Braves win their arbitration case against Austin Riley

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Much was made about the Braves not coming to agreements with many of their arbitration eligible players this offseason. Ken Rosenthal even hinted that it could cause a rift in the clubhouse, especially after not ponying up the cash to retain Freddie Freeman. For several reasons, I thought that was a ridiculous take — primarily because the Braves have always been a file and trial team. They file what they believe the player is worth, and if the player files for more, they go to trial to decide.

So while it may seem like the Braves are pinching pennies over a few hundred thousand dollars, it’s nothing more than a tactic they use for every single player that comes through the organization. There’s nothing wrong with both sides going to trial, which will ultimately determine a fair price. In Austin Riley‘s case, who is in his first of four arbitration years, that number was $3.95 million. The Braves won the case against their star third baseman, who asked for $4.2 million.

Again, the process sounds a lot worse than it is. It doesn’t seem like positive business practice to go to court with one of your MVP-caliber players over 250k, but that’s not how it works. Negotiations were likely much further apart before the two sides decided to file at a number and go to trial.

Ultimately, this is nothing more than due process. According to Spotrac, Riley’s projected arbitration number was $4 million, which is pretty much exactly what he got.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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