In just about 16 days, pitchers and catchers will be reporting in the MLB. However, with all of the excitement of a new season coming to a head, many players are cashing in with their respective ball clubs. Sometimes, though, the clubs get away with a bargain.
In the MLB, if you are a scout and have a great eye for young talent then you are equivalent to a nugget of gold in the 1840s. The reason for this is that there are many young and excellent players in the majors who are, for the most part, getting paid the league minimum. Prince Fielder, a four-season veteran in the majors just signed a contract worth $18 million with the Milwaukee Brewers; he also avoided salary arbitration. The contract will give him the following:
- 2009 = $6.5 million
- 2010 = $10.5 million
- $1 million signing bonus
- $250,000 in performance bonuses each year with 500+ plate appearances
Another player I would like to bring into the picture is Philadelphia Phillies first-baseman Ryan Howard. Howard is a five-year major league veteran. Last year, Howard made $10 million after winning his arbitration hearing.
In 2006, Fielder and Howard made $329,500, $355,000, respectively. Their key statistics in that year are as follows:
Case in point, it is easy to notice each season that Howard and Fielder’s statistics are very similar. The first year Ryan Howard was eligible for salary arbitration, he was awarded $10 million. By not going to arbitration, clubs are able to sometimes get away with not paying the player a large sum of money. This is evident with Prince Fielder’s current contract. Just as a bit of brain food, Howard asked $18 million for his arbitration award; the result is not yet known.