November 30, 2007
Salary arbitration is always a weird subject. It is one of those things that is rarely understood by the average baseball fan and one of those quirky things that always seems to be part of the collective bargaining agreement each time it is signed. The origin of salary arbitration started out simple enough. Owners were becoming frustrated when players would hold out at Spring Training because they felt they were being undervalued. The players on the other hand were frustrated that their only leverage for demanding fair compensation was their failure to show up for work. A compromise was therefore necessary that would allow players an opportunity to escalate their earnings especially following a break-out season. Owners would have the opportunity to counter with an offer that made fiscal sense while ensuring that the player would continue coming to work. From these beginnings stemmed other nuances that would have many implications in the game.