2010 MLB Arbitration Decisions Summary

By Ben Nicholson-Smith

Type A relievers Frank Francisco and Jason Frasor were the only ranked free agents to accept their teams' offers of arbitration yesterday. Here's what we learned from last night's decisions:

The Facts

  • 12 of 14 Type A free agents turned down arbitration (86%).
  • 21 of 21 Type B free agents turned down arbitration (100%).
  • In total, 33 of 35 ranked free agents turned down arbitration (94%).
  • If you haven't done so already, click here for an explanation of how free agent compensation works, click here to check out our arbitration offer tracker and click here to read what we learned about the offers themselves.

What This Says About The Market

  • It says teams are willing to spend and players know it. Players see lots of multiyear deals on the open market and are seeking long-term commitments instead of the security of a deal through the arbitration process.
  • Though the market's generally good, Type A relievers still have a hard time convincing teams to surrender draft picks for them. Type A setup men like Juan Cruz have had trouble landing contracts in recent years, so Frasor and Francisco chose the security of their teams' offers.
  • But one Type A setup man is taking his chances in free agency. Grant Balfour declined arbitration and told Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times that he's confident his Type A status won't prevent him from signing a multi-year deal.

What To Expect In 2010 And 2011

  • The supplementary first round will be longer than usual in 2011, a strong draft year.
  • Some teams could be drafting early and often next June. The Padres and White Sox could gain three picks, the Twins could add four and the Red Sox and Blue Jays could pick up five extra selections apiece. The real winners could be the Rays, who stand to pick up as many as ten extra draft choices next year.

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