MLBPA executive director Tony Clark called the arbitration belt, "shows a blatant lack of respect for our Players, the game, and the arbitration process itself."

By Michael Shapiro
March 29, 2019

An unnamed MLB veteran said he is "ready to strike tomorrow," due to baseball's ongoing labor battle, according to The Athletic's Marc Carig

A key wedge issue between the MLB and the Players Union has been the league's arbitration process. The league office has reportedly given one team a "championship belt" at the end of the arbitration cycle over the last few offseasons. The belt is given to whichever team most successfully "achieves the goals set by the industry," per Carig. 

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark released a statement regarding the championship belt on Friday, chastizing the league for its callous award.

"That clubs make sport of trying to suppress salaries in a process designed to produce fair settlements shows a blantant lack of respect for our Players, the game, and the arbitration process itself," Clark wrote. 

The battle over player salaries and team control blazed throughout much of free agency, as many unsigned players were forced to wait until February and March to receive new deals. All-Star pitchers Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel remain unsigned after opening day.

A number of marquee players underwent arbitration over the offseason. Nolan Arenado received $26 million before signing an eight-year, $255 million contract extension with the Rockies. Indians starter Trevor Bauer earned $13 million in arbitration. 

Baseball's collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2021 season. 

 

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