Thursday, February 21, 2013

Baseball's Arbitration Shutout

Major League Baseball (MLB) continues to defy labor logic. After years of contentious relations between the players association and the league, MLB continues to serve an unlikely model in recent years. First, at a time of potential “Sports Armageddon” in 2010-2012 where four of the major domestic sports leagues faced potential work stoppages, MLB emerged as the only league to make it through without a lockout. Instead, MLB quietly reached a labor deal before the expiration of the prior agreement.

In another stunning announcement, baseball pitched an arbitration shutout this year when all 133 arbitration filings were settled without a single arbitration hearing. While the amount of arbitrations has been declining significantly in recent years, the lack of any hearings was another sign of strength in a once acrimonious relationship. The "shutout" is the first in the 39 year history of the arbitration system.

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