We are a little over 24 hours away from Red Sox first arbitration hearing under Theo Epstein
The closest the Sox have come to going head-to-head with a player and his agent in a hearing was back in 2007, when they settled with outfielder Wily Mo Pena just before entering the room where the proceedings were to take place. Other than that, there’s been nothing within shouting distance of a hearing.
By avoiding arbitration, Theo shows he really understands the market and can get players on his terms, he also avoids the bad blood that often results as part of the process.
WEEI’s Rob Bradford breaks down the possible arbitration process with Papelbon; a compelling scenario with long-term implications, especially with Bard on the team.
UPDATE: a reader has added this tidbit in the comments:
January 19th is the day to exchange salary arbitration numbers but players and teams can still make a last minute deal right up to the day of the hearing in February. The Rays have a team policy of not negotiating after they exchange numbers, but the Sox have kept the door open until the last minute.