San Francisco Giants v Cincinnati Reds - Game Four

For the first time since 1974, the embittered arbitration process gets a break. The arbiter’s gavel (?) falls silent in 2013, as no individual arbitration cases head to hearings for the first time in nearly 40 years.

Consider it a perfect storm – more and more players sign extensions will still in their arbitration years and a dearth of high-end talent trying to extract as much payday as they can. Either way, the ugly process — wherein every skeleton is dragged from every imaginable closet — will keep spirits high at camps league-wide this year.

Is this true? It certainly seems plausible that the proliferation of better information keeps all cards on the table. Less grey area allows for more consensus and, as stated above, a narrower range of offers. It might well just be a case of reverse-engineering, like the former Type A/B free agent designations. Everybody knows where they stand, no sense haggling over a few dollars and creating an uncomfortable situation for everyone.

If we are to believe that the golden age of baseball information democratizes the process, that’s a good thing, right? Skilled players who lack the RBI bonafides paid consistent with their actual contributions and abilities? It seems too good to be true! Maybe relievers will stop caring about saves as they will no longer be the basis for their remuneration!

If relievers stop caring about saves, maybe managers will stop orchestrating their entire gameplan around them. Maybe it will be a glorious, egalitarian world where the manager simply calls on the best pitcher at the time he is needed most. Sure, it won’t actually make an impact on wins or losses but at least we can all look for something else to complain about!

And the rest

Other than a crystal ball, what really predicts pitcher injuries? [Deadspin]

Mat Gamel tore his ACL and will miss the season. Again. [Milwaukee JS]

Thin slicing the latest Diamondbacks trade: Chris Young and Justin Upton no good, Tony Campana good. [Fangraphs]

Presented without context or comment:

Zack Greinke – baseball junkie. [Rosenthal]

Josh Hamilton speaks truth, ignites firestorm [Dallas Morning News]

New boss at a great Yankees resource [IATMS]