MLB On Verge Of First Season Without Arbitration Hearings
MLB is “set to finish its first arbitration shutout,” according to the AP. It is “all but certain there will be no salary arbitration hearings this year for the first time since the process began in 1974.” No cases “have been argued before three-person panels after 133 players filed for arbitration last month.” One “remains scheduled for a hearing next week -- and those sides already have a deal in place” (AP, 2/16). In Boston, Nick Cafardo asked, “Have teams become complete wimps to the point where arbitration is now a dinosaur?” Cafardo: “More and more, teams are willing to settle with their players just to avoid what might be a negative setting in which the players gets criticized.” Teams “pay out more money because they don’t want to hurt feelings.” Agent Alan Nero “feels there no longer is the malice that used to exist between the union and MLB.” Nero said, “Both sides are so well-prepared now. Everyone knows a player’s value well before the numbers are even exchanged” (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/17).