Somehow This Doesn’t Seem Like a Win

The Angels “won” their arbitration case with Jered Weaver today. The Angels Ace and 2010 Strike Out Leader was seeking $8.8 million and the Angels offered $7.365 million. Call me crazy, but this doesn’t really seem like winning to me. The Angels want to keep Weaver in Anaheim – I know I want the Angels to keep Weaver in Anaheim! They began initial long term contract negotiations with him earlier this month. I didn’t really expect a long term contract to materialize this offseason. I know. I know. How could Weaver and the Angels ignore my “it’s almost my birthday” argument? Oh well, as compelling as that argument was, Weaver does have one more arbitration eligible year before he is eligible for free agency at the end of the 2012 season. I imagine making a deal now seemed too soon from Weaver’s perspective for him to be able to command the salary he is going to want from his next long term contract.

However, you would think, especially after there was so much conflict and ego bruising surrounding Weaver’s initial contract signing, that the Angels would want to throw him a bone now, if for no other reason than to earn goodwill this early on in the proceedings. Seriously, what’s $1.435 million to a Major League Baseball team? Especially this offseason and after the 2010 season Weaver had? Especially when the Angels got off comparatively easy with several of the other players’ contracts? I don’t think it was too much to ask at all.

I’m not really upset about this, more disappointed than anything. And, I’m not saying that “winning” this arbitration case chips anything in stone with Weaver other than the amount of this season’s contract. I just think there’s a time when taking a hard line is an advantage and a time when it might actually be detrimental and this has the potential to be the latter. I loved Lyle Spencer’s article on the arbitration case outcome. He doesn’t come out and say he thinks the Angels acted unwisely – it is a news piece after all. But the article states the outcome and then goes on to sing Weaver’s praises for the next 10 column inches or so. Well played.

Admittedly, I’ve only started paying attention to the details of contracts, arbitration and such in the last few years. I hated this side of the game as a kid when, typically, I didn’t want business and money to cloud my pure enjoyment of the game. I grudgingly accepted this side of the game as an adult when I started paying attention to baseball again and became really interested as the fervor of my fandom increased and I started working in finance, go figure. I guess what I’m saying is that I’m interested in the financial aspects of team decisions but would not yet claim to be knowledgeable. So if I’m looking at this the wrong way, please let me know. In this case I’d actually find it comforting :).



  1. Phillies Outside

    Arbitration to me always seems a little awkward, since no one knows the feelings of the independent panel or who they like or dislike. I have always been told that from both team and players perspective that arbitration is not something they should take personally, it’s a feeling out process over a couple of years to determine the numbers that should be discussed for the long term.
    I am not sure how a player cant take it personally though and I don’t understand them ignoring your birthday argument. 🙂


    Phillies Outside

  2. Jane Heller

    If I were a player I’d be sulking after an arbitration hearing, where the team states all the reasons why you’re not worth what you think you’re worth. But somehow everybody manages to forget it all and move past it once the season starts. It’s just business, unfortunately.

  3. blithescribe

    Peter – I get that it’s just business, though I agree it would be hard not to take it a little personally. I just question the wisdom of arguing all of the reasons you want to lowball a guy when you’re going to do your darndest to persuade him not to accept other offers and stay with your team in a short amount of time…and thank you for understanding the wisdom of the birthday argument. 🙂
    Jane – I sure think it would make me sulky.

  4. Catherine

    As you said, all that extra $1.435 million would do is add to the amount Weaver would be paid this year. It really doesn’t boost–or hurt–the Angels’ chances of signing Weaver when he is a free agent. However, if he puts up great numbers again this year and the Angels are still stingy in contract negotations…well, then, you might have a problem.

  5. blithescribe

    Catherine – True, next year’s contract negotiations will count for a lot more. With the whole Carl Crawford deal fresh in my mind though I hate the idea that the team spent time arguing why Weaver doesn’t deserve as much money as he wanted when we’re getting closer to the point where other teams are going to be wooing him with promises of offers to come.
    Lana – Thanks Lana! Pleased to “meet” you.

  6. raysrenegade

    Arbitration hearing are tricky.
    Teams want to come in showing the success their young players have accomplished, but that effects their bottom line with higher salaries and possible outragious amounts given.
    So the team has to go in with the negatives at the ready to comabt the higher dollar figure and chip away at it like an ice sculpture. Hopefully the player and their agent know the team is doing due dilligence and not trying toalienate them.
    The best hearing are ones where the team and the player can shake hands both in the media and in person after walking out of the arbitration room.
    Hopefully, Weaver knows the admiration the Angels have for his talents, and possibly there will be future discissions to keep him there long…after the 2011 season.

    Rays Renegade

  7. blithescribe

    Rays Renegade – The reporters didn’t say what everyone’s attitude was at the end but I hope Weaver and the Angels were able to shake hands in private after this!
    Jeff – Yeah, it doesn’t make a while lot of sense at all, but I’m sure it’s not any kind of omen, bad, good, nice and accurate or otherwise.
    Russel – I sure hope this is the case. A long term contract later this spring would be great.
    Ron – This is my feeling as well, and definitely for the two years or so beyond.
    Mike – This is also true. Heck, I’d love to get the difference between the sides’ salary requests. 🙂

  8. thomasox

    Nice to see you in the top 50! I feel better about losing my initial spot when good people like you are listed. Thank you for the link. I will return the favor.

  9. blithescribe

    Thank you Thomasox! That’s very sweet of you to say. I think the fact that you were in the top 50 for the shorter date range they initially posted means you’re really close and will be back up there soon, especially with more readers coming back to the blogs as Spring Training starts. You’re welcome! And thanks again. 🙂

  10. bklyntrolleyblogger

    Money…Blah! Free-Agency…Grrr! ARBITRATION…Hssss!
    Because I love Baseball so much, it forced me to compartmentalize everything about. Doesn’t say much, does it? What do I know? ….I just woke up. I’ll be OK
    (…and a belated welcome to the neighborhood).

  11. blithescribe

    Russel – You’re welcome! And thank you very much 🙂
    Mike (bklyntrolleyblogger) – Thank you for the welcome and for dropping by and commenting! Brooklyn Trolley Blogger is a great name by the way. Yeah, I would prefer to leave the financial aspects out of the game, but it gets harder and harder not to pay attention and it is interesting in the end, albeit very frustrating.
    – Kristen

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