Arbitration Process

There’s a lot of buzz about Ryan Howard’s contract situation.  Newspaper stories, talk radio topics and message board fodder.

As has been published, Ryan’s side has submitted a $10 million figure, the Phillies are at $7 million, which matches the largest contract ever for a player in his first year of arbitration. 

Howard is eligible for arbitration for the first time as a “super-two” player.  Generally, a player needs three years of service time in the majors to be eligible.  Ryan has two years and 145 days which makes him eligible under the “super two” rule in which he ranks in the top 17 percent of players with more than two but fewer than three years of service.  (182 days constitute a baseball season and determine service time). 

Service time is part of the baseball process that was negotiated by baseball and the players’ union a long time ago.  So, arbitration is part of this process.

Players with six years of major league service then are eligible for free agency.  Ryan will be eligible after the 2011 season.   That also means he will be eligible for arbitration in 2009, 2010 and 2011.   By being a “super-two” player, he has four years of arbitration as opposed to three, which is the norm.

As Pat Gillick indicated earlier this week, “We’ll continue to probe as we did a year ago to get a multi-year deal.  We’re open and will make every attempt to get something done prior to the hearing.  Ruben (Amaro Jr., assistant GM) is handling it and he’s had discussions with Ryan’s agent.”

Once figures are exchanged, the sides can continue to negotiate up until they walk in the door of an arbitration hearing which involves both sides and a three-person panel.  In addition, some multi-year deals have been completed following arbitration decisions.  Hearings this year will be scheduled in St. Petersburg, FL, between February 1 and 21 (Ryan’s been set for the 20th).

The arbitrators will listen to each side and make a decision.  There is no middle ground.

Perception has it that the hearings turn into a battle field.  As Gillick explained in the Daily News this week:  “The hearing is not anything like what it’s portrayed.  All it is is a difference of opinion on numbers.  That’s all.  The club thinks its number is appropriate, the player thinks his number is appropriate. That’s all there is.  I don’t see it as a problem.”

Bottom line: at some point the contract will be settled and the Phillies look forward to having Ryan in the middle of the lineup for 162 games and many more years.


some how i believe the phillies will screw this whole thing up. the phils should already have a ten year multi million dollar deal done,but as usual with this ownership they will look to find a cheap way out.prediction after 2011 ryan howard will either be david ortizs replacement in boston,or wearing blue pinstipes not red in new york.why?because winnig teams spend money,want to bes don’t

Let’s remember he only has played two full seasons in the big leagues. What will he demand after five seasons to sign if he gets the higher amount in arbitration? He also set a record in strike outs last year, but he still had a good season not trying to take anything away from him. Yet you have to figure in injuries noting Mo Vaughn, Albert Bell, and others who ended careers early in New York and Baltimore.So yea, it is a very hard decision to make on how much you can give a player with only two years of service.

Phillies Brass needs to get off their butts and stop counting their money! I like what said.. Because it’s the truth.. Winning teams do spend money period… And my opinion as fare as Mo Vaughn, Albert Bell.. These guys are even in the same class as Howard. Lets face it. Yes Howard strikes out alot but still in the Two years 145days he has been in the bigs! He still over the past two years has hit .300avg was the fast’est player ever to get to 100HR voted an allstar in his first full year.. Won 2005 ROY and 2006 MVP in concective years! My point is the kid puts up numbers and alot of people dont realize for a big man what a good defensive player he really is.. It’s real simple! Without Ryan Howard in the middle of the Phillis lineup. That lineup is nothing because it would change everything the way teams pitch the Phillies now! Howard has made everbody on that team around him better! Without Howard Utley dose’nt see the picthes he see’s now, Jimmy Rollins Dose’nt get the picthes he gets. And look how it impacted Burrell Last year When Charlie put him in the 3spot.. Burrell saw pitches as big as beach balls coming at him and what a second half he had.. Why? Because the way opposing pitchers Fear Howard! I have been a diehard Phillies Fan since 1963, and have seen alot of phillies since that time.. And there was Nobody who impacted a game nor their lineup like Howard does and a close second to Michael Jack Schmidt.. I can see Boston and the Yankee’s and even the Dodgers because Joe Torre Loves this kid Licking at the chops, to get a hold of this kid.. Gillick you better sign him way before arbitration and not ruin this kids confidence! Because he deserves it! A player like howard only comes around maybe every two decades! Show this kid that the Phillies want him around for a long time. Give him the long term deal he deserves.. So all the great Phillies Fans can see many more penates & world series champs for many years to come… GET IT DONE!

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