Yankees News: Betances Arbitration Hearing February 17

The Yankees and Dellin Betances will meet across the table at an arbitration hearing scheduled for February 17. There will be no winners when the panel announces its decision.

The Yankees need Dellin Betances as much as he needs them. They both have common goals in wanting to bring a winning season to the Bronx while earning some decent money for their efforts. There should be no problem, right?

Except that there is a problem, and it’s the same one that affects every other team in MLB at this time of the year. The problem lies within the system of arbitration. This is something that the players bargained for and won as a way to keep owners from low-balling players who are close to but have not yet reached free agent status.

And for the most part, the system can primarily be judged a success. In most cases, the two sides agree before the hearing on a pact somewhere in the middle of what the player wants and what the team is willing to give him. In fact, this is what happened with all of the other Yankees arbitration cases.

Occasionally, though, the two sides dig a hole, entrenching themselves in a locked and loaded battle designed to ensure that war is waging to the bitter end. D-Day for the Yankees and Dellin Betances arrives on February 17, just after the Yankees have opened camp and aspirations for the team are in the stratosphere.

The Yankees will look at Betances straight in the eyes, telling him all the reasons and ways that his season last year was horrible, and you’re lucky we even offered you what we did.

On that day, Betances will walk in, presumably with his agent and a lawyer, and sit down across the table from representatives of the team. Betances will pull out a magnificent and well-crafted portfolio that contains all the reasons why he is wonderful and deserving of the millions of dollars more than his team has offered.

Following that, it’s the Yankees turn, and they have a unrewarding, but necessary, job to do. Which is to look at Betances straight in the eyes, telling him all the reasons and ways that his season last year was horrible, and you’re lucky we even offered you what we did.

The three arbitrators (presumably) listen very close to the arguments presented, but more than likely have discussed the case amongst themselves before the hearing. A winner takes all decision is then announced (they cannot enforce a settlement at this point).

The Repercussions For Betances

And that’s it. Betances or the Yankees will be “happy campers” the next day, when Betances reports to Spring Training, joining his teammates in preparing for the upcoming season.

If Betances loses his case, the words uttered in the hearing will still have the same sting as they did yesterday when he heard them for the first time. And depending on where his head is at, he might carry those thoughts with him for the duration of the season, considering himself to be underpaid and under-appreciated.

But even if he wins the case, he still must face the potential wrath of certain teammates, who consider themselves to be just as worthy as he is, but for one reason or another are being paid far less.

Repercussions For The Yankees

From the Yankees perspective, it’s a matter of the luxury tax, which they are sure to exceed again this year. And down the road (if Betances wins), the salary he earning now will have a significant bearing on the salary he will be “due” when he finally reaches free agency.

In another light, Betances salary this year could have an effect on the Yankees being able to trade him, should they decide to do so.

The good news is that there is still time to settle before the hearing date. To that end, there are no reports that the two sides are meeting for that purpose. But even with that, a glass half full outlook might signal that negotiations are underway outside the public eye.

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From the outside looking in, though, this Yankees fan is hoping that February 17 passes as just another ho-hum day of Spring Training.

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