The arbitration season is a crazy time of year for baseball agents and The Sports Resource. So before it gets into full swing, here are strategies for making your briefs a winner.
Building a brief
starts with telling a compelling story in the player profile section. That
makes matching the player against key comparables easier and more convincing.
below work for both the player profile and comparables sections, and will make
powerful points that complement a brief's core elements.
History, All-time Greats, and Rarities. While their achievements may not find their
way onto SportsCenter, players record
historic achievements throughout the regular season. For example, Antonio
Bastardo’s 14.0 strikeouts per nine innings rate this season has been matched
by just two lefthanders in Major League
history: Billy Wagner and Aroldis Chapman. We’re not saying Bastardo is as
good as Wagner (obviously), but linking his name to an all-time great is huge.
And such feats carry value even when they don’t involve common statistics.
Marginal Value adds Major Value. Players on teams that narrowly reach
the postseason – such as the Orioles and Cardinals this year – help their teams generate $25-to-$50 million of
additional revenue. That’s according to research by Vince Gennaro, a consultant
for Major League teams and author of the book “Diamond Dollars”. Reaching the
playoffs also impacts club revenues for up to five seasons. Demonstrate how your player made that two or
three-game difference for his club (and his key comparables didn’t), and you
score a huge plus.
Ballpark Figures. Park factors can be a tremendous weapon
in arbitration. Hitters in Safeco Field, or any of the five California stadiums, are ideal for park adjustments. The same
goes for pitchers in Coors Field,
Field and Fenway Park. Our last newsletter addressed this topic for free agency. The concept works differently in arbitration – because
the criteria does not allow for projections – but it’s a great tactic for
evaluating past performance.
Advanced Metrics. Clubs have used win expectancies and
leverage index against relievers in recent hearings. So why not do the same?
Even if they don’t help your case, it pays to prepare information for rebuttal.
WAR is a powerful tool as well, but works better at some positions than others.
Although their explanations consume some presentation time, advanced metrics
complement core numbers extremely well.