MLB Storylines: Pestano loses arbitration case
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @ajnicholsIBI.
Here are the stories from Saturday, February 8th.
- Indians reliever Vinnie Pestano lost his arbitration case on Friday. Pestano had requested $1.45 million for the 2014 season, and the Indians countered with a $975K offer. The arbitrator ruled in the favor of the Indians, meaning Pestano will earn $975K in 2014. It was the first arbitration case for the Indians since 1991.
- The Dodgers signed lefty starter Paul Maholm to a one-year, $1.5 million deal. Maholm can earn an additional $5 million in incentives. Earlier in the day on Saturday, there were reports stating that Maholm may only receive a minor league deal with Los Angeles, but the veteran was able to net a low-base, incentive-laden Major League deal.
News and Notes
- Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reported that the Orioles are talking with lefty starters Joe Saunders and Chris Capuano. Earlier in the day, MASNSports.com's Roch Kubatko said that Baltimore's top priority remains a top-of-the-rotation starter.
- According to Dennis Lin of U-T San Diego, Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal is ahead of schedule in his rehab from ACL surgery and he hopes to be ready for the season opener. Starting off the season with San Diego would put Grandal back on the field less than seven months after his surgery, which usually requires about a year of rehab.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick said that the Reds and starter Homer Bailey remain extremely far apart in contract talks. Crasnick went on to say that barring large concessions from one or both sides, it appears likely that Bailey will hit the free agent market after the 2014 season.
- Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com reported that Johan Santana will throw for interested teams sometime in the near future.
The Dolans paid a huge price when the bought the team. I'm tired about people taking cheap shots at an organization that wants to stay within budget in a sport that does not have a salary cap. I never knew if you stay in budget you are considered cheap not smart.
I guess signing Swisher and Bourn were bargain basement /clearance sale last year. What is your the definition of cheap?
I'm tired of people calling the Dolans cheap. I believe Jacobs was cheap also. He did get the city of Cleveland to pass the sin tax in order to build a new facility in order to keep the franchise in Cleveland. Then sold the team to the Dolans knowing the 90"s gravy train was about to end.
I do see what is going on here though....
Pestano is greedy for wanting more money
Dolan is cheap for not signing guys
I bet Bob Feller was a jerk for charging money for and autograph too
Thanks- I thought Pestano had fallen off sooner in 2012- just had the years mixed up. I remember some had said that he was being overused by Acta, partly why he fell off, but he was much more hittable in the second half of 2012, and never really surfaced in 2013. Will he in 2014 One of the many interesting questions to Indians' Spring Training 2014.
Sean- as I said, Pestano has done it for longer than Lewis did, so it's not surprising to me that those numbers are that lopsided in Pestano's favor; Lewis fell off quickly in 2008.
My concern and point was that how Pestano has fallen off is much the same way Lewis did in 2008. The question is is whether Pestano can get back to the level he was at previously; if he shows more of the same diminished velocity and command that he did in '13, the comparisons to Lewis' fall will become more pronounced, as Lewis also showed diminished velocity and command in 2008. In 2097, Lewis was regularly showing low to mid-90s with his fastball and had a solid off speed pitch (change up? Slider? Not sure off the top of my head). When 2008 Spring Training came around, he was hitting mid- to upper-80s with his fastball. I believe I recall him (or the media) mentioning that he needed to throw more and loosen up his arm to build up the velocity; however, that never really happened.
If I'm correct, I think someone mentioned that last year when Pestano's velocity dropped so sharply that he was barely touching 90, saying that he needed to throw more, build back up the arm strength, and he'd regain the velocity, but as far as I know, that didn't happen- I think I heard he was reaching 92-93 on the gun at best last year, even in Columbus.
That's the similarity I was talking more about, as well as the dropoff in performance.
Appreciate the post, though that was a rhetorical question, and your point is exactly what I was attempting to get across to Mike on his point why he's surprised more MLers don't try it. You said it perfectly: It's risky, and something you don't want to do unless it's a last resort, especially for a player, and especially for a player who hasn't performed well in a year and who is not guaranteed a spot in that bullpen to start the season.
That's why it was a little surprising to me why he would do it; it's surprising to me in Tomlin's case because the amounts aren't far away, an amount you'd think the two sides would be able to bridge together without going to arbitration. I can see why Brantley would do it, and to a slightly lesser extent, Masterson (only because the dollar amount differential is larger and the fact that Masterson's track record has been anything but consistent).
I believe the reason Pestano,Tomlin ,Masterson (the union rep) and Brantley are going into the arbitration process is that the players union wants them to.
They don't want teams like the Indians,who haven't had an arbitration case since Greg Swindell,getting complacent about the process and low balling figures to get cheaper settlements.
Pluto wrote that the last two months of '12, he had a 4.39 era and gave up 4 hrs in 27 innings. So he really hasn't pitched well since July of '12!! Just something to keep in mind.
Look at Pestano, if he didn't go to arbitration, he would be making probably 1.2 million instead of 975K. These MLB teams are smart, they've been doing it for a while and they know the value of their players. Teams have won 286-214 through 2012.
I don't see why wanting more money would hurt your standing in the organization. If Pestano pitches well, he's a lock for one of the bullpen spots IMO.
And, you may have forgotten how good Lewis and Perez were in 2007; they were main reasons why the Indians won the Central that year. Pestano did for a bit longer, but Lewis was just as dominant- the triumvirate of Lewis, Perez, and Betancourt was arguably as good of a threesome in the backend of the Indians' bullpen since the days of Plunk, Assenmacher, and Mesa in 1995-1996.
Why don't more players and their agents do it? Because people are still people and the process is more like a nasty divorce than an amicable split.
It's designed so to make it as unattractive as possible to both parties.
It is never preferred and 500k for a reliever once as good as Pestano doesn't rise to the level expected, which is usually multiple millions.
It was a bad move. It amounts to suing your employer over a really small beef, which in turn makes other employers all the less likely to consider you when you leave.
Pestano was once an A-list setup man - and he needs to prove he can play at the same level. If he does hell get no small amount of offers to sign - and at market rate - but he will always have an astrick attached now....
buyer beware - sign at your own risk.
Also there was a lot to gain by going to arbitration.... about half a million.
Thanks for clarifying; I was thinking of 2012 as being 2011- apologies. I do remember the falloff late that season (thinking it was late August to early September, and some wondered if he had been overused in 2012), just the wrong year.
While that may have increased his odds a bit in my mind (20-30%), the fact he really didn't find it at all in 2013 still didn't give his arbitration case a great chance (still probably the worst of the four because of the disparity in the dollar amount and the poor 2013).
I don't recall if there was concern over Pestano's velocity late 2012 because of his being overused. It still reminds me of Lewis' falloff in velocity after 2007, and he never regained the velocity and command. That's why I still see him as a longshot for the bullpen unless he can show that 2011-most of 2012 form and domination, especially since there are more quality contenders for those bullpen spots than we had back in 2011-2012.
Again, thanks Matthew for pointing that out- apologies for the mix-up.
You keep referring to Pestano not being effective in 2012. I wonder if you have any reasoning for saying that. You're a very thoughtful poster and I know you wouldn't just say something like that if you couldn't back it up.
I ask because on the surface, the stats say Vinnie was very effective in 2012. His performance dipped in September, but all the way through August he was locking down the 8th as well as anyone in baseball. There was a stretch from late June through Mid-August where he went 21.0IP over 19 appearances without giving up a single run.
He reminds me a lot of Jensen Lewis, who was never the same after 2007; let's hope Pestano is different, but he has a lot to prove as he hasn't been effective really since 2011, maybe the first 1-2 months of 2012, two years ago. And, as Tony said, there are plenty of options, with more on the way- time is not on Pestano's side (and he's not that young either).
Going to arbitration isn't a personal thing. I'm surprised more guys don't give it a try.
If Pestano has a rebound year in 2014 next off season being arb 2 he will receive a lot bigger raise than this year.
If the Indians win all there arb cases, I wonder the savings they get is part of budget to go after Jimenez? I doubt it , but how knows.
As for starters, still think Jimenez is the best option in terms of potential and cost-benefit, based on what is going on with other starting pitcher FAs. Hope the Indians are considering bringing him back, as the rotation is still the area that concerns me the most as I think it still has the most question marks based on injuries, ineffectiveness, track records (both established and lack thereof), and youth. Jimenez could definitely bolster it, better than I think the other options out there, besides the fact there is no lost pick or draft pool money.