by Moonlight Graham
It happens every spring. MLB clubs head into the new season filled with all of the promise and excitement that a new year brings. Injured players are healthy, dissapointing performance are forgotten and optimism rules the day. Unfortunately, many also begin the new campaign focused more on finances than the standings and thus, head into battle without a full arsenal of weaponry.
Without going into all of the legal issues surrounding the MLB arbitration process, suffice to say that the most important element is service time; specifically, days on a Major League roster. If a rookie that would normally be eligible for arbitration after two years is held back until the end of May, he cannot be credited with the service time required for a full season. Therefore, the big payday usually gained through arbitration is delayed by a full calendar year.