100 baseball players entered the arbitration season, and the average salary obtained after the hearings (or after a deal was brokered before a hearing took place) is $2.5 million. While that number may not seem too shabby, the trend since 2004 is that arbitration verdicts (or prior settlements) are decreasing in monitary value yearly. In 2004, $3.26 million was the average and in 2005, the average was $2.8 million.
Average Salary after Arbitration
2006 – $2.5 million
2005 – $2.8 million
2004 – $3.26 million
Even though the numbers are decreasing, players who enter arbitration are still gaining a 108% average increase in salary after the verdict (or settlement). This is also a significant drop in percentage when compared to 2005 and 2004.
Percent Increase in Salary after Arbitration
2006 – 108%
2005 – 123%
2004 – 126%
In 2006, only 6 players actually followed through with the arbitration process instead of brokering a deal with the Major League team before the suit took place. Of those 6 players, only 2 of them (Kyle Lohse and Emil Brown) won the Final Offer Arbitration hearing.
Less and less players are going to arbitration, which may be a sign that as an Agent, you may want to do everything in your power to create the best deal for your client before the hearing, if at all possible.
As a USAToday article points out, owners have won 269 of the 469 arbitration cases since 1974.
[tags]arbitration, mlb, lohse, brown, salary[/tags]