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 Astros rallied late to keep their winning streak alive, extending it to 11 games with a 7-4 victory over the Royals on Sunday afternoon. The club is now 48-25, leading the Mariners by a full game in the AL West.
The Royals took a 4-2 lead after three innings, but Brian McCann knocked in a run with a single in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to one run. Carlos Correa hit a game-tying solo home run in the eighth. The Astros kept their foot on the gas, scoring two more runs on RBI singles from Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez in the top of the eighth and another in the top of the ninth on Correa’s sacrifice fly.
Starter Lance McCullers allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over six innings. Tony Sipp worked a scoreless seventh. Ken Giles did the same in the eighth. Hector Rondon finished off the win in the ninth, working around a one-out walk with a game-ending double play.
After winning all 10 games on their road trip against the Rangers, Athletics, and Royals, the Astros will head home for a nine-game homestand against the Rays, Royals, and Blue Jays. Each club is below .500.