People get this stuff confused all the time, for honest enough reasons, so let us run down what arbitration means:
- The player either has three-to-six years of "service time" or is a "super-two" -- a fancy way of saying the top 16% of (at least) 2 (but not 3) year players.
- Both sides could not come to an agreement on terms, and instead the player files to have his case heard in front of an unbiased party.
- The team and player/agent submit dollar figures to an independent arbitrator and later present their cases.
- From there, the arbitrator will rule in favor of one side. There are no "ties" or "settlements". It's over: team wins or player wins.
- The player will then sign a "one-year" deal. That doesn't necessarily mean they'll be free agents in a year.
- Andrew Friedman and crew are 2-0 in arbitration cases, both victories over Josh Paul.
- Teams usually like to avoid hearings, given that this is how they go:
Agent: Player is a veteran, leader, Catholic, hard worker, community organizer, and had a season line of .310/.325/.350.
GM: I hate to kill the cat, but we were curious of Player's performances, so we ran numerous statistical queries on his season...
- The depths of statistical representation are OPS and player comparisons. A former AL team employee explained more advanced stats usage by saying it's like "Trying to explain The Wire to an eight-year old."