Friday, October 20, 2006

Random Musings on Ryan Madson's '07 Salary

Predicting Ryan Madson's 2007 strategy was the toughest thing about creating this post from earlier this week. I've given the whole matter a lot of thought (probably way, way, way too much thought) over the past few days and I figured I'd might as well get my thoughts typed out and get an easy post out of it. So here goes...rambling thoughts about Ryan Madson's 2007 salary...

There is something I always forget when thinking about arbitration - just because a player is eligible for arbitration, does not mean that he'll actually go to arbitration. In fact, the vast majority of players and teams settle before meeting before the arbitration panel. From the MLBPA website:

Q: What is the record between players and owners in salary arbitration cases?
A: Since 1974, and including 2006, arbitrators have ruled on behalf of the players 199 times and clubs 269 times. Although the number of players filing for salary arbitration varies per year, the majority of cases are settled before the arbitration hearing date. For example, since 1990, 1,658 cases were filed and 191 were heard, which means approximately 88 percent of the players filing for arbitration reach new agreements before a hearing.

88 percent is a whopping number; I don't know why I so easily forget how rare it is for a player to actually go through the arbitration process. This applies to the discussion from yesterday about the projected salary figures of certain 2007 Phillies (Chase Utley, Brett Myers, Ryan Madson, and Geoff Geary). I'm reasonably happy with all of my estimates with the exception of Madson's; $1.4 million is a good chunk of change to hand out to a guy coming off such an iffy 2006 season. Now how did I come up with that $1.4 million figure in the first place? There was a method to my madness:
  1. The Scott Boras Factor: Madson's agent is none other than Mr. Boras himself, so it can be assumed that negotiations will be eventful, to say the least. The relationship between Boras and the Phillies has never been as bad as the general public likes to think, but that doesn't make it any easier for the Phils when dealing with the notoriously stubborn negotiator. Boras is as prepared as any agent in the game and he has plenty of ammunition to bring to the bargaining table...see point 2.
  2. Madson Can Play Ball a Little: 2006 was a fairly awful year for Madson, but his down season only constitutes one third of his big league career thus far. I think his very two impressive years out of the bullpen will carry more weight than his up and down third year spent both starting and relieving.
  3. Julian Tavarez Got Paid: This is where things get a bit tricky. It made sense to me to track down players with similar first three year stats to Madson and then compare their salaries in their first year of arbitration. Madson's first three seasons are extremely similar to Tavarez'; Tavarez made just a little over $1.1 million in his first year of arbitration back in 1998. Keeping in mind the way salaries have gone up since then, I'd say Madson's $1.4 million projection might not be that far off.
All that said, I have no idea if Madson will get $800,000, $1.4 million, or $2.0 million - all I've done is try to think it out logically and make a reasonable guess. If you've read this far, congratulations - I'm not sure how interesting any of this was, but the whole arbitration process and MLB salary structure (especially for years 4-6 of a player's career) really fascinate me. So much like the majority of what I post here, this was as much for me as it was for anybody out there reading. Is $1.4 million right? Well, I hope so just for the sake of establishing an accurate framework of the Phils budget in advance of knowing the real number. But it isn't all that important if I'm right or wrong - the process of coming up with the number is what it was all about...for me anyway.


Blogger GM-Carson said...

Hey, no hard feeling about our post the other day. We do want to thank you for experssing your opinion though. It's good that people tell us what they think even if they don't agree with us, that's the whole point to a blog.

7:54 AM  
Blogger XXX said...

I just commented over on your blog the other day, but it may have gotten buried...just in case, here's what I said:

It's all good fellas, I'll continue to stop by and read what you've guys have come up with just like I always have. I admit that I've got a lot of man-love for Abreu and because of that I felt the need to step in and make a pro-Bobby point if I could. I still think some of the facts about all four players have been badly misrepresented, but I suppose that's just the way history works out sometimes.

For the record, although I think Rolen, Drew, and Wagner all had some interesting (and sadly truthful) things to say about Phillies management when they left town, I still can not stand any of the 'em and root extra against them every chance I get. I voted Wagner on your poll though, he's the worse of the group in my eyes - the guy speaks his mind which is somewhat refreshing, but he has a different opinion every day of the week and will do anything he can to manipulate a situation so that he'll come out on top.

And lastly, it's cool you guys respond to comments and make an effort to get discussion going. I was serious in my original comment when I said keep up the good work (though I realize that it sounded rather dickish in the context of the rest of my comment). So...keep up the good work.

It's all good...though the mere suggestion I could switch allegiances and root for any other team but the Phils made me break out in hives. Perish the thought.

5:09 PM  
Blogger GM-Carson said...

We're solid bro! It's all good.

5:35 PM  

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