Originally Posted by blandman
Mmmm...IDK, he'd have to put up pretty crazy numbers in years 1-3 to even get $10.5 million in arbitration in year 4. That would be a huge first year arbitration number. That said, if he's that Ryan Howard player, then yes of course he should go ahead and file. Ultimately, unless years 1-3 are ridiculous (which would be a good thing), he's likely to take arbitration only in the last two seasons.
Arbitration takes into account prior years compensation, so if he opts for arbitration then it would be based on his year 3 salary, not a standard player that came in making the minimum for the first 3 years.
The salary offer to a player under team control may not be less than 80% of the player's total compensation from the prior year, and may not be less than 70% of his compensation from 2 years earlier.