After wrapping up some one-year contracts with arbitration eligible players yesterday, the San Francisco Giants began the arbitration process with their two remaining MLB arbitration candidates, Andres Torres and Javier Lopez. MLB- or baseball-style arbitration (often used to describe this style even outside of baseball) requires the two sides propose one year contracts. As would be expected, the player’s figure is higher than the team’s figure. The neutral arbitrator then hears both sides present evidence why their figure is the better figure. This is then concluded by the arbitrator picking one of the two figures as the winner. They do not split the difference or weight the figure based on the two submissions.
The Giants exchanged figures with outfielder Andres Torres and relief pitcher Javier Lopez. The Giants offered Torres $1.6 million while he asked for $2.6 million. The Giants offered Lopez $2 million while he asked for $2.875 million. Although they’ve now exchanged offers they can still come to terms before the hearings next month.
Since salary arbitration first developed in 1974 (PDF), there have been 495 arbitration cases that went to the hearing. In those 495 cases, the team has 57.6% of the time (285 victories). Last season the Giants had three significant players file for arbitration but they settled all three cases. Tim Lincecum settled his case with a two year contract, Brian went for a mid-way deal, and Jonathan Sanchez agreed on a one year contract before they needed to exchange figures.