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2010 MLB Salary Arbitration Players See Pay Increase of 107 Percent.

Byline: Maury Brown

The 128 players that filed for salary arbitration in Major League Baseball saw their salaries increase 107 percent from their 2009 salaries to what they will earn in the upcoming 2010 season, based on research by The Biz of Baseball. The largest salary increase from 2009 to 2010 goes to back-to-back NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum who landed a two-year, $23 million deal on the day he was scheduled to have his salary arbitration hearing. His $8 million salary for 2010 is a 1131 percent increase from the $650,000 he earned last season before entering salary arbitration for the first time.

Overall, more money was doled out in salary arbitration this year, as compared to last. The average salary for arbitration eligible players in 2010 was $2,726,270, an increase of 2 percent from the average of $2,746,582 for the 111 players in last year's salary arbitration class.

There were 19 multi-year contracts reached with salary arbitration eligible player compare to 17 last year. The class saw two major deals for starting pitchers, both five-years in contract length. The class was led by Justin Verlander of the Tigers ($80 million), and Felix Hernandez of the Mariners ($78 million).

In terms of total dollars, $580,816,250 was spent on single and multi-year contracts for the 111 in last year's class compared to $648,762,502 on the 111 players this year, an increase of 3.24 percent.

There were eight salary arbitration hearings in 2010, matching 2008 for the second most cases heard since 2001 when there were fourteen. This year clubs won 5 cases (Theriot, Wandy Rodriguez, B.J. Upton, Brian Bruney, and Sean Burnett) with players taking three (Cody Ross, Jeff Mathis, and Corey Hart). Dating back to 1974, the clubs have now beat the players 285 to 210 in salary arbitration hearings, a 57.6 winning percentage. The Washington Nationals were the only club to have two hearings this year (Brian Bruney and Sean Burnett). According to the Washington Post (, since 2005, when the Nationals moved to DC, MLB has seen 35 arbitration cases. The Nats have been involved in seven of them. The Lerners officially took ownership of the DC club in the middle of the '06 season, so perhaps this is more applicable: Since 2007, the Nationals have been involved in six of 26 cases -- 23 percent.

Below is a breakdown of the 128 players that filed for salary arbitration in 2010

1-Yr Deals


2-Yr Deals


3-Yr Deals


4-Yr Deals


5-Yr Deals


Multi-Yrs (TOTAL)






Avg. By Deals ('10)


Avg (2010 only)


2009 Salary Arb $


2009 TOTAL Salary Arb $


Avg (2009 only)


Avg. By Deals ('09)


plus/- for filers 09-10


plus/- for filers 09-10 (TOTAL $)


Salary Increase from 09-10


Source: The Biz of Baseball research

The Biz of Baseball will be doing a super detailed report going into even higher levels of detail, a break down by club, position, player, service class and more in the coming week. We will also be adding player stats for the first time, an upgrade from the report we ran in 2009 (see Detailed Report: 2009 MLB Salary Arbitration by Club, Position, and More (

Finally, look for the "Winners and Losers in MLB Salary Arbitration" tomorrow on Yahoo! Sports.


Inside a Tim Lincecum arbitration hearing (;_ylt=ArVWmtCKQgTYLJxz7uw85UARvLYF?slug=ys-maurybrownlincecumarb021010&prov=yhoo&type=lgns) - 2/10/10

Salary arbitration: Battle of the midpoint (;_ylt=AqF3fSxVuGp1cB9h5WbNqv0RvLYF?slug=ys-arbitrationmidpoint012510&prov=yhoo&type=lgns) -- 1/26/10

Evolution of salary arbitration: an ironic tale (;_ylt=AhMPL55GZ4kfdZaA8dLDi5ERvLYF?slug=ys-maurybrownarbitration011910&prov=yhoo&type=lgns) -- 1/19/10


MLB Salary Database (**http%3A/

Salary Arbitration Filings (**http%3A/

Salary Arbitration Figures (**http%3A/

Arbitration Scorecard (**http%3A/

MLB Salary Arbitration Hearing Outcome by Club (1974-Present) (

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network (, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. ( He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (

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Author:Brown, Maury
Publication:The Biz of Baseball
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 21, 2010
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