A Couple More Arbitrations

Tom DubberkeCorrespondent IFebruary 16, 2010

Cody Ross won his arbitration against the Marlins.  He’ll receive $4.45 million in 2010, instead of the $4.2 million the Fish offered.

This is yet another case that shouldn’t have gone to arbitration.  I’m glad that Ross won, because I’d bet dollars to donuts that the failure to reach agreement short of arbitration was the Marlins’ fault more than it was Ross’s or his agent’s.  The Marlins have long been the biggest skin-flints in MLB.

Brian Bruney and the Nationals had an arbitration hearing today.  Bruney wants $1.85 million while the Nationals want $1.25 million.  This is the first of the four arbitrations so far that makes sense to me.  While $600,000 is not as much money as Corey Hart and the Brewers were fighting over ($650,000), it’s a much bigger amount in terms of the size of the contract.

The decision on Bruney’s hearing comes down tomorrow, and I’ll be mildly surprised if he wins.  Elbow problems limited him to 39 innings pitched last year, he only pitched 34.1 innings pitched in 2008, and he’s never pitched more than 50 major league innings in any of the six seasons to date that he’s pitched in the majors.  It’s hard to see an arbitrator giving him a big raise for 39 innings pitched.

On the other hand, Bruney made $1.25 million last year, and he has been around for parts of six major league seasons, so it’s not totally out of the realm of possibility that he could win.  That being said, I think it’s more likely than not that he’ll lose.

Whether or not he wins, I still like Bruney’s prospects for the Nats in 2010.  He’s only 28 years old this coming season, and I love his career 8.9 Ks/9IP.  If he can find his command and stay healthy, he could be a closer-caliber reliever.  Of course, those are big ifs, and there are always loads of young or youngish pitchers with great stuff, who never find their command or never get healthy.  Only time will tell.