Will There be Arbitration Case Fights for the D’backs?


It was announced that six members of the Arizona Diamondbacks filed for salary arbitration on Tuesday.  These six players along with the club have to exchange salary proposals for the 2013 season by Friday.  The list is comprised of starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, relievers Tony Sipp, Brad Ziegler, shortstop Cliff Pennington, third baseman Chris Johnson and outfielder Gerardo Parra.  Ziegler and the D’backs avoided a hearing last season by settling on a $1.795 million contract.  This is the first time the other five players have gone through the arbitration process which, if gone to an actual trial, can leave both sides with bitter feelings toward one another.

Ian Kennedy may be headed for a fight with the D’backs in arbitration. Image: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

According to Steve Gilbert at mlb.com, Arizona last went to an arbitration hearing in 2001 when they lost their case against catcher Damian Miller.  The only other time the team went to a hearing with a player was in 1998 when they beat another catcher, Jorge Fabregas.   The track record indicates all six players will get deals done before an arbitrator decides on each guy’s salary for the upcoming season.  However, I think this time might be different.  For one thing Kennedy’s agent is Scott Boras which means that you can expect a figure somewhere north of $8 million after the righty made $519,500 in 2012.   The D’backs may want to try and work out a longer deal, perhaps taking away the rest of Kennedy’s arbitration-eligible years.   You could be sure Boras would say no to that with the result being Kennedy and the team headed to arbitration. If it reaches that point, I can see the case taken all the way to the end with an arbiter deciding the pitcher’s contract for this year.

I also would not be surprised if Parra goes to the end of the arbitration process as well.  There has to be a little bitterness with him regarding the fact that it seems the Snakes really don’t trust him to be an every day outfielder.  While he doesn’t possess the pop that outfielders normally have, he is an excellent glove who at times provided a spark in the leadoff position.  My gut instinct is Parra and the club will reach a deal just before an arbiter decides his contract.  As for the remaining four players, I don’t think there will be an issues with them.  In fact, I expect them to all have deals before Spring Training begins.

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