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A necessary evil in the baseball offseason would be the arbitration process. Players within three years of free agency hit arbitration and if the two sides cannot come to an agreement on salary, a three-person panel of arbitrators picks one of the two figures, either the player's or the team's.

This time around, only 19 players went to a hearing of roughly 200 who were eligible. The teams won 13 times with the players taking six. 

One of the most contentious things that can happen between a team and player is an arbitration hearing. It's one of the reasons such a low percentage of players in their arbitration years actually get to a hearing. Both sides would rather avoid it, generally, so they'll reach an agreement before the actual hearing. Those who can't compromise go to a hearing and argue their cases. That means a player is arguing why he deserves a certain salary while the team is trying to argue -- with the player in the room -- why the player isn't as good as he says he is, basically. 

The players who won their cases for a higher salary than was offered by their respective teams: 

The players who lost their cases: 

One of the cases that drew a lot of public attention was that of Brewers ace Corbin Burnes. The 2021 Cy Young winner, Burnes had another excellent season in 2022, making the All-Star team again and finishing seventh in NL Cy Young voting. The Brewers went to a hearing over $740,000 with the ace and he came away with these comments

"You kind of find out your true value. You work hard for seven years in the organization and five years with the big league team, and you get in there and basically they value you much different than you thought you contributed to the organization. Honestly, it's tough to hear, tough to take, but they're trying to do what they can to win the hearing. But obviously I think there are other ways they could have gone about it. Be a little more respectful with the way they went about it. 

"... There's no denying that the relationship is definitely hurt from what transpired over the last couple of weeks. There's really no way getting around that. Obviously we're professionals and we're going to go out there and do our job, and keep doing what I can every fifth day when I go out there. But with some of the things that are said -- basically put me at the forefront of why we didn't make the postseason last year -- that's something that probably doesn't need to be said. Go about a hearing without needing to do that. There was no attacking of character of a person. Just some of the stuff that was said definitely didn't need to be said."

Thankfully, the process is over until next year and the focus for the players involved can turn to spring training and then the 2023 regular season.