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#pounditSaturday, January 22, 2022

Report: MLBPA furious with league’s handling of Joc Pederson arbitration

Joc Pederson chest

The entire process surrounding the Mookie Betts trade is beginning to frustrate the MLB Players’ Union, but one aspect in particular stands out above the others.

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson is an indirect part of the trade, as there is a deal lined up to send him to the Angels contingent on the Dodgers acquiring Betts. However, Pederson had an arbitration hearing with the Dodgers scheduled for Thursday.

Pederson’s agents and the MLBPA filed a motion to try to postpone the hearing, citing the fact that Pederson was in trade limbo, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Both the league and the arbitration panel rejected the request, forcing Pederson to make an arbitration case against a team that is trying to trade him. Top Dodgers officials didn’t even show up to the hearing, which is unusual. Pederson ultimately lost, and will be paid $7.75 million next year instead of the $9.5 million he sought.

Players or clubs have the right to postpone an arbitration hearing if they show “substantial cause,” according to the current CBA. It was deemed that did not happen here, despite the fact that Pederson had already received texts from members of Dodgers management wishing him well with his new team. That did not matter, as the trade has not been formally completed.

This was part of the reason why MLBPA director Tony Clark issued a scathing statement urging the completion of the Betts deal, citing “the perversion of the salary arbitration process” as one of the reasons. There is a growing sense of frustration regarding MLB’s treatment of players from the union side of things, and this is only going to fuel that frustration going forward.

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