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The Official Wandy vs. the Astros Arbitration Thread

Since we're going to have the last big decision of the offseason come down this morning, I wanted to open up a thread so we can all talk about it, update when we hear new information and generally discuss why the Astros have such a different view of Wandy's worth. As DQ mentioned just a bit ago, in reference to this story:

I don't know exactly who the arbiters are or how the process works, but if Tal Smith throwing out July's numbers succeeds, then I want to get in that line of work.

Tal Smith is one of the best at his job. But, interestingly enough, the arbiters who will be deciding the case have all been more pro-player than in past seasons. Look at the numbers in this article. The three arbiters in question, Richard Bloch, Elizabeth Neumeier and Fredric Horowitz have all had a history of siding with players. Each one, in fact, has served on an arbitration panel in the past two seasons which has come down on the side of the player. This isn't to suggest they will definitely side with Wandy this time, but if you look at the historical figures, ownership is way ahead of the players. In the past five seasons, there has only been one other time when the players won more cases than the owners, and that was in 2009. If Wandy wins, that'd be two straight seasons where the players triumphed, reversing a trend that's over 25 years old.

I'm not as interested in crunching his numbers right now as I am looking at the long-term impact. The last time the Astros took a starting pitcher to arbitration was Daryl Kile in 1997, right before he was a Cy Young candidate and promptly left for greener pastures. Is that where Houston is headed with Wandy?

UPDATE: Alyson Footer just tweeted the following:

The arbitor ruled in favor of the Astros. Wandy Rodriguez will earn $5 million in 2010.

I guess that settles that. My question still remains, how much damage does this do to Wandy's relationship with the team? Is this a guy they can count on now, can they still come to a long-term agreement with him? Should they even try?

The Astros payroll is now also set right about 95 million (thanks to Brocail's 250,000 buyout for 2010), which is a 12.25 million dollar decrease from 2009. That still puts them in top half of the league salary-wise.


All in all, Wandy may have asked for too much. The arbitrators probably aren't that knowledgeable about advanced metrics or anything even close, so his career W-L record, ERA, and injury history probably weighed into their decision a great deal. Ed Wade wins again.

This is Ed Wade’s second “win” as Astros’ GM in arbitration hearings. The question is, does this affect Wandy’s willingness one way or another to sign a multi year contract with the Astros in the future? Would the Astros even consider signing him to such a deal, considering his age and mixed history of success?


Should Wandy win his arbitration case?

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