B.J. Upton is the 2nd player to reach an arbitration hearing this February. Corey Hart was the first, and in his case, the panel of arbitrators handed Hart the victory, and $4.8 million (compared to the Brewers’ offer of $4.15 million). Upton’s has already had his hearing yesterday, and one of the 3 panelists (Elizabeth Neumeier) also sat in on Hart’s hearing.
Upton earned $435,000 in 2009. Before reaching arbitration, the Tampa Bay Rays offered $3 million. Upton countered with a $3.3 million proposal. The relatively small gap of $300,000 was enough of an incentive for the parties to pay their attorneys to prepare for and execute an arbitration hearing.
An announced decision is expected later today. Tampa Bay has never lost an arbitration hearing (4-0 record), but that really doesn’t mean anything. With Tim Lincecum coming to an agreement with the San Francisco Giants prior to his hearing, Upton is now the focus of the baseball world (at least for the next few hours).
Here is how the guys at FanGraphs project Upton in 2010.