The Yankees have exchanged arbitration offers with their two eligible players, pitchers Shawn Chacon and Aaron Small. When last I poked my head out of my hole to see if winter had passed, I estimated their 2006 salaries at $4 million and $1 million respectively. Turns out I was closer than even I would have thought:
Chacon's request: $4.15 mil
Yankees' response: $3.1 mil
Small's request: $1.45 mil
Yankees' response: $1.025 mil
It seems to me that Small is the more likely to lose his case due to his irregular career path and the fact that the Yankees regularly bounced him into the bullpen, including for the ALDS in which his coin finally came up tails. Much to my surprise, the owners have won the majority of the cases that have made it to arbitration (as the arbiter can only chose one figure or the other, most cases are settled before reaching arbitration with the two parties agreeing on difference-splitting contracts). From 1974-2004, the owners had a .573 winning percentage in arbitration cases. At any rate, the total difference between the offers made by the Yankees and the requests made by Small and Chacon is $1.475 million, or less any member of the Yankees' 40-man roster who has reached his arbitration years will make in 2006 save for Mike Myers ($1.2 mil), Miguel Cairo ($1 mil) and Kelly Stinnett ($650K). Small will join that group regardless of how his case is decided in February.