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That's Brad Fullmer and Robert Fick elbowing Dave Justice out of the way up front. Fullmer accepted $1 M for one year, from a team that would have been forced to offer him at least 3.5 times that amount -- and might have had to pay him over $4 MM -- in the arbitration process. He "stays" with his world champion teammates (and took a home-town discount; he might have held out for $200,000 more from someone) while Fick, a very similar player, having accepted his value in the new economy, jumped at the chance to hit for a winner. He told the L.A. Times the Braves made the same offer to all three lefty DHs and waited for one to accept.

I've been rebuked here before for saying the "C" word, and because only about 26 teams are participating, and that-which-must-not-be-named must be unanimous, I guess it isn't happening. I'm not complaining, either. 1) I've railed for years at arbitration being the single most inflationary factor in the game and B) it's about time owners came to their senses.

My previous little joke about rolling back ticket and beer prices bombed, but even if you think Disney should put the entire $2.75 million in Fullmer savings into its pocket, are MLB fans ready to insist on a freeze?
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Pistol - Tuesday, January 07 2003 @ 11:29 AM EST (#99909) #
I find it interesting that teams are refusing to go to arbitration because theyíll end up paying well in excess of market value. Isnít the goal of arbitration to determine market value?

Itíll be interesting to see at when the arbitration market corrects itself to come in line with the current market value.
_R Billie - Tuesday, January 07 2003 @ 12:17 PM EST (#99910) #
I don't know about insisting on a freeze. Prices should always be set according to supply and demand...and every club is going to be in a different situation in that respect. I don't think the Angels can reasonably be expected to freeze prices and not improve their profits if they feel they can...it is a business in the end afterall.

What we shouldn't stand for is teams crying poor that have gotten there through bad management and/or refusal to invest in their onfield product or minor league systems.

The problem with the arbitration system has always been that every team is held up to the standard of the most irresponsible and/or rich clubs. The Jays didn't think Cruz was worth a raise after having his worst season in years, but the system would have given him one anyway. Because there are guys like Jeffrey Hammond who stink and make $7 million.
Coach - Tuesday, January 07 2003 @ 12:28 PM EST (#99911) #
I didn't think it would take long for Mr. Cruz to be mentioned; he's among some pretty talented players who will be taking less money than he dreamed possible a few months ago, with less security, and he should consider himself lucky if it's with a contender. The Jays know the environment and the rules; they were way ahead of the wave. They flipped one guy for several valuable spare parts, and could reacquire him if they wanted to, at about half-price, compared to the minimum he would have cost.

I agree that it's the teams that pocket the entire savings whose owners deserve their fans' scorn. As long as the Jays keep doing everything in their power to win, they'll have my enthusiastic support, while the Yankees and Phillies can justify their spending and charge whatever their fans will pay.
_Kent - Wednesday, January 08 2003 @ 11:56 AM EST (#99912) #
MLB's Bob Dupuy says "The market is behaving as it always does." Yes, and it's been punished for behaving this way on three previous occasions.

Pudge Rodriguez remains unemployed, and reports that he has been in negotiations with the Canadian Baseball League to become a player-manager in Kelowna are unconfirmed.
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