One of the worst things for a player to have to deal with is the Arbitration hearing. You go in with a stack of your recent achievements, and management goes in with a stack (usually larger) of every mistake you’ve ever made, and the end result is usually a loss of salary. Here’s the thing: that’s the sort of behavior that players remember come contract time. They tend not to like to work with teams that constantly want to lower their pay.
But, from an owner’s perspective, why are you paying the guy if he’s constantly failing?
Anyhow, it’s an academic discussion to have, except for the fact that the Nats do it more than anyone else. (Hat tip to Mr. Irrelevant) By a lot. The Nats have taken seven players to Arbitration, only one of whom are with the team today. This isn’t how you win baseball games, but it sure is how you run a business. Here’s hoping the Nats can start to build a team that’s worth their salt. Right now, it’s a dicey proposition.