Just moments before going into the hotel room at the Days Inn, the Cardinals and Ankiel agreed to a 1 year contract for $2.83M. Details of the deal weren't released, so we don't know if this is his entire base salary, or what the contract could be worth if he meets all his incentive clauses. My guess is this is the total value of the contract.
Ryan Ludwick is also scheduled to go to an arbitration hearing on 17 Feb. He's asked for $4.25M, and the Cardinals offered $2.8M.
Before the agreement was reached and reported, I made a comment here on what I thought would happen in this arbitration hearing. One of the other commenters pointed out the decision reached by the arbitrator would be one salary figure or the other. I looked it up, and guess what? That guy was right.
To summarize what's in that last link, at the arbitration hearing the arbitrator listens to arguments from both sides, which can present the following:
- The player's contribution to the club in terms of performance and leadership
- The club's record and its attendance
- Any and all of the players 'special accomplishments,' including All-Star game appearances, awards won, and post-season performance
- The salaries of comparable players in the player's service-time class and, for players with less than five years of service, the class one year ahead of him.
The parties may not refer to team finances, previous offers made during negotiations, comments from the press, or salaries in other sports or occupations.
(It would have been interesting to hear the comparable players arguments, since Ankiel was a pitcher until 2 years ago.)
I gotta ask. Since the result of the arbitration will be one of the two values submitted, why even hold a hearing? Why not certify someone as an impartial coin flipper and just flip a coin? Its the same 'go/no-go' criteria, and it doesn't waste the hour or the palatial hotel accomodations. Everyone could get in an extra round of golf. It's a win/win.
I would think an arbitrator would look at the offer sheets, listen to arguments, and arrive at a conclusion, which could be (a) the high number, (b) the low number, or (c) some number in between. I'm sure these guys go through an extensive training process to become an arbitrator, and probably sit in on a number of hearings as on-the-job training before being handed a case to try on their own.
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