If you think players make too much money via arbitration …


Yesterday and today the site has been overrun with posts about arbitration-eligible players and teams avoiding hearings with one-year contracts, which has led to an incredible number of comments basically complaining about the money players are paid.

That’s not an uncommon sentiment expressed in the comments section here year-round, but it’s particularly prevalent today as the usual complaining about overpaid athletes combines with some confusing aspects of the arbitration process.

I’m certainly not going to disagree with the notion that, say, Juan Carlos Oviedo getting $6 million seems like an awful lot for a non-elite reliever, but it’s also important to remember how the economics of baseball tend to work. There are some exceptions, of course, but in general team payrolls are directly related to team revenues, so if you think players are paid too much you’re basically saying that owners should pocket more.

And does anyone really want to make that argument?

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.