02/01/12 3:26 PM EST
Padres work to avoid arbitration with 11 players
Moseley signing caps off team effort during arduous process
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
Stein and several other front-office personnel -- including general manager Josh Byrnes -- completed a momentous task on Tuesday, when they agreed to terms with pitcher Dustin Moseley, the last of their 11 players who were eligible for salary arbitration.
That's right: 11 arbitration-eligible players.
"We had a lot," Stein said late Tuesday. "... It wasn't even close [to what the team had in previous seasons]. I think that we had at least two or three more than any other team."
The Padres, who have gone to the arbitration table twice since 1998 -- pitcher Joey Hamilton (1998) and infielder Todd Walker (2007), losing both cases to the player -- managed to wrap up Moseley's deal for $2.0125 million for 2012 in time to avoid an arbitration hearing.
"I think that's the goal of every organization," Stein said of avoiding arbitration. "There's always going to be instances when you negotiate and can't reach an agreement. That kind of mechanism [arbitration] is there to resolve those disputes and fundamental disagreements."
Reaching deals with all 11 players wasn't an easy process for the Padres for a variety of reasons.
"It's a long process," Stein said. "It's doing your research to determine where a player fits in the salary structure, the past comps and the current comparables. But really, the negotiations don't pick up in earnest until after the holidays.
"The month of January is a pretty intense period."
What also complicated matters some was that the Padres actually added to their list of players who were eligible for salary arbitration when they acquired pitcher Edinson Volquez from the Reds, outfielder Carlos Quentin from the White Sox and John Baker from the Marlins in November -- while not reducing their list, because none of the players they dealt were arbitration-eligible.
The Padres were able to sign nine of their 11 players on Jan. 17, leaving pitcher Clayton Richard and Moseley as the only players with whom they didn't complete deals. The team eventually signed Richard to a deal worth $2.705 million last week. He initially asked for $3.1 million, with the team offering $2.35 million.
As for Moseley, he had asked for $2.55 million. The club offered $1.5 million before the two sides on Tuesday settled on a figure of $2.0125 million for 2012.
The Padres previously agreed to deals with the following arbitration-eligible players: Richard ($2.705 million), pitcher Joe Thatcher ($700,000), Baker ($750,000), third baseman Chase Headley ($3.475 million), Quentin ($7.025 million), catcher Nick Hundley ($2 million), pitcher Luke Gregerson ($1.55 million), Volquez ($2.2375 million), outfielder Will Venable ($1.475 million) and pitcher Tim Stauffer ($3.2 million).
"We had a lot of people working on it, assistants, people who work for me, above me," Stein said. "[Byrnes] helped with a couple of them, too. [Vice president of strategy and business analysis] John Abbamondi came over from the business side. It was really a team effort."