000

$1,000,000

$1,500,000

Club

$1,000,000

1990

Petry, Dan J.

11.072

DET

$650,000

$1,350,000

$700,000

$1,000,000

Club

$650,000

1990

Thon, Dickie

11.012

PHI

$1,250,000

$1,700,000

$450,000

$1,475,000

Club

$1,250,000

 

As you can see, at $3.95 million, Todd Walker’s win over the Cubs is the highest award. Even taking out inflation and market change since 2006, the amount Ortiz would win would be staggering by comparison. His $16.5 million asking figure is 418 percent higher than Walker’s award.

We’ll say it again… one or the other is likely to bend before a hearing take place. It could be as late as Monday before that happens, but the stakes are so incredibly high, it would be a mistake for the sides to go to hearing.

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Maury BrownMaury 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 writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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