Arbitration is Done, Man
Over the years, the faces of the managers–both general, field, and otherwise–for the Cincinnati Reds have changed. But one thing has remained the same: their absolute disgust with the arbitration hearing process.
To that end, the Reds make it a priority to deal with any arbitration-eligible players before a hearing is ever needed. 2010 is no different.
The Reds had two players eligible for the ol’ Arby’s this year: Nick Masset and Jared Burton. Masset’s name sounds familiar, but I don’t actually remember much about him last year. He was a reliever who apparently pitched quite a lot, appearing in 74 games. I guess I know which games I was watching. Anyway, the Reds signed the 27-year-old to a 2-year deal worth about $1 million this year and about $1.5 million next.
As for Jared Burton, him I do remember. And I’ve always been impressed by his relief skills ever since the Reds selected him from Oakland in the 2006 Rule 5 draft. He’s had problems staying healthy, but is usually very effective when he’s not on the DL. To him, the Reds gave a 1-year deal worth $810,000. Hopefully, he’ll stay injury-free in 2010.
Arbitration is one area the Reds excel at. They haven’t gone to a hearing with a player since Chris Reitsma in 2004, whom they beat. They haven’t lost a hearing since 2001 with Sean Casey. That one, they should have seen coming. Who can arbitrate against the Mayor?
Masset is a product of the Rangers’ farm system who came over to the Reds, along with since-departed Danny Richar, in the trade that sent Ken Griffey Jr. to the White Sox.
As for the time when Casey beat the Reds in arbitration, the deck may have been stacked in The Mayor’s favor. His was the first baseball arbitration case ever to be decided by a three-person panel that included two women!
If you don’t know nick masset then you weren’t watching much of anything last year. He was our primary setup guy, pitching in a lot of close games in the 8th when we had a lead. His era last year was something like 2.3 or 2.4, which is fantastic. Resigning him was crucial to having a strong bullpen in ’10. Burton is good but like you said has been injured, and has struggled as a result. Hopefully he can stay healthy and be a big help to the bullpen this year.
I wouldn’t expect Masset to duplicate his numbers from 2009. Relievers that consistently repeat their good performances are a rare breed.
It is nice, though, that the pitching staff isn’t a huge worry. The Reds have done a great job of getting good, young pitchers so that I don’t think about the rotation or bullpen nearly as much as a few years ago.