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Arbitration Helps Houston Astro’s and Player Reach Contract Deal

Sunday, February, 21, 2016

The Houston Astros MLB team and catcher Jason Castro have completed mediation and await the ruling from the arbitration panel concerning Castro’s contract. The arbitration was to negotiate Castro’s 2016 salary.


This was Castro’s third and final time he was eligible to arbitrate his contract before reaching free agent status next winter. He requested $5.25 million in salary this year and the Astros’ counter offered with $5 million. However, the Astros treated Castro and a few other players as “file to go” players, which is a negotiating tactic of many teams use on a regular or selective basis. Mid-January was the deadline for teams and players to exchanged proposed salary figures for the upcoming season if they had not already settled independently. With Castro, the Astros determined if there was no decision by the deadline, they would participate in an arbitration hearing.

The panel included three arbitrators.


Typically, teams and players want to avoid arbitration because it puts a player in a room with team personnel to discuss the player’s worth. This can cost a great deal of money and resources, and damage a player’s performance in the future. Most players are eligible for arbitration three times during their careers (after years three, four, and five of their careers). Free agency is permitted in year six. Arbitrators consider years of service and recent performance of the player.


Teams and players and their agents will be looking at the result from Castro’s hearing to determine how they wish to proceed in their upcoming contract negotiations.