Two major leaguers had their arbitration cases today, with John Patterson going up against the Nationals and Kevin Gregg against the Marlins.
These two are among the most notable cases this offseason...Patterson is asking for $1.85 million, while the Nationals are offering him just $850,000, which, I believe, makes this case the biggest gap (percentage-wise) of any arbitration figures submitted.
And Patterson seems to be on solid ground here...he only pitched 8 games last season, but was terrific in 2005 for the Nationals, and with a career 4.09 ERA in 81 games (71 starts), I have a hard time seeing the arbitration panel going with the lower number. I think Washington really miscalculated here.
What's really fascinating about this is that, if Patterson wins, his $1.85 million 2007 salary -- which will be about 4 times the $450K he made in 2006 -- is still more than $4 million less than the $6.085 million signing bonus he got from the Arizona D-Backs. Patterson was declared a free agent after the Montreal Expos, who drafted him 5th overall, didn't offer him a contract quickly enough, a loophole that Travis Lee and Matt White also exploited that year.
Gregg and the Marlins, meanwhile, have what appears to be the smallest gap between the sides, with Gregg asking for $700,000, and the Marlins offering $575,000. I'm amazed that this case couldn't get settled.