What Is MLB Arbitration?


What Is Arbitration In Major League Baseball?

Baseball arbitration is a system whereby baseball players and teams can resolve contract disputes without going to court. The player or the team can request arbitration, and a hearing will be held before an arbitrator, who will then make a decision.

The arbitrator’s decision is binding, meaning the parties must abide by it. Arbitration in baseball is typically used to resolve salary disputes. It can also be used to settle other kinds of disputes, such as disagreements over playing time or medical treatment. While it can be a valuable tool for resolving contractual disputes, it is not without its critics.

Some argue that baseball arbitration gives too much power to team owners, while others believe it puts too much pressure on players to reach quick settlements. Nonetheless, it remains integral to the game’s labor relations landscape.

When Does An MLB Player Qualify For Arbitration?

MLB Arbitration is a relatively new process, but it has already proven to be an effective way of determining salaries for players who are not yet eligible for free agency. A player is only eligible if they have been in the league for at least three years and have not yet accrued enough service time to qualify for free agency.

To be eligible, the player must also have been tendered a contract by their team before the deadline. If a player meets all these criteria, they can file and have their case heard by an independent panel of judges. The panel will then decide on a fair salary for the player based on their performances over the past few seasons.

Why Many Players Dislike Arbitration

1. Arbitration can be very time-consuming. Players who go to arbitration must miss several days of spring training, which can set them back physically and mentally.

2. A team’s front office staff is often required to testify at the hearing, where the team states why that player isn’t worth the money they want. This can lead to bad blood between the two sides and make a future deal more difficult.

3. The outcome of an arbitration hearing is usually binding, meaning that the player has no recourse if he is unhappy with the decision.


To summarize, MLB Arbitration is a process in which players and teams exchange salary figures and argue their cases before an independent panel of baseball executives. If the panel decides in favor of the player, he is awarded the contract he was seeking; if they decide in favor of the team, he is given the team’s offer.