C. Raymond Grebey, Ir., is the former executive director of the Player Relations Committee, Inc., representing the 26 Major League baseball clubs. He is currently executive scholar in residence in industrial relations at the Graduate School of Business, Washington University, in St. Louis, and president of C. R. Grebey Associates, a management consulting firm located in Stamford, Connecticut.
Hailed in 1974 as a step forward in labor-management relations, baseball salary arbitration has become a "Catch 22" nemesis for Major League clubs. Salary arbitration agreed to before free agency now carries with it the potential of an involuntary increase in player salary costs of as much as 20 percent a year.
What was once a reasonably simple and informal process has become a complex battle involving lawyers and statisticians. The stakes are high for both the player and his club. The question now remains whether the parties will be able to sit down as problem solvers, and not adversaries, in an attempt to find a solution to today's salary arbitration problems.