Atlanta Braves arbitration win one of many forcing MLB to rethink arbitration

 Atlanta Braves starter Max Fried denies any ill will over the arbitration process.
Atlanta Braves starter Max Fried denies any ill will over the arbitration process. / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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Atlanta Braves
While MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark isn't in love with arbitration, he understands its benefits. / Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Why The Atlanta Braves Are File and Trial

The Braves are a file and trial organization because history taught them that lowballing a player is a losing proposition.

When arbitration began, teams always tried to hold the bidding down, but it backfired. For the first ten years the process existed, teams lost more often than they won. Instead of making their best offer, teams would file, then try to negotiate a settlement in the middle.

Agents recognized this and started requesting richer contracts than they expected, knowing the team would head the number they really wanted. Front offices today know the market and the player’s value. When a file and trial team makes its final offer, it is their best offer. If the player rejects the offer, the club goes to arbitration confident in its position.

That’s a Wrap

Arbitration isn’t the best way to settle contract disputes, but it is better than anything suggested so far. Arbitration contracts don’t happen in a vacuum; every contract this year affects future contracts. Everyone knows this and plans accordingly.

The union encourages players in a position to do so, push the envelope and raise salaries for everyone coming after them. Teams like the Atlanta Braves take the same approach; they look for an answer that is fair now and best for the organization long term.