"File and Trial"

Definition

"File and Trial" is a club strategy pertaining to salary arbitration. Essentially, "file and trial" clubs approach the arbitration figure exchange date as a hard deadline; if the club and player are unable to avoid arbitration prior to exchanging salary figures, the club no longer negotiates on one-year deals with that player. Typically, "file and trial" clubs will still be open to discussing multi-year contracts in the weeks between exchanging figures and heading to an arbitration hearing, however.

Example

Following the 2014 season, the Pittsburgh Pirates had 12 players eligible for salary arbitration: Sean Rodriguez, Antonio Bastardo, Neil Walker, Francisco Cervelli, Mark Melancon, Chris Stewart, Travis Snider, Pedro Alvarez, Tony Watson, Josh Harrison, Jared Hughes and Vance Worley. Of that group, nine agreed to contracts prior to the exchanging of figures and thus avoided hearings. However, Alvarez, Walker and Worley were all unable to come to terms and ultimately went to a trial to determine their salaries. Walker lost his hearing, while Alvarez and Worley won their respective hearings.