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Bill Conlin doesn't understand arbitration

So I'm perusing this rant from Bill Conlin, about how stupid the Phillies are for not paying Ryan Howard whatever he wants...

And it includes this:

After Howard filed for arbitration last week and numbers were exchanged, the Phillies' offer to Ryan by crack negotiator Ruben Gillbuckle was the identical $7 million the Cardinals paid Pujols in 2004, the first year of his deal.

Howard agent Casey Close countered with a $10 million figure. Will the Phillies go to a hearing next month and say all the negative things about the chief stoker in their potent engine room that are said when this potentially divisive process is presented? Even though the $3 million difference is the biggest spread between all arbitration figures submitted, there are strong indications the Phillies would lose.

The Braves just avoided arbitration with Scott Boras client Mark Teixeira by signing their first baseman to a 1-year deal worth $12.5 million. The Detroit Tigers did likewise by settling with third baseman Miguel Cabrera for $11.3 million.

If the Phillies can argue that Teixiera's 63 homers and 215 RBI the past two seasons trump Howard's 105 homers and 285 RBI, then we need to send whoever prepares their case immediately to the Middle East as a dove of peace.

As Conlin should know, if he's going to write columns like this for a reputable newspaper, what Teixeira and Cabrera are making this year isn't all that relevant to Ryan Howard's arbitration case.

The current CBA states:

The arbitration panel shall, except for a Player with five or more years of Major League service, give particular attention, for comparative salary purposes, to
the contracts of Players with Major League service not exceeding one annual service group above the Player's annual service group. This shall not limit the ability of a Player or his representative, because of special accomplishment, to argue the equal relevance
of salaries of Players without regard to service, and the arbitration panel shall give whatever weight to such argument as is deemed appropriate.

Given that Cabrera and Teixeira both have over a year more service time than Howard, and given that arbitrators have historically put a lot more weight on what players with similar service time are making than what others are making, going in and arguing that Howard should be paid comparably to Teixeira or Cabrera appears to be a loser.