The first arbitration case of the year has been decided. Reliever Shane Greene and the Braves couldn’t agree on a contract prior to last month’s deadline as Greene filed for a $6.75 million salary and the Braves countered slightly lower at $6.25 million. Per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the Braves have won their case, so they’ll pay Greene $6.25 million this season.
For those unfamiliar with the process, players eligible for arbitration — typically beginning after three years of major league service time — can request higher salaries. The team can counter with a lower figure, then the two sides have some time to work it out. In many cases, an agreement is reached before heading to an arbitration hearing, typically around the midpoint of the two sides’ figures. When the two sides don’t agree, they present their case in front of an arbitration panel. In this case, for example, the Braves had to present their case as to why Greene deserved $6.25 million rather than $6.75 million. Greene and his representation were tasked with convincing the panel that he did, in fact, deserve $6.75 million.
Greene, 31, split last season between the Tigers and Braves. He posted a 2.30 ERA with 64 strikeouts and 17 walks over 62 2/3 innings. However, he pitched much better for the Tigers, compiling a microscopic 1.18 ERA in 38 innings. After going to the Braves in a deal ahead of the July 31 trade deadline, Greene posted a 4.01 ERA in 24 2/3 innings.
Greene is in his final year of arbitration eligibility, meaning he can become a free agent after the 2020 season. He’ll be tasked with helping to bridge the gap to closer Mark Melancon this year.