February 27, 2021

Rosenthal: Flawed arbitration system doesn’t always reflect actual player value (The Athletic)

Teams in the age of analytics continue to create new types of players: Relievers who are not traditional closers but work multiple innings and dominate in high leverage. Hitters who play multiple positions and/or excel with the platoon advantage.

The salary-arbitration process, however, is not always keeping pace with the game’s evolution. In some instances, the clubs win at both ends, benefiting from the ability of the player to adapt to more flexible roles, then paying him less than his actual value because the system continues to rely on old standards.

Brewers reliever Josh Hader stands as the most extreme example of the trend, losing his arbitration case last Saturday and receiving the $4.1 million the team offered rather than the $6.4 million he requested. Hader’s manager, Craig Counsell, responded by saying, “A system that doesn’t reward Josh Hader doesn’t make sense to me.” Hader’s agent, Jeff Berry of CAA, went even further.

Berry spoke…

Read “Rosenthal: Flawed arbitration system doesn’t always reflect actual player value” at The Athletic