Arbitration time is here again, only this type of arbitration is a little different then the process the players go through as a free agent. The players in question now are the ones that have 3-6 years of service time. The first couple of seasons in the majors, organizations can simply renew the player's contract or give a small raise; only the player has no say in what he will make unless he would agree to a long-term deal to avoid this process. In the players first year of arbitration (Year 3), the player and team must come to an agreement on the money the player will make. Players such as the Indians OF Grady Sizemore & Brewers OF Ryan Braun avoided this situation by signing long-term contracts, thus, skipping past the remaining 3 years of arbitration. The Giants Tim Lincecum is going into his 3rd season for example and after making $650,000 last season is due for a huge raise. He may be asking for as much as $16M according to reports and the team will probably only offer $9M, so a compromise must be made here. One thing is guaranteed in this case though, history will be made.
What gets confusing is that the player and team must agree to terms or else risk going through an arbitrator in February to determine the salary. During this process, players usually hear the negative side of their stats, since the owners want to be on the winning side of the ruling. Basically, a major league player is property of the team for the first 6 years (become free agents after that). Their salaries are determined in the first 2 years by the team with the player having no options. Years 3-6, the player and team must come to an agreement each season unless a long-term contract is issued. It's definitely very confusing, but interesting at the same time, as it seems the arbitration-eligible players are doing better then the players on the open-market right now.
Blue Jays agree to terms with P Casey Janssen on a 1-year / $700,000 contract & P Jason Frasor, P Brian Tallet, P Jeremy Accardo on a 1-year deals
Blue Jays agree to terms with P Shawn Camp on a 1-year / $1.15M contract
Cardinals agree to terms with OF Ryan Ludwick on a 1-year / $5.45M contract
Twins agree to terms with SS J.J. Hardy on a 1-year / $5M deal
Rangers agree to terms with OF Josh Hamilton on a 1-year / $3.25M deal *(plus incentives)
Ben Sheets will toss for about 12 teams today with the Cubs still the favourites to land the right-hander.
In his career, Sheets is 86-83, 3.72 ERA with his best season coming in 2004 when he went 12-14, 2.70 ERA in 237.0 innings with 264 strikeouts
101 free agents still remain on the market with names like P Joel Pineiro, 2B Orlando Hudson, C Rod Barajas, C Bengie Molina (just rejected the Mets latest offer), 2B Ronnie Belliard, 1B Carlos Delgado, INF Felipe Lopez, INF Miguel Tejada, 3B Melvin Mora, OF Johnny Damon, OF Reed Johnson, OF Rick Ankiel, OF Jermaine Dye, P Erik Bedard, P Jon Garland, P Doug Davis, P Jarrod Washburn & P Kevin Gregg still out there. 4 weeks till spring training starts, start lowering the demands!
Reports later in the day had Carlos Delgado signing back with the Blue Jays, but the rumour was shot down, and he is still expected to sign with Mets.