Dellin Betances’ arbitration hearing with the Yankees on Saturday apparently got heated. The set up man lost the hearing and will earn a reported $3mm instead of the $5mm he was looking for.
However, the troubling aspect is that the details of this arbitration case were laid out for all to hear. Yankees President Randy Levine accused Betances’ representatives of trying to change the market by asking for a salary normally reserved for closers. Levine jabbed at the group by saying that it would be like him claiming “I’m not the president of the Yankees, I’m an astronaut.”
Levine’s comments are severely close-minded and don’t represent his knowledge of baseball very well. The stupidity of saying one reliever deserves dramatically more than another because he’s good at accumulating an arbitrary stat like saves is how baseball front offices were thinking back in 2002. Managers and GMs alike realize that in 2017 the most pressure-filled inning is not always the 9th, and have adjusted accordingly.
But again, the worse part of this is that Levine went out of his way to discuss details of an arbitration hearing. Those hearings are supposed to be closed-door and whatever comes out of it is all the public should be aware of. If every time a team President got pissed during an arbitration hearing they spouted off to the media we would have a very different (though more entertaining) world.
Most of the time when participants are asked about the arbitration hearing you hear “we’ll respect the outcome” or “we’ll respect the process” no matter who the proceedings favor. If details are going to be constantly spewed by participants who are pissy in the moment, the assumed confidentiality goes out the window. That moment when details are revealed instantly gives the public the right to an opinion, something they’re not supposed to have in a closed-door session.
Not to mention this effectively destroys the Yankees’ relationship with their stud reliever.