Rolando Arrojo (Getty Images)

It's Rolando Arrojo time once again: MLB arbitration season

Rob Bradford
January 12, 2015 - 7:56 am

In the unpredictably that have been Red Sox' offseasons over the years, one thing has remained deliciously constant since 2003 -- this time of year we're reminded of Rolando Arrojo. It was Arrojo, after all, who remains as the last Red Sox player to actually have his arbitration case go to arbitration, with the club being awarded its figure of $1.9 million instead of the $2.8 million asked of the then-32-year-old pitcher during a 2002 hearing. Since then, not one Red Sox player has had to step into a room with the fate of their contract being decided by arbitrators. There have been close calls. In 2007 Wily Mo Pena the was sitting outside of the room when a settlement was hatched. In '12, David Ortiz actually ventured to the Vinoy Hotel in St. Petersburg, Fla. for his hearing only to agree upon a deal for he midpoint of what he was asking and what the club was offering four hours prior to the hearing. (Click here for details of the Ortiz case.) This time around, the Red Sox only have four arbitration-elgible players -- Daniel Nava, Rick Porcello, Wade Miley and Junichi Tazawa. Tuesday marks the day players can start filing their salary requests, with the official day to begin the exchange of numbers between the clubs and the players taking place Friday. Arbitration hearings will be from Feb. 1-21. The Red Sox have simply made it a policy to avoid the potentially cantankerous nature of arbitration hearings with players since that Arrojo hearing. And they aren't alone. In the past two years, anyway, the number of actual hearings has plummeted, with three taking place last year and, in 2013 (for the first time since the process' inception in 1974) none being heard. Actually over the past 10 years players actually having to go through such a deal has become a rarity. Here are the totals ... 2005: 3 (clubs 2, players 1); '06: 6 (clubs 4, players 2); '07: 7 (clubs 4, players 3); '08: 8 (clubs 6, players 2); '09: 3 (clubs 1, players 2); '10: 8 (clubs 5, players 3); '11: 3 (clubs 1, players 2); '12: 7 (clubs 5, players 2). Conversely, in the 1980's and early '90's, everybody seemingly went to arbitration, with an average of 20 cases being heard over a 15-year span. For what it's worth, MLB Trade Rumors projects Tazawa (who is arbitration-eligible for a second time) to make $2 million when it's all said and done, with Nava coming in at $1.9 million. This will be Nava's first opportunity to enter the world of arbitraiton. The newly-acquired Miley is projected at $4.3 million, while Porcello is predicted to get a healthy $12.2 million The guess here is that we will still be talking about Arrojo this time next year.