Most teams do whatever they can to avoid arbitration hearings, because presenting a case for why a player doesn’t deserve the money he’s asking for can often lead to hurt feelings.
Presenting that case well enough for the three-person arbitration panel to rule in favor of the team can be particularly ugly and Sam Miller of the Orange Country Register found that it may hasten the two sides eventually parting ways.
Miller went back through all the arbitration cases from 2005 to 2010 and found that a total of 17 players lost their hearing. Of those 17 players, Wandy Rodriguez is the only one who later signed a long-term contract to remain with the team that defeated him. Miller, who was framing the issue around Jered Weaver losing his case to the Angels this week, writes that “every other player has either been traded, released, or left as a free agent without signing a long-term extension.”
The Miami Marlins have been stockpiling international bonus money of late and now that has paid off, as they just formally announced the signing of top international prospect Victor Victor Mesa.
They have also signed his brother, the less-regarded prospect Victor Mesa, Jr. It was, presumably, a package deal. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that Victor Victor, 22, will receive about $5.25 million while his 17-year-old brother gets a $1 million bonus.
Victor Victor was ranked as the No. 1 player in this year’s international signing class. He’s a plus outfield defender with a strong arm and he has serious wheels as well. He played for Matanzas in Cuba’s Serie Nacional when he was only 16 and was 3-for-7 with two doubles for Cuba during last year’s World Baseball Classic.
Victor Mesa Jr. is a switch-hitting outfielder with potential, but unlike his brother, he’s like to spend considerable time in the minors. Most scouts believe Victor Victor will debut with the Marlins as early as next season.
The Mesa brothers are the son of Victor Mesa, who played in Serie Nacional from the 1970’s into the 1990s and starred on the Cuban national team. He has also managed in Cuba, in Mexico and for Cuba’s 2017 World Baseball Classic team.