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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Martin, Ethier Poised for Salary Jumps
2008-10-17 08:23
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

In posting my 2009 payroll worksheet, I neglected to account for the fact that Russell Martin and Andre Ethier would probably be eligible for salary arbitration even though they have less than three years of service, per the MLB Players Association contract.

A player with three or more years of service, but less than six years, may file for salary arbitration. In addition, a player can be classified as a "Super Two" and be eligible for arbitration with less than three years of service. A player with at least two but less than three years of Major League service shall be eligible for salary arbitration if he has accumulated at least 86 days of service during the immediately preceding season and he ranks in the top 17 percent in total service in the class of Players who have at least two but less than three years of Major League service, however accumulated, but with at least 86 days of service accumulated during the immediately preceding season.

Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard took this path to earning a $10 million salary this year, something that Andrew Grant of True Blue L.A warned back in February would have implications for the Dodgers.

Because of (Howard), there's no reason for Russell Martin, or any of our young players who are nearing arbitration, to accept a long term deal at any type of discount. Martin can easily point to Howard's deal and ask for six million or so in arbitration. With four years of arbitration coming up, how much does Martin stand to make for 2009-2012?

And again in March:

Players just a year away from arbitration realize that they're about to get paid, and have no reason to provide the team any type of discount. The more these stories come out, the sooner the Dodgers are going to have to wrap up their arbitration eligible players so we don't end up bleeding money by 2011. The Dodgers don't just have to worry about Martin and Broxton now. They need to look into wrapping up guys like (Chad) Billingsley, (Matt) Kemp, and even (James) Loney who we're pretty sure will be part of the team for years to come before they come close to their arbitration paydays. Again, we can thank Tal Smith and the Phillies for this whole mess.

No Dodger third-year player will get Howard's $10 million, but if eligible, Martin, Ethier and Broxton will definitely get seven figures. Mark Teahen, who had a 98 OPS+ in 2007 as a first baseman/rightfielder, ended up settling before his winter 2008 hearing for $2,337,500. He had two years and 155 days of service. Martin is at 2:150, Ethier 2:153.

On the other hand, Casey Kotchman only got $1.45 million from the Angels despite a 119 OPS+ in 137 games. Mets outfielder Ryan Church ended up with a $2 million deal coming off a 114 OPS+ season.

Though Martin is in many ways the backbone of the Dodger youth movement, Los Angeles might derive a short-term benefit this offseason thanks to his decline from 2007 to 2008: his slugging percentage falling from .469 to .396 and his defense becoming less impressive. On the other hand, Ethier emerged as the team's best non-Manny hitter.

Don't hold me to these numbers, but it seems to me that both these players will earn at least $2 million next year, whether they go to arbitration or make a deal before their hearing.

As for Broxton, who passed the three-year mark this season, he can look at the 2008 contract of lesser talent Scott Proctor, worth $1,150,000, and realize that's the worst he can do.

Interestingly, Kim Ng is reportedly an expert at handling arbitration hearings, but she might not be around to do so this winter.

Comments
2008-10-17 08:55:16
1.   kinbote
Did somebody say contracts? PagiNg Kim. (Maybe such matters will be tabled until her situation is resolved.)
2008-10-17 08:56:32
2.   kinbote
Wow, I'm sorry, Jon. I didn't catch your last sentence. I ban myself for the remainder of the day.
2008-10-17 09:00:24
3.   D4P
Would the last sentence make more sense if it said "she might not be around"...?
2008-10-17 09:03:26
4.   Jon Weisman
3 - Yep - fixed.
2008-10-17 09:26:21
5.   JoeyP
When are arbitration hearings?
2008-10-17 09:29:04
6.   ToyCannon
Russel Martin may not like what he hears in an arbitration meeting with Kim Ng.
2008-10-17 09:33:36
7.   LogikReader
When I think of arbitration hearings, I always picture a big court room with a tall podium and a judge, complete with gavel.

Don't take the law into your own hands: Take 'em to court!

2008-10-17 09:37:43
8.   Terry A
Having just read the stuff about Pierre wanting a trade, it strikes me that what might make the most sense for the Dodgers is to move Kemp or Andruw to LF next year, keeping DY and Repko (?) as reserves.

I have a bad feeling about re-signing Manny. Best to let it end while both parties have (mostly) good memories.

2008-10-17 09:44:08
9.   scareduck
Did Russell Martin or Andre Ethier have mono that cost them all but a month or so of their pre-arb seasons? 'Cause I've gotta figure his health played into Casey Kotchman's salary.
2008-10-17 09:47:00
10.   Ken Noe
As Jon said last spring, there's a difference betwen wanting a trade and getting one. If Manny leaves, barring a sweet offer, won't Ned be inclined to hang on to JP? The trade demand is based on the assumption that he'll be benched if he comes back. I'm hard pressed to think of Jones as a serious threat to that.
2008-10-17 09:55:05
11.   RELX
I wonder if, down the road, Martin will regret not signing a long-term deal when the Dodgers were interested in doing so last offseason? I, like everyone else, hope that his slight decline this season was just a one year phenomena, and that he bounces back next season. However, if he doesn't return to his 2006 and 2007 levels, he may have cost himself a bit of money.
2008-10-17 10:01:58
12.   Terry A
10 - Colletti has one outfielder with one year remaining who (apparently) wants to stay, and he has one with three (?) years remaining who wants to go. I think keeping a healthy, productive Jones -- if such a Jones exists -- is clearly their preference.
2008-10-17 10:08:00
13.   Jon Weisman
12 - There's plenty of doubt about whether Jones wants to stay, for what it's worth.

NPUT

2008-10-17 10:08:15
14.   cargill06
Teammates say Jones wants no part of a return to Los Angeles, where he was a target of angry fans for his poor performance.

It's like Rick Vaughn being scared of going out to the bullpen.

2008-10-17 10:19:45
15.   Terry A
13 - Really? I've missed that, I guess. Is there a major issue other than stinky play and disgruntled fans?
2008-10-17 10:20:11
16.   22 Gallons
If Jones wants out of LA, is there some way that both parties can mutually terminate the existing contract without penalty?

Does the MLB players Assn have input into such a termination?

2008-10-17 10:25:15
17.   Terry A
14 - What's the source on that quote, Cargill? I can't find a story or post that contains it.
2008-10-17 10:29:04
18.   Branch Rickey
In the "Penny wise- pound foolish" department... The ability to keep a young player's salary low is a huge part of the value of having young players. But strange to think that if Martin, Broxton, Billingsley, Kemp and Loney all jumped up from about $500K to $2M the increase would not in total equal one Juan Pierre year. It would not equal half of one Jones year or one Schmidt year. Developing young players: Good. Signing high priced free agents: Be VERY careful.
2008-10-17 10:56:34
19.   herchyzer
I'm probly one of the least knowledgeable baseball or Dodger fans around here. I really don't know the players around the league at all, but, say we went strongly after Texiera, and Sabathia. Perhaps Ned/Frank can't/won't spend that much with the contracts of Jones and Schmidt still on the books, but suppose it were possible to backload Tex and Sabs contracts just enough to allow the Dodgers time to get out from under the dead-weight contracts. We would then have anchored the staff and the lineup for the next several years, a pretty attractive proposition, I think.

That done, could Loney be packaged for some middle infield help? Could we just keep Pierre in the outfield for the remainder of his contract, the addition of Tex making the lineup potent enough for that? I would guess the D's would need to resign Furcal to make all that work. Maybe that's a little bigger free-agent bite than they're willing/able to take.

I'm coming to the POV that Manny may be, as that Cowherd fella says, the type of, uh, opposite-sex member that's great to date but not to marry, at least now, for an NL team.

2008-10-17 11:56:08
20.   bagg4
Losing Kim Ng would be horrible. Ned made some luckily cheap deals this year, but he's no Einstein. Somebody has to know what's going on and, in my mind, it isn't Ned or Frank (Jury is out on Joe as well). There are a lot of Scott Boras clients to work with...not good.
2008-10-17 13:12:46
21.   PalmdaleSteve1
14
I read that too about Jones, what's up with that?

If Jabba the Hut Jones shows up at Spring training AGAIN, what are the Dodger's options according to the collective bargaining agreement?

Far as JP goes, Torrey said he made no noise about his reduced playing time and so now JP asks for his walking papers, good time to ask for those in my view.

2008-10-17 13:40:03
22.   wronghanded
It is reported that the Padres are looking for an everyday ready ML centerfielder and 2 young pitchers for Peavy. This might sound crazy but can we:

Give them JP (contract paid in full) along with McDonald and Elbert and actually pull it off? DePodesta said that the market would have to outweigh Peavy's value to the team, a $9 million CF/lead-off hitter and two promising young pitchers might get it done right? If Peavy is under control for the next 5 years is it worth it to deal Kemp with those 2 pitchers and make sure we resign Manny?

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