Arbitration hearings are an important part of the MLB calendar. The Miami Marlins had a couple that went well this off-season, but also ones that didn't. The most important thing is that THIS didn't happen this off-season. There's nothing worse than angering your best player in order to save what amounts to a minimum salary for a player. This is exactly what the Milwaukee Brewers did with their ace Corbin Burnes. Imagine if The Fish did something like this with Sandy Alcantara? There's a lesson here...
The Miami Marlins can learn a lot from the Milwaukee Brewers' mistakes.
Arbitration hearings are very problematic for teams. While they get to save money on player salaries if they win the hearings, they have to prove their case by criticizing the player...in front of him. This isn't the best strategy in building a good relationship between the player and the team. Milwaukee's Corbin Burnes wanted $10.75 million in 2023, but the team wanted to pay him $10.01 million. Here's what Corbin Burnes said when the Milwaukee Brewers made him go to an arbitration hearing over a $750,000 ( a minimum salary for a player) difference in their submitted salaries:
“There’s no denying that the relationship is definitely hurt. There’s really no way of getting around that. Obviously, we’re professionals and we’re going to go out there and do our job. Keep doing what I can every fifth day that I go out there. But some of the things that are said, for instance, basically putting me at the forefront of why we didn’t make the postseason last year — that’s something that probably doesn’t need to be said.”
“The Brewers never made a real attempt to try to come to a deal to avoid a hearing, at least from our perspective”…Even up until the days before, there were some phone calls back and forth, and basically it just came out that we were going to end up going to a hearing. That was kind of how it ended. I think we saw from the deadline day that we were going to end up at a hearing, just with the lack of attempts to get a deal done. It’s unfortunate that it ended up that way.”
I think that it's fair to say that the Milwaukee Brewers missed out on a chance to extend him to any team-friendly extension. The Miami Marlins need to make sure not to go to hearings with players unless the difference between filings is significant enough, and to put the relationship between the player and team as a priority.