Dayton Moore’s perfect record will be on the line over the next few weeks.
Since being hired as general manager in June 2006, Moore hasn’t lost a single salary arbitration case. He hasn’t won any, either. You guessed it: Not a single Royals player has had a case decided in arbitration under Moore.
On Friday, the Royals signed one of eight players who were arbitration eligible when catcher Brett Hayes agreed to a one-year contract. The other seven arbitration-eligible players are first baseman Eric Hosmer, infielder/outfielder Emilio Bonifacio, outfielder Justin Maxwell and pitchers Greg Holland, Luke Hochevar, Aaron Crow and Tim Collins.
Those seven can file for arbitration on Tuesday, and the Royals and any player would exchange salary proposals by Friday. Hearings are scheduled in February, but the player can sign before — or even during — the hearings.
Yet given Moore’s track record, don’t be surprised if all seven sign before there’s an arbitration hearing. He dismissed any significance with his arbitration history.
“If those particular players were with another club, there probably wouldn’t be a case there either,” Moore said. “I think a lot of it has a lot to do with the situation, the different circumstances surrounding the players. The union and the player have an objective in what they think the player is worth as does the club. The player would never sign unless he felt he was being treated fairly. There’s no pressure on the player’s side.
“If the player is the one who is not satisfied with the deal, he won’t sign. It just depends on who the player is, what the circumstance is ... just the spirit in which the two sides work together to reach a deal. Last year, I don’t believe there was an arbitration deal in Major League Baseball. Every year there might be a handful, but most of them get settled.”
Moore is right. No player’s contract was decided by arbitration in 2013. In fact, in Moore’s tenure, 15 of baseball’s 30 teams (including the entire AL Central) didn’t have a single case decided by an arbitrator, according to bizofbaseball.com.
However, in the six years before Moore took over, the Royals had five cases decided by an arbitrator. (The last Royals player to go to arbitration? Outfielder Emil Brown*). So it is noteworthy that Moore hasn’t had a case go to arbitration.
* Insert your own punchline here
Here is a list of the Royals arbitration cases through the years, which comes from bizofbaseball.com and the Kansas City Star archives.
|Year||Player||Player figure||Team figure||Winner|
|1982||Willie Mays Aikens||375K||275K||Player|