Hashing out the Armando Galarraga Arby Case

Originally published in The Tigers Den Blog | 20 January 2011

Arby’s. It’s not just a fast food place where they serve some seriously tasty roast beef. It’s a group of hearings held every January in Major League Baseball. Unlike Arbys the Fast Food Chain, Arbys the MLB Version is extremely nasty. You take the player (and his agent – unless you are Kevin Millar) who is eligible and then you take the team management and basically pit them against one another. One side says I’m worth this much, the other side says no you’re not! Sounds fun! Here’s a basic list of what the arbitration board would look at when considering salary courtesy of Beyond the Boxscore:

The Collective Bargaining Agreement states the necessary discussions must be had and considered by Galarraga and the Tigers. The CBA states that the following must be considered for the hearing.

1.The quality and importance of Galarraga’s contributions to the team and teammates over the course of the past season.

2.The past and recent performance of the Tigers during Galarraga’s starts while taking in to account all necessary stats involving Galarraga, and the aforementioned Tigers.

3. Similar and comparable players and contracts of certain players.

4. Galarraga’s likelihood of performing to his expected ability upon earning the contract and for the duration of the deal or close to it, taking into account previous injuries unless proof can be made for his recent and future health.

That is fun. You know what else is fun? Acting out the meeting between Dave Dombrowski, Armando Galarraga and whoever represents Octagon (Armando’s Agent Company) so Dave could avoid going to arbitration. He’s never had to deal with arbitration since he arrived on the Tigers doorstep in 2002 so you know he wants to get a deal done.

DD: You’re our last arbitration eligible player, Armando. You were great on June 2nd for us last year. We thank you for that.

Armando smiles sheepishly.

Octagon: That’s the perfect topic. How many people have thrown perfect games?

DD: Uh, 20.

Octagon: No, 21. Armando threw the 21st.

DD: No, sorry that was Joyced. It was a great performance, but he was on his way to the bank, then got ran over and didn’t actually make it inside.

Octagon: Well, it catapulted the Tigers into national prominence. Do you know how many more tickets you sold because of that perfect game?

DD: No, but do you know how many tickets we would have sold if we got into the playoffs? Armando won four games. Four!

Armando smiles sheepishly.

Octagon: You still lost out on the division by 13 games, don’t kill my client because your offense failed to hit in the second half.

DD: Ok, your right, but Armando still nibbled too much. We need a fifth starter who won’t nibble.

Armando smiles sheepishly.

Octagon: That’s pure speculation. Armando made an insanely positive impact on his teammates over the course of the year. You guys gave him a Corvette for cryin’ out loud.

Armando mumbles sheepishly: a red one.

DD: Okay, you may be right on that part. But I still—

Octagon interrupts by sending DD a text message with the suggested dollar amount for Armando’s 2011 salary.

DD: What? You’re positively insane. We’re not even sure we want Armando in the rotation.

Octagon: What? He threw a perfect game!!

DD: And he was 4-9 with a 4.49 ERA and a WAR of only 0.9. He struck out 4.6 per 9 and walked 3.2. This amount is baloney.

Octagon: Well, what do you suggest?

Dombrowski takes his blackberry, plays with it for a few minutes and then grunts. Armando smiles sheepishly.

DD: Not $6m. That’s for sure. Honestly, we’re not even looking at Armando in the rotation in 2011. He’s just too sheepish. We’re seriously considering sticking him in the bullpen until we need him as a backup.

Octagon: What are you talking about. There’s no one to replace him except rookies.

DD: Uhhhhh. How’s $2.3m and a chance to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation?

Armando smiles sheepishly as his Octagon agent whispers in his ear. “This is good for you. That’s a $2m raise.”

Armando: Okay, I will take that.

Armando and his agent get up, shake hands and walk out of the room. Dombrowski turns to his left where Jim Leyland is nodding off, his cap on his face. “Jim!”

Leyland jumps up. “I swear, I don’t smoke in the clubhouse!’ he mutters and then realizes where he is. “Sorry, Dave.”

“Did you just pay attention to what happened?”

“No, but I bet Guillen won’t be ready for Opening Day.”

“That’s a given.”
Over/Under on Galarraga becoming a Yankee in the next week? I give it a 7

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