first_imgMLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark called out a “blatant lack of respect” MLB shows with its awarding of an informal “championship belt” to the team that does the best to keep salaries low during arbitration.Clark’s statement came in response to The Athletic’s report Friday that revealed MLB hands out the toy belt during a private meeting each year. “That clubs make sport of trying to suppress salaries in a process designed to produce fair settlements shows a blatant lack of respect for our players, the game and the arbitration process itself,” Clark said in a statement. MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whip-around show on DAZNThe Athletic released a report, citing multiple sources, earlier in the day, revealing details behind the belt awarded to the team that did the most to “achieve the goals set by the industry.”The report indicates delegates from​ every​ MLB​ team meet at the end of each season for about three hours to set recommendations for teams to use in negotiations with their players. At the end of the meeting, there’s a presentation of a “replica championship belt.”MLB acknowledged the existence of the belt in a statement to The Athletic, describing it as “an informal recognition of those club’s salary arbitration departments that did the best.” Arbitration allows players to ask for a certain amount of money to be paid out for one year, which the team generally counters with a lower offer. If the two sides can’t reach an agreement, the case will go to trial where an independent party determines a winner. Players are eligible for arbitration after three years of service time. Then, after three years of arbitration, players can enter free agency.”The Association has worked with thousands of players through the salary arbitration process,” Rick Shapiro, the union’s senior adviser to Clark, told The Athletic. “All I will tell you is that players respect the process and take the process very seriously — and rightfully so.”USA Today notes that 32 players have gone to arbitration over the past two winters with 18 of those players winning their cases.last_img

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