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07-12

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7

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 242: The All-No-Bang-for-Your-Buck Team
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

06-20

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7

Feature Focus: Cot's Contracts and the Compensation Browser
by
Colin Wyers

12-12

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9

Bizball: Yankees' Focus on $189 Million Not Just About the Luxury Tax
by
Maury Brown

10-18

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29

Overthinking It: Baseball's Most Immovable Players
by
Ben Lindbergh

08-27

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29

Bizball: The Priciest Trade Ever Made
by
Maury Brown

08-17

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11

The Process: Resetting the Astros Roster
by
Bradley Ankrom

07-02

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4

Bizball: How Much Salary Can You Allocate to One Player and Be Competitive?
by
Maury Brown

06-04

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2

Bizball: Inside the 2012-16 MLB CBA: Minimum Salaries, the Luxury Tax
by
Maury Brown

02-20

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5

Bizball: Inside the 2012 Salary Arbitration Class
by
Maury Brown

02-07

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16

Bizball: Salary Arbitration Picture Postcards
by
Maury Brown

01-19

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0

The BP Wayback Machine: Roger Abrams
by
David Laurila

01-18

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3

The BP Wayback Machine: The Arbitration Process
by
Thomas Gorman

08-02

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12

Contractual Matters: August and Everything After
by
Jeff Euston

03-11

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18

Contractual Matters: AL East
by
Jeff Euston

03-04

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7

Contractual Matters: NL East
by
Jeff Euston

05-31

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43

Prospectus Idol Entry: Fantasy Focus: Trade Market
by
Jeff Euston

02-25

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4

The Ledger Domain: Salary Arbitration Beats Free Agency
by
Maury Brown

04-13

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Roger Abrams
by
David Laurila

11-22

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0

The Dick Martin Award Finalists
by
Michael Groopman

01-31

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0

The Arbitration Process
by
Thomas Gorman

06-29

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0

You Get What You Pay For
by
Ben Murphy and Jared Weiss

11-21

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0

The Danys Baez Situation
by
Doug Pappas

02-06

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0

Prospectus Feature: Playing the Armchair Arbitrator
by
Nate Silver

03-05

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0

Prospectus Feature: The Salary Cap: Another Viewpoint
by
Ted Frank

03-05

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0

The Salary Cap
by
Ted Frank

02-19

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The Daily Prospectus: Salary Cap
by
Joe Sheehan

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August 2, 2010 8:00 am

Contractual Matters: August and Everything After

12

Jeff Euston

The non-waiver trade deadline has passed, but the dealing is not necessarily done

As Jose Guillen approached the plate for his first at-bat Saturday night, the Kauffman Stadium crowd greeted him with the sort of enthusiasm usually reserved for an unwanted house guest who has announced he is staying for another week. The non-waiver trade deadline had passed just a few hours earlier, and Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore had not found a taker for his cleanup hitter. As Guillen popped out to right, Royals fans unleashed another round of boos.

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March 11, 2010 11:00 am

Contractual Matters: AL East

18

Jeff Euston

A look at the division that houses the game's biggest spenders.

Only the strong survive in the American League East. The division includes baseball’s two biggest revenue-generating machines and three other clubs whose revenues and payrolls reside tens of millions of dollars down the road. Continuing our 2010 payroll forecast (we’ve covered the NL Central, the AL Central, and the NL East), let’s examine the spending habits of the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Blue Jays, and Orioles.

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Welcome to the odd fistful of clubs that has payrolls which fit in anyone's budget.

From high rollers to low-stakes players, you can find examples of both in the National League East. Continuing our look at the 2010 payroll forecasts (we’ve covered the NL Central and the AL Central), let’s take a look at the Phillies, Braves, Marlins, Mets, and Nationals.

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Baseball's rumor mill got an early kick-start last week when the San Diego Padres reached an agreement to trade ace right-hander Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox.

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February 25, 2009 2:01 pm

The Ledger Domain: Salary Arbitration Beats Free Agency

4

Maury Brown

Big scores were struck for the players through the arbitration process this winter.

"Honestly? What's to like about it?"
-Anonymous MLB executive, on the subject of salary arbitration


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April 13, 2008 12:00 am

Prospectus Q&A: Roger Abrams

0

David Laurila

Talking arbitration with long-time baseball arbitrator, professor, and author, Roger Abrams.

The Richardson Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law, Roger Abrams has been a baseball salary arbitrator since 1986. A former scholar-in-residence at the Baseball Hall of Fame, Abrams is the author of four books, including Legal Bases: Baseball and the Law, and Money Pitch: Baseball Free Agency and Salary Arbitration. David talked to Abrams about the baseball arbitration process, including who is eligible, what can and cannot be argued at a hearing, and why arbitration works.

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November 22, 2005 12:00 am

The Dick Martin Award Finalists

0

Michael Groopman

This year's four candidates for the second Dick Martin Award for Best Medical Staff include the 2004 winner. See how they all stack up.

Conversely, teams that are able to keep their players healthy can reap the benefits of doing so. Landing few players on the disabled list allows a club to let their minor-league players develop longer instead of having to rush them to the majors to fill in for injured regulars. Minimizing DL costs is also an investment in the future, as preventing traumatic injuries and their lingering complications allows players to realize their ability and produce on the field.

Last year, BP's Will Carroll presented the inaugural Dick Martin Award for Best Medical Staff to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' team. This year, the candidates have been narrowed down to the top four, with the winner to be named and the award presented at the winter meetings in Dallas next month. The criteria for the award include the amount of days spent by players on the disabled list, the amount of money spent on players' contracts while on they're on the disabled list, dollar distance from the average DL salary and percent of team payroll spent on DL salary. These criteria were chosen to demonstrate how well teams were able to keep their players healthy not only in comparison with their peers but also within their means.

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January 31, 2005 12:00 am

The Arbitration Process

0

Thomas Gorman

Over the next three weeks, hearings will be held to determine salaries for dozens of ballplayers. These hearings are the culmination of a process that begins in December, but has its roots in the early 1970s.

Salary arbitration had humble beginnings. The owners were exhausted by holdouts who refused to show up for spring training. The players were sick of having that refusal to play as their sole leverage in contract negotiations. With Flood v. Baseball failing to force a change in the reserve clause, arbitration seemed a reasonable solution.

Ed Fitzgerald, the Milwaukee Brewers Chairman and head of the owners' Player Relations Committee (PRC) in the early 1970s, embraced the idea as a way to neutralize the MLBPA's push for free agency. The Association's arguments against the owners would be weakened if the Lords showed a willingness to submit to binding and independent salary arbitration. Other owners, in particular the A's Charlie Finley and the Cardinals' Dick Meyer (who had experience with binding arbitration when he was labor chief of Anheuser-Busch), were suspicious, claiming that arbitration would drive salaries up. Which it would, compared to the status quo.

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June 29, 2004 12:00 am

You Get What You Pay For

0

Ben Murphy and Jared Weiss

Inherent in the desire to develop better baseball statistics--and as a result, improve baseball analysis--is the belief that this information is not only available but also not being used by the men and women who run baseball. As Moneyball and the resulting reaction has showed, some General Managers seem to be using the same methods for performance evaluation that were used 20 or 40 years ago. It therefore stands to reason that GMs are paying players not for actual performance, but rather for perceived performance as viewed through the rusty and decrepit glasses of decades-old beliefs about the statistics of the game. For this study we wanted to find out if General Managers were, in fact, paying players along the lines of their objective "value" (as defined by VORP), or if there were something else in play.

Inherent in the desire to develop better baseball statistics--and as a result, improve baseball analysis--is the belief that this information is not only available but also not being used by the men and women who run baseball. As Moneyball and the resulting reaction has showed, some General Managers seem to be using the same methods for performance evaluation that were used 20 or 40 years ago.

It therefore stands to reason that GMs are paying players not for actual performance, but rather for perceived performance as viewed through the rusty glasses of decades-old beliefs about the statistics of the game. For this study we wanted to find out if General Managers were, in fact, paying players along the lines of their objective "value" (as defined by VORP), or if there was something else in play.

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November 21, 2003 12:00 am

The Danys Baez Situation

0

Doug Pappas

The Cleveland Indians think they have found a loophole in the CBA which will allow them to reserve Danys Baez while still cutting his salary by more than the maximum percentage allowed by the CBA. In November 1999, the Indians signed Baez, a Cuban defector, to a four-year, $14.5 million contract covering the 2000-03 seasons, with an option for 2004. International players like Baez are anomalies in MLB's salary structure, earning free agent money from their first day of major league service Through the 2003 season Baez has only two years and 102 days of major league service time, not even enough to qualify him for salary arbitration, yet he was paid $5,125,000 in 2003. On November 15, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the Indians were buying out Baez' 2004 option for $500,000. This left Baez in the same position as any other unsigned player with his seniority--except for his salary. Because the CBA forbids clubs from cutting the salary of a player under reserve by more than 20%, the Indians appeared to have the choice of offering Baez a 2004 contract for at least $4.1 million or non-tendering him.

In November 1999, the Indians signed Baez, a Cuban defector, to a four-year, $14.5 million contract covering the 2000-03 seasons, with an option for 2004. International players like Baez are anomalies in MLB's salary structure, earning free agent money from their first day of major league service Through the 2003 season Baez has only two years and 102 days of major league service time, not even enough to qualify him for salary arbitration, yet he was paid $5,125,000 in 2003.

On November 15, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the Indians were buying out Baez' 2004 option for $500,000. This left Baez in the same position as any other unsigned player with his seniority--except for his salary. Because the CBA forbids clubs from cutting the salary of a player under reserve by more than 20%, the Indians appeared to have the choice of offering Baez a 2004 contract for at least $4.1 million or non-tendering him.

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February 6, 2003 2:15 pm

Prospectus Feature: Playing the Armchair Arbitrator

0

Nate Silver

No, the most contentious sports battles of February are fought not in football rinks or hockey stadiums, but in hotel conference rooms in Tampa and Phoenix, where owners and agents will square off against one another all month long in a series of arbitration hearings that will be fully nasty enough to recall the high period of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling circuit, except without quite as much hair-pulling.

February is a rough time of year to be a sports fan. As I sat down in front of the television on an appropriately dreary Sunday afternoon, my viewing options included an exhibition hockey game played in Florida, a football game played in a hockey rink, and a seniors golf tournament. How many more days until pitchers and catchers report, again?

No, the most contentious sports battles of February are fought not in football rinks or hockey stadiums, but in hotel conference rooms in Tampa and Phoenix, where owners and agents will square off against one another all month long in a series of arbitration hearings that will be fully nasty enough to recall the high period of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling circuit, except without quite as much hair-pulling.

Unlike Debbie Debutante and Spanish Red, salary arbitration appears poised to make something of a comeback. Only five arbitration cases went to a hearing last winter, a figure that tied for the lowest total ever. Twenty-one pairs of players and owners are prepared to take their cases to the mat this time around, and although a number of those cases are likely to be settled beforehand, both sides seem less willing this winter to compromise on dollar figures for the sake of creating goodwill going forward.

Gary Huckabay covered all of the arbitration basics and then some in a recent 6-4-3, so I won't rehash those here, except to reiterate that the single most important criterion in resolving each case is a player's previous track record of playing time and performance. The true value of that track record can be meaningfully different from the most reasonable expectation for his performance in the upcoming season, not to mention the factors an arbitrator actually weighs.

What I'll do in the balance of this article is present data from our PECOTA forecasting system for some of the most prominent upcoming arbitration cases, in order to discuss which players have the best chance of turning in performances that are out of line with their previous histories. Just for kicks, I'll play Armchair Arbitrator too. Keep in mind that I'll be taking into account information that the real arbitrators will not be allowed to consider, and that an arbitrator will sooner make a decision based on batting average or won-lost record than more meaningful measures.

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March 5, 2002 11:35 am

Prospectus Feature: The Salary Cap: Another Viewpoint

0

Ted Frank

The type of salary cap that is likely to be proposed by management in upcoming labor negotiations is probably a bad idea. But two recent articles at the Baseball Prospectus Web site overstate the case against salary caps in general.

The type of salary cap that is likely to be proposed by management in upcoming labor negotiations is probably a bad idea. But two recent articles at the Baseball Prospectus Web site overstate the case against salary caps in general.

One can immediately dismiss some arguments as irrelevant. Derek Zumsteg complains that salary-cap rules can be complex and boring. Certainly this is true in the NFL, where each team hires a professional full-time "capologist" to review a team's salary-cap compliance. This came about because the 1980s San Francisco 49ers were innovative and discovered that one could use the rules to structure contracts in a manner that, in effect, transferred future cap space to the present. Other teams weren't as clever right away, and the 49ers were dominant for years because they could effectively outspend other teams.

Eventually other teams caught on, and then the Niners' borrowing all came due at once, forcing the team to rebuild overnight. Now every team adopts the 49ers' methodology, and aims for building projects that give a team a two- to four-year window at the championship before the salary-cap borrowing forces them to rebuild from scratch.

The NFL salary-cap rules are close to inscrutable. Sportswriters don't understand them: Jay Fiedler's recent contract was reported as being for $24.5 million over five years, when it was really a two-year, $6.525-million contract with a team option for the last three years that will almost certainly be renegotiated in 2004. The "five-year" duration was purely a fiction to defer salary cap expense. If the teams need experts, and the media doesn't get the distinctions, it's pretty likely that most fans don't understand the NFL salary cap, either.

But so what?

How many baseball fans not named Doug Pappas can explain the options rule, or the system for awarding supplemental draft picks, or the Rule 5 draft, or the methodology of determining which third-year players are arbitration-eligible? Heck, the Dodgers were famously unaware in 1998 of the five-year-service/multi-year-contract rule that permitted Jeff Shaw to demand a trade, and had to renegotiate his contract to keep him. The opaqueness of a league's roster rules is hardly determinative of its soundness or of the ability of the fans to enjoy the sport.

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